Friday, October 14, 2011

G. L. D. (Golden Light Delicious)!

First things first: My cookies turned out well in practical! Here is a picture I took of them:

The Chef said they were a bit light and so the B part of GBD (Golden Brown Delicious) wasn't quite there, but he said it was really an individual preference kind of thing, and they looked and tasted good to him! For those of you who have ever baked with me, you know that one of the things I hate most is burning something, so I usually take things out of the oven before they get too brown, so I guess my habit continues at culinary school! ;)

Anyway, practical today went really well! I was a bit nervous at first, but once I got going, it was ok! The key is being prepared or "mise en place," meaning you have all your ingredients and everything measured out before you start cooking. Before we started cooking, though, the Chef gave us a mini orientation of the kitchen. He showed us where everything was located and how to work the ovens, etc. We each have our own work station on the long marble table that is in the center of the room. The ovens line the walls, so they are behind us when we are working at the table. We can paper-clip the recipe we are using to the metal shelf which hangs above the table. I'll try to get a picture of the kitchen soon so you can have a better idea of what it looks like!

Once the orientation was over, it was time to start cooking! I was pretty quick to get everything measured out and working with the little gram scales reminded me of being in a science lab, and I remembered how to "zero" the scale and everything before measuring out the quantities of flour, etc. I wanted. The part that was a bit difficult for me was separating the egg yolks from the egg whites, which I had to do about 8 times total today. This summer, I cooked a recipe in which I had to separate the yolks from the whites, so I at least had *some* experience doing this, but it was still kinda difficult! I only messed up one time though which I was happy about!

As we worked, the chef walked around the kitchen, critiquing us and telling us what we were doing well and what needed more attention. He seemed to like what I was doing and said he liked me because I smiled when I was working haha :)

Timing-wise, I'd say I was working in the "middle" of the group. There were 13 of us in the kitchen, and I'd say that I finished about 6th. Baking is not a speed contest or anything lol And we are not graded based on how quickly we finish, but just to give you an idea. (To be completely honest though, even though I knew it wasn't a competition, I found myself glancing over at the other students around me and at times felt a bit pressured to work faster if I saw they were several steps ahead of me, but I think that's just human nature - and also probably a product of watching too much Iron Chef or Chopped on the Food Network where speed is *everything* lol). But I did notice that one girl didn't get to finish her last dough before the time was up, so I'm glad to be in the middle.

So yes, it went well! I was pretty tired and sweaty after it was all over though - I think we all were! Tomorrow we have another demonstration at 8:15am, so I'm not looking forward to getting up that early, but I'm looking forward to tomorrow evening because a bunch of us are going to go out to eat/celebrate our first week of school, so that should be fun! We haven't had much time at all for social interactions/activities outside of the classroom lol so it'll be nice to get out. They've definitely kept us busy this week - but I already feel like I've learned a ton! :)

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