End of week 1 in Skill I.

Today marks the end of week 1 in Skill I.  We had our first practical today, which involved making gratin dauphinois (a gratin potato dish), duchesse potatoes and pommes rissolee (which involved a tourne – or “turned” potato).

Everything started well enough.  I started in on the dauphinois with no problems.  Everyone at my table got them in the oven on the same sheet pan.  Next was making the puree for the duchesse.  Well enough though I should have tasted before the raw egg went in.  Then came turning 5 red potatoes for the rissolee, which was really meant to be a time of reflection while everything was cooking away.  One sudden slip on the 2nd tourne and my tourne knife gouged a small hole into my right thumb (the 2nd injury to my right hand this week – and I’m right handed!!).  Off I was to the first aid kit for a band aid and a glove.  Of course this made every following task that much harder, but at least I didn’t have much more knife work to do, just finish up four tournes.  I just had to remember to take the glove off when handling anything hot lest the latex form a melted on second skin.

Our table had a “Top Chef” moment when we realized far too late (only 20 minutes left) that some a-hole had turned down our oven from 400 to 350 for the dauphinois.  This fucking sucked and all five of us lost points because of this.  Better to present the undercooked potatoes to Chef than to present nothing though.  Lesson learned.  This will not happen again, though if I find the bastard. . .

My duchesse potatoes sucked as today was the first day I made them.  Underseasoned and undercooked, not to mention shitty presentation.  I’m not one with the pastry bag yet.  Chef didn’t really seem to mind the piping job though, as that will come with practice.  To be fair she was actually pretty lenient; I was much harsher on myself and knew every mistake I had made which probably made it easier on me.  I knew my rissolee was overcooked, my dauphinois and duchesse undercooked and my duchesse underseasoned.

All in all though this was a pretty successful week.  I ended up no worse than anyone else, and in some instances far better than others.

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