Thanks in large part to the comfort food craze in this country our curriculum includes American Regional cuisine.
This class really feels a lot like the American version of our Skills II class, except we employ the deep fryer considerably more often. In Skills II we actually never used the deep fryer.
Personally, I have no time for comfort food; I even hate the term. While I’m on the topic here are a few other things I hate: curly parsley and for that matter all other inedible garnishes (what the fuck is the point?); the caesar salad (admit it, it’s really just bullshit and has no nutritional value whatsoever); people who make absolutely no attempt to get dressed up when they dine out; not clearing used silverware after every course or even worse, taking my dirty fork and knife and putting it back on the table; not serving the women first.
But I digress.
To be fair the food for the most part that we’re cooking is pretty good. Dishes I’ve made have included crawfish etouffee (delicious), smothered pork chops (also tasty), split pea soup, oysters Bienville and a host of salads.
And for the most part it’s really hard to plate these things in innovative ways. If we had the time I guess we could bother to deconstruct every dish and act like we’re Ferran Adria or Jose Andres, but we’re not and that’s not the point of the class. In order to be able to deconstruct you have to first be able to cook what it is you’re deconstructing. I’m willing to bet money on it that Jose Andres’ gazpacho is just as good as his “gazpacho”, maybe even better.
The most difficult part though has been being sick with a cold that left me with very little sense of taste. For a few days I found myself in the uncomfortable position of having to rely on other people’s taste buds. Yesterday though I was able to taste and really enjoyed the etouffe.