Black Bunny

This week has been kind of a strange one.  Classes don’t usually start on a Tuesday, so I think that has thrown me off.

When we introduced ourselves to the Chef on Tuesday we had to tell something interesting that could have been about anything, including ourselves.  My little tidbit was pretty much just a brief bio.  As we went around the room no one had much to say except for this one guy who revealed that he had once been a dancer (read stripper).  His revelation makes him more of a mystique seeing as he was shot while serving in Iraq and was hit twice by shrapnel – once in Iraq and the other in India when car bombs exploded.  Today he revealed that his stripper name was “Black Bunny”.  I’m still trying to digest it all.

Moving on then, class was pretty fun today.  We were to treat this as a black box day though as I mentioned in yesterday’s post I already knew what the proteins were to be.

After a brief talk about molecular gastronomy and some knife skills work we were free to cook.  Today I stuck to much more traditional fare.

My first course was a salad using endive and had apple, radish, carrot and dried cherry with an apple cider/thyme vinaigrette.  I should have served two of the endive leaves with the salad instead of the one.  Aside from that there wasn’t much to say.

Course two was seared sea scallops with cous-cous containing dried cherry.  The sauce was an apple gastrique that I made by simmering a quartered apple in water to extract its flavor.  Then I added some apple cider vinegar and honey and continued to reduce until it reached the consistency I wanted.  Besides being surprisingly easy to make it was really delicious.  The two problems with the dish was that it was too white and I didn’t dry the scallops all that well which in turn meant that they didn’t sear too well (this would have fixed the problem of the plate being too white).

The final course was pan roasted beef tenderloin that I crusted with cumin and anise seeds, seared and finished in the oven.  The beef sat on top of pureed potatoes.  Finally I made a pan sauce by deglazing with Madeira, adding some veal stock and tossing in some mushrooms I’d previously sauteed.  The only things wrong here was the beef was just slightly undercooked (it was rare vs medium-rare) and it would have been nice to have a darker sauce.

Apparently the chef has been pretty pleased with my work (as well as another classmate)because he after class he asked us if we’d be interested in a part time job doing some prep work for a marketing firm doing something for TV.  Both of us said yes and gave him our phone numbers.  We’ll see what comes of it.

Overall a good first week for Contemporary.

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