Surprise, Surprise – Vegetarian Day

I don’t think that any of us were prepared for what was in store for us today in class – vegetarian.

Certainly not one of my strenghts I made every effort to embrace it, forcing myself to go above and beyond and to make not just three vegetarian dishes, but rather three vegan dishes.

I’ll admit I have little tolerance for people who close their minds off to whole food groups (unless of course for real health concerns such as allergies, diabetes, cancer, etc).  Is life not short enough that we have to live our brief time denying ourselves the pleasure of products like foie gras, soft tendon, and just a good steak?  But my lack of tolerance has be applied evenly and to myself, consumer of all things animal.  Therefore I approached the task at hand as I approach everything else.  Not to mention I like being challenged, and today was nothing if not challenging.

So here’s what I made:

Potato/fennel soup, chive oil – in the summer I would serve this chilled.  There is no doubt that cream would have made this soup, but in the spirit of the day I denied myself that luxury.  Chef mentioned that he would like to have seen something like toasted or candied nuts in the middle.  I have to agree.  Aside from the addition of cream something crunchy would have been quite nice.

Tomato salad, mango chutney, cilantro sauce – tomatoes are so far out of season it seems a bit silly to have worked with them, but the guy next to me made this dish next week (he ripped it off of Nobu) and I just couldn’t resist.  He used dashi as the base for the sauce, I used veggie stock that I made.  I also added the mango chutney and garnish of cilantro to make it a little bit more my dish.  Chef mentioned thinking about making the cilanto sauce into a soup.  I may do just that for my final next week with the addition of sea scallop.

Roasted and marinated beets; beet french “fries”, mango chutney to dip – this was ok.  I redeemed myself from last weeks disaster of a beet dish, so that was good.  The beet “fries” is a good concept but needs to be worked out.  I dusted them in potato starch prior to frying them which may have contributed to a slightly burnt aftertaste.

I have no idea what’s in store for tomorrow.  I think that Wednesday is our mid-term & black box and I know Friday we’re going to Argyle street for a field trip to eat at a Vietnamese restaurant.

On Thursday of this week I have my first job working with a food stylist for an ad shoot.  I’m sure there will be much to write about that.


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