The first day in the kitchen...
No nail polish, no bracelets, no rings- everything’s gotta come off for fear of bacteria. Bare. Prepared to encounter the kitchen for the first time in the course.
The day is split into two. The first half from pastry and then cooking: a full day straight from 9 to 4 or 16:00 as they use here. I have thrown away the US system and welcomed the metric system. No more inches no more pounds. I feel like a weight watchers ad.
Lean dough aka a wonder bread sort of feel- only consists of water, flour, salt, and yeast. “Zehu”. No accidental olive oil usage instead of regular oil here!
There are two schools of thought when it comes to bread making, either you add flour to the water or water to the flour and we attempted both. It’s almost like I’ve crossed over. I’m accustomed to the first and today it’s like a whole new world has opened with the latter.
Later in the day we worked on our knifing skills, the most basic yet most important aspect in a kitchen. All of cooking begins with a knife.
I hope to get a picture in to better explain, but we were taught a new way of crushing garlic to help get the skin off. Chef Jeff was taught this quick and easy way by an old Iraqi woman…
Instead of the classic push down of the Chef’s knife onto the garlic with the possibility of an occasional slip in the hand which could go horribly wrong; hold the garlic clove in between the thumb and the index finger and squeeze (if you’re very strong you may be able to crush it, but in no way do I have the strength for that and truthfully I’d rather not lose all my energy on that one clove when there are a bunch left sitting at my mise en place. So I take my right hand and allow it help my left hand squeeze the garlic. The strength of both of my hands make it easy with no fear of slipping up with any sharp knives.)
Posted by Mik at 15.7.12