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Just got back...from Culinary School!

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posted on Nov, 19 2017 @ 07:55 PM
I think I've mentioned previously my wife is an actual 'Chef'. So she and a friend of hers (also a Chef) had made an appointment to go to this culinary school for a fun day. It was a specialty class put on by an Executive Chef and CIA grad (baking and pastry specialist).

Well, sadly, my wife's friend's mother passed away a few days ago, and there was no cancelling this appointment. My wife's friend's son had bought this experience for her as a Christmas present last year, and it was due to expire. So guess who got to go and learn how to make holiday pies from some of the best Chefs on planet Earth?

Yep, yours truly! Now, I can hold my own in the kitchen, but if I had a weak spot it would be baking. It is truly more science than art (and I'm good at science to say the least).

In seven hours I learned more about classical French baking methods than I ever thought possible! Classic Pate' Brise'e (crust) (off the charts, good!!). Frangipane tarts, Rose apple decorative pies, Bourbon-orange pecan pie (with fresh vanilla, bourbon, infused whipped CREME. We even made a triple berry cherry pie (with a name I cannot even pronounce). Seven hours and six pies, start to finish, everything overlapping.

It was crazy hard, just crazy hard, but I survived. There was even a competition, judged by the instructor Chefs. I even beat my wife on one pie (not even comprehensible to me), (she dusted me on the other two competing ones).

They asked us up front what we wanted to get out of this class. At first I was just like "well, I'm with her-->". Well, it seems that wasn't an acceptable answer. "okay, I can't make pie crust for the life of me! I'd like to learn." Turns out this was a good answer, and boy did I learn.

I think I ran for the entire seven hours. This gal wouldn't let you rest for even one minute, you were always doing something, just constantly running the whole time. It felt like being on Iron Chef ... with no commercial breaks.

My back hurts, my feet hurt and my brain is tired.

Gosh, that was one hell of a lot of fun!!! (seriously) I can't wait to go back!!!

edit on 11/19/2017 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 19 2017 @ 08:04 PM
Dry. a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

Very cool!

Pastries are my weak spot, it’s time consuming and labor intensive.

A friend of mine takes a class here and does some nice stuff.

I helped him find some pandan for a creme brûlée.

I was thinking of taking the class myself but I just lost 30 lbs and love my pastry too much!

Glad you had fun!

posted on Nov, 19 2017 @ 08:06 PM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

I cook in a kitchen.. I accidentally started one day when a friend needed me. What you described sounds like my saturdays. It's a game of guess what's prepped what's not prepped how do we get the food out and then watch chef.. I've learned so much...

And yea my back hurts too lol.
The owners came in so we put on a special show for them..

I find myself learning recipes by ear on the fly. It's actually fun if you keep your head in the game.

Were you the one asking about installing a commercial oven?

Are you thinking about taking more classes?

Whenever I work with a new chef I just absorb all I can. No money for any classes, but I get what I can.
I never remember the French words lol. Mirepoix.. roux.. that's about it.. Everyone I learn a new technique that has different results than similar techniques I start to realize just how specific you can make things.. something as simple as a mash.. are you going to mash it? Puree? Pressed?

I'm glad it turned out fun.

You should post your next adventure learning culinary experience so I can steal from it haha.

edit on 19-11-2017 by Reverbs because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 19 2017 @ 08:07 PM
Did you learn to make squirrel with noodles or wild turkey pie?

posted on Nov, 19 2017 @ 08:47 PM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

Congrats! Sounds like you had a lot of fun and learned a lot. I like to cook, but hate the cleanup afterwards.
RIP to the friends mother.

posted on Nov, 19 2017 @ 09:27 PM
a reply to: iTruthSeeker

The cleanup is almost forgettably easy, so long as you stay on top of it. If you don't, you fall behind, so it's not even a conscious just do it, and do it well. It comes as second nature to me now, and it's sad when you see someone fall behind; they get so frustrated and things just continue to pile up on them. It's hard enough to work in a spotless and organized station, but clutter and mess just makes it exponentially worse and more difficult.

posted on Nov, 19 2017 @ 09:52 PM
a reply to: rickymouse

No, but I did very much inquire about making meat pies using a similar recipe, and was advised this approach would work fantastically well. SOOOoooooo, I have every intention of applying what I learned today to more savory pursuits as well.

posted on Nov, 19 2017 @ 10:22 PM
We made some spectacular pies today. Better than I ever thought I could make!

Flaky crust (even on the bottom). Perfectly done...frozen first, then par-baked while ingredients prepped, then ingredients added (which was FAR more than just dumping stuff into the crust...had to deal with making various emulsions, zests and all manner of other techniques just to get the ingredients ready). Plus, when working with pies, everything is a rush because all of it (the crust ingredients) must stay chilled throughout the process until the final bake.

I mean to tell you all, this was no easy day by a long shot!!!

At one point, one of the students (also a Chef) remarked..."So the notion you can just whip up a simple pie on Thanksgiving day is really a misnomer then, right??" That got a hearty laugh from just about everyone in the kitchen, most of whom were dragging ass by this point (myself included).

We cooked down razor thin sliced apples and made roses out of them, to top the tarts. We made Frangipane for ingredients in other pies, we "blind" baked, did lattice and braids for pie tops, "sheeted" butter in flour...cut, baked, roasted, chopped, mixed (all by hand), melted, reduced, candied, whipped, kneaded, docked, leavened, used different dough's for multiple things...and I've probably only touched upon not even half of all the stuff we had to do.

Almost stunningly, we also had to cook lunch, amidst all of this!! Now this may seem like a trivial point, but the lunch had to be served at a specific time, so lunch was a constant time consumer of even the last available second. Veal lasagna with handmade spinach noodles and a spinach salad with a strawberry vinaigrette dressing. Oh, and fresh cooked bread too. It was absolutely relentless!! Some of the other instructor Chefs there, one in particular, was absolutely unflinchable. I swear, someone could have thrown a live hand grenade at this woman with the pin pulled and she wouldn't have missed a beat!

Perfection was all that was asked...and only that which would be accepted.

Oh, and lunch was even pretty damn good too!! (albeit a little hard to enjoy, when you know all the other stuff you still had to worry about going on in the meantime). Lunch was served right in the middle of the last 2/3rds of the session, right when all the pies were in process. It was an intentional distraction, devised to throw off your tempo, to make you relax or become complacent about something, to forget a make you make a mistake.

I looked right down the main bore of the culinary world today. It really was pretty cool.

And, we just made a few pies!!

posted on Nov, 19 2017 @ 11:35 PM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

Whoa Whoa Whoa!
You went to Ina Garten ???

I think I've mentioned previously my wife is an actual 'Chef'. So she and a friend of hers (also a Chef) had made an appointment to go to this culinary school for a fun day. It was a specialty class put on by an Executive Chef and CIA grad (baking and pastry specialist).

posted on Nov, 20 2017 @ 12:10 AM

I made my first roux in years a couple of days ago, and was secretly thrilled when it came together perfectly!

Ok, not what anyone would call a whiz in the kitchen!

Pie crust is my next challenge, my ascent of El Capitian.

Thank you for the inspiration!

posted on Nov, 22 2017 @ 01:39 PM
I do accounting for hotels and restaurants, and have access to some top notch chefs (some you've seen on Iron Chef and Chopped). I stray into the kitchen daily to grab invoices and chase down line cooks and stewards so they can sign paperwork they keep dodging. Otherwise I try to stay out of the way because they have knives and are moving quickly from task to task during meal periods.

But I get access to fantastic insight. I know how to cook things that would cost me hundreds to experience in a restaurant, and I put it to use almost every day.

Pie crusts are something I struggle with though. Mostly because i have big old meat paws for hands.

posted on Nov, 22 2017 @ 10:11 PM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

Great share, thanks, happy Thanksgiving and Bon Appetite

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