Buffalo and Bavarians...Two Weeks Left!

Buffalo Steaks on Toast Points
There's a lot of buzz at school these days as the end of the 16 week program is drawing near. On Tuesday, during one of our many fits of laughter (probably over something immature) Chef said jokingly that she wished that she could show us a video of our first day at culinary school. She said that she remembers us looking up at her with our deer-in-headlights eyes and how quiet we were. It's funny to think back to that moment - the first time I put on my chef's coat and walked into class and met everyone for the first time. I've said it before and I'll say it again, it's amazing how fast cooking and food can bring people so close in such a short period of time. I feel like our class is like a little family and as much as I'm looking forward to the next stage of this crazy journey of mine, I'm really going to miss seeing my classmates weekly.

Moving on to the exciting focus of Monday's class: game. Being the ever so geeky food type, I was psyched to be sitting at a table full of meats that I've never had before. Little bites of Venison, Wild Boar, Pheasant and Buffalo, to name a few, were all on my plate and I was excited to try. After all, I think that's one of the most exciting things about my profession, there's never a shortage of new things to try. (I really liked them all except for the Boar. Boar didn't do it for me.)

Cream of Celery Root
During class, I worked on a cream of celery root soup as well as some beautiful buffalo steaks that were marinated in red wine, onions, rosemary and juniper berries. After they were seared, they got thinly sliced and were carefully placed atop toasted rosemary and juniper infused toast points. As we all sat around the table eating the various dishes of the day, it was noted how far we've come and how we seem to all flow better in the kitchen. There's less errors. There's more attention to detail and a better understanding of how to maximize flavor from ingredients on hand. It's amazing to watch us all progress.

Apricot Cake filled with White Chocolate Mousse
On Tuesday, the focus was Bavarian Creams. Bavarian Cream, if you haven't had it before, is a mixture of some sort of dairy product (i.e. cream or milk) and either fruit purees, chocolates or other flavorings mixed in along with gelatin (a rather finicky substance) and then chilled until it's slightly firm, yet still soft and creamy. Throughout the day I worked on an apricot pound cake that I then cut into slices, filled with strawberry jam, and then used to line a springform pan. The center was then filled with a white chocolate mousse and topped with strawberry whipped cream and fresh strawberries. As much as I've always maintained that I don't care for baking, I do love coming up with the final presentation and watching it all come together.


Mom said...

Everything looks fabulous! I cannot believe you are almost done with your classes! What a life-altering experience it has been!!

Jen said...

I agree, I can't believe you're almost done. I bet it's bittersweet to think about how far you guys have come and how near the end is...

Megan said...

I feel like your classes flew by! You must be so excited... and so proud to be on the home stretch. I love wild boar and bavarian creams!

Elizabeth @ Saffron Lane said...

I agree with everyone -- time just flew by! Sounds like it has been one of the most memorable experiences though. Can't wait to see what's next for you!

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