Well I have started my course. The first day they announced that we shall get our equipment the next day and we should be careful when dealing with our knives. I was eager to have a decent set of knives to cook with and my mate in London of Lambshank fame asked me if I had cut myself yet and that it was a right of passage into chefdom. Well you will be pleased to note that I did incur a little nick on my middle finger. Only a little blood and the knife impressed me rather then scare me due to the easy way it sliced into the flesh. I have cut quite a few pieces of paper in front of people since to demonstrate just how sharp my knives are.
Its now the 4th day which is slack that I have not written a daily account so far due to the important nature of this course for me and my one day hopes to fucking swear with the best of those celebrity knob chefs. Day one was all hellos and meets and greets. Talk about the course which would follow and in the afternoon a fabulous history lesson in French Cuisine by Celia Hays the founder. She has a history degree so she was eager to share her knowledge in this regard. Her knowledge both old and new of chefs in the know was fascinating and exciting. Having dined at the Fat Duck she could attest to the quality and ingenuity of Heston Bleumenthal. What I did not know was the history of the Michelen Star. Developed by the tyre company of the same name (I never knew - Just always thought it unfortunate that they had the same name), and created as a result of the developments in the motor car. People began to travel in the early 1900's and Michelen wanted them to burn rubber so to speak. Travle far and wide and wear out those tyres. So they encouraged people to visit restaurants further afield then their local areas and rated restaurants worthy of visiting. As a result the michelen star was born and people drive to these bastions of fine dining. As a result the chef's that managed to impress the critics of michelen and earn their stars became the first real celebrity chefs. Right up to Gordon and others who now adorn our TV screens some with amazing insight into food and others with utter drivel. The next day was vegetable cutting (the day I cut my finger). Never knew that there was so much science to the simple sliced carrot. Even faces in a diced carrot will allow even colouring and enhance flavour. So cutting needed to be precise and although it seemed a little anal I can appreciate perfectionism that one bit better.
Day three was soups and we made two vegetable soups which I was lucky enough to bring home and serve to my darling's family for starters in a birthday dinner I had eagerly volunteered to cook. So the guests got two soups, a cream of vegetable which I boosted with fresh coriander and a French Provincial soup called Soupe de Pistou which I spiced up and served with a lovely baked foccacia bread from a local bread artisan (can't wait for my own baking week on the course). She wanted Vienna Schnitzle, which although not fine dining was her birthday request - so I delved into the request with gusto. I made the schnitzle with garlic and parsley butter in its centre so when you cut into it the delicious buttery juices poured out. Vegies where, two types of potato (they are an Irish family afterall) one roasted chips and the other a mash concoction where I blended the potato with three seeded mustard and gruyere cheese then piped out into baking tray in lovely swirls to be lightly roasted. Roasted carrots in honey and seseame seeds, courgettes, shallots and mushrooms fried in butter and parsely, Broccolli and snow peas. It was a veritable feast. I even managed an angel cake with hokey pokey icecream and white chocolate and cream sauce.
Today we did more vegetables. A ratatouie and braised cabbage dish and I got to invent a egg plant dish of BBQ'd eggplant, olive oil, garlic, green peppercorns, parsley and cumin. Fuck knows what I will call it - mayber Patlican a la Dazza. It'll be nice on some of that fucking bread I bought.
Tommorrow is budgeting for restaurants so will have t use my brain and also take a calculator. Eugh - maths.
Its a great course though and can't wait to get stuck into some of the more interesting ingredients. Oh and the wine.
Speak soon dear reader.