A crab called Wander//Week Three/Le Cordon Bleu

My hands have started to feel the hard work and lack of manicures. They are a bit dry, tend to smell in onions plus I forget to put on my rings and am slowly remembering how to cut my own nails very short. I am also trying to find a cute way to wear a hairnet under my chef’s cap but that’s been an EPIC fail. On so many levels. 

Week three was a combination of skill, butter, arm strength, a hangover, cream and a potential drunk chef. We started with Common Doughs Part III where we learned the fine art of what the puff pastry is capable of (ever tried to cut out shapes then make a slight indentation of the same shape but smaller on the face of the puff pastry then bake it? It rises like a castle. Truth. Verite baybee) and the intense making of a fruit tart which is pretty easy and delicious. The puff pastry served as a basket for a poached egg on top of a bed of wilted leek. A great party starter and something I definitely ate the leftovers of even though that puff pastry is a wiley beeyotch. I also enjoyed watching our beloved Chef make a tart for us during Practical. I smelled wine on his breath so it makes sense. 

We then moved on to Soups Part I where we witnessed the massacre of about 20 crabs to the thrill and delight of most of the women in my class. Most crabs tried to escape the guillotine by hanging off the bowl they were in. They don’t call it a “butcher” knife fer nuthin’ ‘k? In our Demo, Chef made three soups with three different thickening elements: Watercress soup (potato thicken-er), Cream of Cauliflower (cream thicken-er) and the one we had to make during our practical: Crab Bisque (rice flower thicken-er). No one was a fan of the crab bisque although I can’t tell you how joyous it is to strain the crab-almost-bisque through a sieve and push down a million times on a heavy chinoise to extract the flavor, then do it again to make sure the soup is velvety smooth. My arm almost fell off and other than the Russian’s soup, most of ours wasn’t very good. I cry crab quality problem’k?

Now, the Russian. Our class phenom. He is 24, very sweet and doesn’t speak any French nor English and yet is our number one student. Damn the Russians. The 1994 Olympics weren’t enough, you gotta take LCB too? No, I am proud of this guy. Srsly. I’ve taken to tasting his dishes after he presents them to the chef just to see what perfection tastes like. Hearts.

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2 thoughts on “A crab called Wander//Week Three/Le Cordon Bleu”

  1. I might be able to help with the hairnet bit – if your hair is long enough for a pony tail, put your hair up like a normal pony except leave your tail in a loop, don’t pull it all the way through. Then put the net on from back to front. The extra hair poking out the bottom of the elastic helps secure the net. It’s a geeky skill 🙂 I still get a line across my forehead from the hat!

  2. Nice job! I’ll keep looking for future posts on your blog. Enjoy the experience – it’s great !
    I’ve done the basic cuisine intensive in Paris last year and it was just great.
    See for comments/tips & tricks (on possible exam dishes) the blog of my culinary adventures in Paris : http://sjoerdcordonbleuparis.blogspot.com/

    Have fun !

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