Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Private Party

I got called last week to work a private party at the cooking school on Sunday night. I figured a Sunday night group would probably relate to about 10-12 people. I showed up at 2:00pm on Sunday afternoon and found out we were setting for 40 people! Some entrepreneurs group.

It was a wine tasting class with accompanying food. The menu was pretty great. Here's what was served:

* Oysters with Champagne Demi and caviar with Gran Gesta, Brut Cava, Penedes, Spain (a sparkling wine (can't be called a champagne if it isn't from Champagne, France)).

*Summer Gazpacho with Jumbo Lump Crab with Xarmant Txakoli, Ammurio Spain

* Roasted Side of Salmon with Yellow-Tomato Salsa with Carmel Road Pinot Noir, Monterrey, California

* Baked Penne with Eggplant & Ricotta Salata with Casa Zuliani Cabernet Franc, Italy

*Roasted Stone Fruits with Bitter Cocoa Sorbet & Mango Creame with Coppo Brachetto d'Aqui, Piedmont Italy

Only about a quarter of the class cared that there was a cooking lesson going on. They were there to smooze (and seemingly talk louder than their neighbor). It was a lot of fun though. Paul, Vance, and Meredith were all on hand as the Central Market chefs and there were four volunteers in all. I got to do a lot of the plating. I also made the Bitter Cocoa Sorbet and Mango Creame and helped out with the other dishes. I was probably the most junior volunteer there, but like to believe that I was one of the stronger ones, if not strongest (culinary skills wise).

I also signed up to volunteer for some of the upcoming fall classes. There are a couple of impressive guest chefs coming (that I didn't sign up for) such as Princess Diana's chef.

We got out of there around 10:30 after trying a glass of the sparkling wine. I had to be up just after 5:00 am yesterday, so it made for a short sleep!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Chef Elmar

I worked at the Cooking School last night for the "A TASTING MENU FROM THE FOUR SEASONS" Class. Elmar Prambs, the Executive Chef, The Cafe at Four Seasons Hotel was the guest chef.

We served seven different dishes: Asian Beef Roll; French-Style Baby Artichokes & Brie Pizza; Seared Diver Scallops in Celery Root Purée; Porcini Mushroom Risotto; Tamarind-Honey Glazed Chilean Sea Bass; Veal “Osso Buco” Ravioli; and Passion Fruit Poached Pears.

I was in charge of making the ravioli (including dough from scratch), marinating the Sea Bass, assembling the pizzas, and mise en place for the Risotto and Sea Bass. It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun. Chef Elmar is great. Such a doll. Thank goodness for Mila, I didn't have to wash any dishes! But I did do a lot of plating. We served 37 students. My feet were aching when I got home last night.

On a side note, congratulations to Chef Paul and his wife Ingrid on expecting baby #2!