The real deal: Make a soup, a salad, an entree ... for a chef
(Note: The California Culinary Academy requires that students do a 6-week restaurant externship to complete the culinary arts certificate program. I am seeking a placement, from mid May to late June. I won't disclose names of restaurants to which I am applying until my externship is secured.)
Having cooked thousands of meals, I have little problem using what's on hand. Sometimes my meal is memorable; sometimes it's very good; less often, it is just satisfying; rarely has it been bad.
SERIOUS STOVE TOP TIME: My skills will need to be at their peak to cook for the chef at whose restaurant I hope to do my 6-week culinary school externship.
Now, with six months of culinary classes behind me, cooking with what's on hand is almost second nature. Want soup? Get stock and a pot; soup's on soon. Salad? Greens, complementary ingredients and a good vinaigrette I will whip up with ease. Entree? I will grill, roast, saute or braise about any meat, fowl or fish, plus make an appropriate sauce.
In my pursuit of an encore career, I will within the next two weeks cook a meal -- soup, salad and entree with starch, vegetable and sauce -- from what's on hand. It will be one of my more important cooking efforts in quite a while.
This meal I will prepare in a San Francisco restaurant kitchen, serving it to the executive chef. He is considering taking me on for an externship.
"I need to see if you can cook," he said during an interview on Wednesday. "Come in to see if you are comfortable here and to see how we do it. Then come back and cook for me. I want to see if you can season, cook to temperature and present a nice plate."
Daunting, to say the least.
He eased the anxiety a bit when he said: "I advise you to keep it simple." some taking this test try to get fancy, and when it doesn't turn out, they are left making excuses rather than making good food, the chef said.
Best get my knives and skills sharpened. I'm going to need them.
Posted By: Michael Chihak (Email) | April 01 2010 at 06:45 AM