Nothing too profound or incredibly exciting has happened in the past five lessons, except for the fact that I got sick! Again. It’s seriously amazing how many times I’ve gotten sick in Paris. Maybe my body just doesn’t have the proper French immune system? I don’t know. In any case, I made it to all my classes, so here’s what’s been going on.
Crisp wrapped lamb fillet with a vegetable tagine. This is a Moroccan influenced French dish. The garnish is made up of celery root, purple turnip, chickpeas, dates, and cardoon, which is one of the weirdest vegetables I’ve ever tasted. It looks something like a celery, but with a nasty cologne-esque taste. I wouldn’t recommend it…especially raw. The lamb fillet was wrapped in brik pastry, which is an already cooked crepe like pancake. My lamb was a little on the raw side, but it was still quite tasty.
Pan-friend sea bream with langoustine risotto stuffed squid and arancini. There is an overload of risotto in this dish. It appears in three different forms: regular, stuffed, and fried. A bit too much in my opinion, but I held back while plating, so I think the portion leveled out. My favorite was probably the arancini, fried risotto balls with a mozzarella center. I tried not to eat too many…
Squab breast wrapped in cabbage, leggs stuffed, and tartlets with wild mushroom. The bloodiest practical we’ve had thus far. Pigeon or squab in English (or still pigeon in my head), is corked with blood, which is technically true because they’re hung to death as a way to keep the meat as red as possible. If the quail head was scary, seeing this pigeon head was even more terrifying. It was as if the pigeons I saw on the streets that day made it into my ingredient basket. The head didn’t stay around for long (I cleavered that thing off right away), but the foot made its way onto the plate. Even the diner’s aren’t exempt from the horror!
Red mullet filets with potato scales and a broccoli flan. Not my best plating wise, but my flan turned out perfect! Good taste + bad visual = C. During a chef lecture this week, he talked about how these days plating accounts for 50% of the diner’s satisfaction. Need to up the level!
Lamb shank slowly cooked with spices, roll cut salsify, and potato gnocchi with herbs. This was a more rustic dish, modernized by the way all the components were plated. I actually really liked the way I put together the three garnish elements: salsify, green gnocchi, and chickweed greens. It was a little different from what everyone else did, and the chef really liked it as well.