Culinary School Week 4

culinary-school-week4.png

Week four already?? I'm halfway done with school! How did this even happen? I tell you, it has been a complete whirlwind. Last week was another great one, of course. I think I just need to be in culinary school for the rest of my life. Every day is a good one. The "bad days" are just not as good as the others.

This week, we had another two days of pretty pastry, decorating our cakes and building beautiful fruit tarts. After weeks of rush rush rush to throw together soups and salads and sauces, it was nice to slow down and take the time to make things look beautiful and perfect.

I'm also loving learning about the basic ratios and recipes for common desserts like pie crusts, cakes, frostings, and such. I've always been amazed when watching shows like Cupcake Wars where bakers have to quickly produce sensitive cakes and frostings with no recipes. Now I know how they can do it and with enough practice I'll be able to do it myself!

On Wednesday, we took another field trip around Park City to Copper Moose Farms, Ritual Chocolate, and Cognition Winery.

I've loved visiting farms as I think it's really important to know where our food is coming from and how it's produced. Copper Moose is definitely doing it right with custom designed and engineered greenhouses filled with produce grown on a well-thought-out schedule that keeps the staff busy year round. It was a gorgeous space amid the Park City mountains and hearing the passion that these people have for what they do tempts me to start a little farm myself! We picniced on their land with a delicious spread of meats, cheeses, and veggies- a picnic with a bunch of foodies is my kind of picnic.

Of course I loved our trip to Ritual Chocolate. Their purpose was to teach us about the production and quality of chocolates so we could promote them and use them in our own cooking- something I will definitely do. It's incredible how different [high quality] chocolates can taste just from where the nibs are grown and the processes they use to make the chocolate bar. It's these types of learning experiences that change the way I eat and spend my money. It's hard to buy Hersheys when I know how hard these local people work to create high quality artisan chocolates that taste SO AMAZING.

Being LDS, I don't drink wine and I've worried that I'll have a harder time in the food industry because I'm not as well-acquainted with how to use or pair wines with food (nor will I be drinking it while I cook or entertain). So I paid close attention to the process, asked a lot of questions, and relied a lot on my nose to pick out flavor notes. Thankfully my classmates helped me out and described each of the wines in detail for me. Our field trips are always so educational and I look forward to them so much!

Then on Thursday we dug into shellfish and crustaceans! We killed and cooked a lobster and oh my goodness it was amazing! I especially liked gnawing on the legs that had some good meat in them. We learned how to shuck oysters and de-beard clams and ate everything up for lunch! It was so delicious and I'm convinced that everyone could love seafood as long as it's cooked correctly. My challenge is to convert Josh now.

I'm already into week five and it's been exhausting and fun, but more on that later. Apologies for nothing but culinary school posts as it's keeping me pretty exhausted...