Culinary Sense

Adventures with Food and Life

News from the PM Line

Hey Folks!

Remember I mentioned we got a new executive chef? Well, that change in management has brought a lot of positive change to our kitchen! I now have hope that I can actually learn something useful on this internship, and that it won’t be “just” work experience. Our new Chef used to be a culinary instructor, and I’ve already learned some culinary stuff. Also, he has already given me “homework”. I need to collect a recipe a week during my internship, take photos, and create a binder, which he will then sign off on at the end of my internship. Challenge accepted!!!! I worked on my binder today, and am really excited to have something to show for when I leave this place in March.

Another change is that we have daily appetizer and entree specials in the restaurant. It’s fine dining, so everything looks pretty fancy. Since I haven’t been working on garde manger (the pantry station), I haven’t really been involved in the process of creating these specials, but I have seen a couple, and they looked very special!

Beef carpaccio.

This is a beef carpaccio (raw, shaved beef) which deep fried capers, spicy tomato salsa, balsamic aioli, and honey-ginger relish. Also, cilantro micro-greens on top.

Some new menu items on our menu: mozzarella-tomato sandwich, chilled grilled shrimp, and lobster mac and cheese.

Mozzarella sandwich.

This is grilled bread on top of basil pesto. On top, layers of Vermont mozzarella, oven-roasted roma tomatoes, and balsamic syrup drizzle.

Chilled grilled shrimp.

Four grilled shrimp (served cold, like a shrimp cocktail) on top of tomato relish and basil pesto, topped with micro greens.

Lobster mac and cheese.

And the lobster mac and cheese. Why anyone would want to tarnish Maine lobster by putting it in a noodle and cheese dish, I don’t know, but I have seen this dish on a lot of menus lately. I simply don’t understand the appeal.

The other day, there was an enormous scallop in one of the scallop buckets.

The enormous scallop: a freak of nature.

Here, you can see a sea scallop (on the left), normal size, next to an ENORMOUS scallop on the right. This is the mother of all scallops.

Sauteing scallops.

The key to sauteing scallops is a hot pan. That way, one side will get a nice, caramelized crust!

Yummy scallop entree!

Here is the enormous scallop, with the normal sized scallop on top, with mashed potato and cider brussels sprouts (fresh sprigs of thyme for garnish).

Amuse bouche I made with help from my co-worker Mike.

In addition to the new specials, we also prepare an amuse bouche (pronounced “amooze boosh”) every evening. The amuse bouche is a one or two bite little something that the chef puts together either for a special guest, or sometimes to serve to a table that has been waiting for a long time for its food. The one in the photo above was one I put together (mostly from ideas from Mike, my co-worker. The rectangle you see is a chickpea “stick”, topped with pickled fennel and shaved onion, with garlic-yoghurt lines on the side. The green thing is a tiny mint leaf sticking out from underneath the rectangle.

Well, it looks like I will be challenged after all in my internship!

~ Carolynn

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