Saturday, June 25, 2011

Théâtre dans la Cuisine

Kitchen Theatre.....that's what I call Production day at my culinary school....
We cook for the public every Thursday, a shift from 9am to 3pm or 3pm to 9pm....
The Chef de Cuisine is always Chef Snyder. He is a Maestro in the kitchen and brilliant. I think what I love most about him is his wit and charm while insulting and correcting us, but I take it with stride and appreciation. He has worked in some of the best Restaurants including the Michelin award winning French Laundry in Napa Valley under Chef Thomas Keller, can you imagine that! So I'm sure he knows his stuff considering.
The Theatre players are the chefs in training, 2nd year students assisted by 1st year students called commis. The rehearsal takes place in the main kitchen and starts by the mandatory washing hands and sanitizing our stations, than our instruction, gathering of our equipment, gathering our product and checking for anything else needed or missing...on to the recipe check, turning on the Stoves, Ovens, Salamanders,Grill, then collecting Mandolins, Bain Maries, Chinois, Cutting boards in both white and red for meats and non meats...sharpening our Knives..tucking in our towels into our Aprons than off in the order of the Brigade established by Chef Escoffier*
The kitchen is set up to have a perfect flow of food, so as to not bang into each other, if a camera was overhead you would see it as a ballet, and the sounds you would hear like an opera...its beautiful and I am so excited to be part of it.....The menu is not simply a meal offered to hungry guests, this is Theatre with a cast of over 6 dishes, starting with the appetizers as the curtain lifts, swirling there way into the guest palate, than the scenes progresses to the entree so delicious you can watch as the audience swoons in pleasure....the closing act of course is the Desserts artfully written and Directed by Chef Donatelli...this act always gets a standing ovation...

*From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia-
Georges Auguste Escoffier (28 October 1846 – 12 February 1935) was a French chef, restaurateur and culinary writer who popularized and updated traditional French cooking methods. He is a legendary figure among chefs and gourmets, and was one of the most important leaders in the development of modern French cuisine.
Alongside the recipes he recorded and invented, another of Escoffier's contributions to cooking was to elevate it to the status of a respected profession by introducing organized discipline to his kitchens. He organized his kitchens by the brigade de cuisine system, with each section run by a chef de partie.

Escoffier published Le Guide Culinaire, which is still used as a major reference work, both in the form of a cookbook and a textbook on cooking. Escoffier's recipes, techniques and approaches to kitchen management remain highly influential today, and have been adopted by chefs and restaurants not only in France, but also throughout the world.

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