the.gipster: kaladkarin

Monday, May 12, 2008

Back to school.. in the Kitchen, Task #1: Salmon

Gone are those days when I would wake up early in the morning where I don't have to drag myself out of bed to attend a class.. on a Saturday morning (discounting the 10 instances where I tried pulling it off almost a year ago by enrolling myself in French class).

That all changed when the opportunity to attend a very inviting and (I think) interesting course came my way -- Cooking.

Last Saturday, I was given an opportunity together with some of my friends Jason, Giles, Fifi and Ruby to attend a Discovery Course offered by the one and only Center for Culinary Arts (CCA).

Just a brief background, CCA's Kitchen Discovery Course was initially exclusive and is a pre-requisite course to all those students who want to apply in any of CCA's diploma courses. It is a course geared towards verifying your interest in culinary arts. Building on that mantra of "discovery", they started offering it to the public to better introduce them to what culinary arts could do for them.

This was one perfect excuse to go back to school, for a day.. and get the chance to choose the best classmates I think I ever had at this day and age -- my friends.




Me and my friends met up at CCA at around 9am. A short registration and attendance check, and we were on our way to our classroom to begin:

The 8-page material we would be working on
for the entire day.

A couple of brief self-introductions broke the class' ice and Chef Menoy Gimenez. "toque-ed" away with his lecture. Chef grouped us into 3 groups and were given the task to go over our recipe for the morning and discuss amongst ourselves how we were going to proceed. I was lucky to be grouped with Jason and Giles but later realized that we might end up with boils in hands or maybe ruin our recipe since neither of us can be called domesticated in terms of um.. cooking. Good thing though, we were with Ian, who's a mom of five, has a good working knowledge on our battle for morning --

Caramelizd Salmon with Orange-Shoyu Glaze
with Sautéed Mixed Vegetables, Soba Noodles
Lemongrass Beurre Blanc, and Balsamic-Soy Reduction

Chef Menoy "toque-ed" says food should be:
Clean, Zen-like, Appetizing

We were grouped into three: The cooks (Left),
The students (Bottom), The Newbies (top)

We the newbies were trying to figure out
our strategy for our mouthful recipe.

To add a little more pressure, we were led to the kitchen into our working tables and were given the goal to prepare and complete our recipe before 12noon, just in time for lunch.

GULP! Ito na ang lunch natin? =( Galingan natin teammates!!

I felt like I was in a pressure cooker -- prepare and come up with an EDIBLE product by morning's end.

Chef Menoy demonstrates how to cut
vegetable shillings correctly.

Our vegetable shillings cut to perfection.
They ain't cooked yet, but they already
look tasty.

Chef Menoy lectures the class in the most
interesting way -- beside a knife and a boiling pan. ;)

Giles prepares the Balsamic-Soy reduction
sauce of our dish

While Laarni marinades our salmon in a
ginger-sichuan peppercorn-OJ mixture

On other hand, Jason and Ian prepared the
Lemongrasss Beurre Blanc sauce of our dish

After marinade, our salmon got a sugar-pepper
treatment on top (meat side) to get that sugar-crusted
look and taste

In between pans, and while waiting for our
sauce reductions to finish, we can't help
but satisfy some of the camera whores in us.
(L-R) Ian, Laarni, me, Giles and Fifi.

Jason points out to Laarni which
side of the fish needs more frying.

Unlike any other instance where you would want to receive all the credit you can get, in this class, I lowered my expectations and at least hoped to hear and know that what we did was edible enough to be eaten. :D


Chef Menoy wrapped up and gave his evaluation in the dishes the different groups produced. For some of us who were first timers, not bad. The dish was really tasty and really good.

I love how the color of the vegetables compliment the color and the taste of the sugar-crusted salmon on top. This just brought my confidence level a notch higher and I can't wait to attempt and cook this on my own! :D

Next stop, dessert.

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June 22, 2008 at 3:03 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

that salmon looks YUMMY !


June 30, 2008 at 1:49 AM

Blogger gipster said...

you wanna have some of it?
i could cook you one! hehehe


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