Culinary Student Journal, Week 6

People always said that being in the kitchen is tough, and yes I believe in it. I feel like in the kitchen is everybody for himself and start to wonder if there is any compassion in the kitchen.  

This week has been quite a rollercoaster, starting the week by helping out for a homecoming event at school, I go at 6.30 AM and got back like 11.30 PM, with one zombie day for Tuesday. Wednesday, we learn the hollandaise sauce, that was our assessment material (which I suck). Thursday should be our practice day, but just as usual, universe threw a curve ball by making that day a lunch presentation day. Which make our class showcase the process of emulsification, which making a hollandaise sauce and mayonnaise. The fun part was, we just knew it on the morning when we met our chef instructor. While the other batch know like a week or two earlier. But, all in all everything went good. I was helping out by making the text for our class introduction. 

Friday was the judgement day, we got to do our practical assessment, which including a basic moist heat, basic dry heat cooking, making soups and sauces, fabricating chicken and fish, also do the basic cuts. I think I did pretty well in fabricating and cutting veggies, when we start cooking is when it all comes to a struggle. Pressurised by the time limit and our fear to not screwing up was not enough for the chef instructor. They have to give us the additional pressure by standing near and watching our movement. I do kinda failed my sauce, which quoting the assessor “can’t be saved”, my stew is to watery and salty, the consommé quite okay but too peppery, my deep fried fish is right in the border of undercooked. 

This assessment is really an eye opener of how many things I still need to learn and practice. Heart and passion is surely doesn’t enough for living in a kitchen, it will give you a boost, but to stay alive we need the basic skill and knowledge as well. I am lucky enough, that in my batch, there are a couple students that have the experience, and even more lucky they want to share their experience and helping the others. So yes, there’s still some compassion left in the kitchen, but we can’t take it for granted. we need to improve ourselves and share the same compassion to other fellas. After all kitchen is a tough environment and what can drive people to stay is the comradery in it. This is the only place that we can insult each other and still share drinks and dessert afterwards. 

Cheers for a better tomorrow! 

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