Wednesday, August 24, 2011

School Day 55 - 57: A Sticky Date? with Cake?

School. Still going with desserts, one of our teachers has stepped down and is going to be the head chef of the Warf Hotel near where the old crown casino used to be.

In the last few weeks we’ve learnt some classics, the chocolate fondant with the oozy middle my personal fav a beautiful sticky date pudding, breakfast pastries and croissants and some cake decorating.

Day 393 - 415: Chef De Partie

Interesting few weeks have passed again, with the resignation of one of the seniors, sees me up with a promotion to chef de partie, looks like its pasta for me soon. Feeling anxious ? for sure, this section is extremely busy throughout the colder months, and looking after 2 sections while having to communicate with mains while brining up entrees makes this one of the more mentally stressful positions to work in.

It was my last week in back section hot entrée, no more squid no more chips, no more being told what to do. I wanted to move up but with this short notice it makes me scared, I’ve seen people last less than a minute in there and I do doubt my abilities some times, but it’s time to step up. As a good friend said to me recently “go in with confidence and come out with success” thanks obi wan natoli!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Thursdays @ Café Rosamond with Pierre Roelof.

Mango, Thyme, Citrus & Barley.

Grape Foam, Apricot Granita, Cucumber, Mint, Dried Pineapple.

Dates, Caramel, Cherry, Chocolate.

Café Rosamond on Urbanspoon

Thursday, August 4, 2011

School Day 50 - 54: Gastro, Meat, No Meat, Test, and Sweets.

School? Welll struck down with gastro 1 week, having the flu the next, forgetting to place a meat order, a surprise test and the beginning of the dessert subject. That’s what’s been going down at school.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Day 377 - 392: Opps I Did It Again..

Yet another unintentional month goes by. Getting my fourth new partner this month, I’m starting to think there is a curse on my section. Hopefully this one stays a bit longer than 2 weeks.

I had a menu change a 2 weeks back getting a Minestrone soup with pesto and gruyeah cheese puffs as well as a clam chowder. The chowder is beautiful and velvety served old school in a sourdough roll.

Front section hot entrée got more changes than us, with the ravioli going with a champagne volute, a spin on gnocci carbonara and a very modern and elegant scallop salad.

They also received an interesting risotto change using the new truffled brie from calander cheese, which is everything you’d expect it to be fatty creamy and way over the top.

Seared Scallops, Compressed Apples, Cider Burre Blanc,
Mixed Cresses and Hazelnuts.

Prawn and Scallop Ravioli, Champagne Veloute and
Butterfiled Prawn Cutlets.

A goodbye to a Favorite.

Hello Winter Warmers.

mmmM Luxury Bag Cake..

A small hope Project.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

School Day 44 - 49: Meat Meat Meat....

What’s been happening at school you ask?

On to different meats at the moment, we started the subject with a demonstration from chef’s choice, teaching us how to take apart whole animals, such as lamb beef and pork. The demo was very thorough and taught us where each cut of the meat came from.

The week after we went on the factory tour, then we each got our own legs of lamb to bone out. It wasn’t as easy as the butcher made it look; it actually took a lot of effort and strength to manipulate the leg to get a good cut to cleanly break it down.

From then we went on and did beef tenderloin and porterhouse. Then there was EatStreet2011….

Grilled Beef Tenderloin: Mash, Butter Poched Turnips and Raddishes, Broad Beans & Bordelaise.

Braised Lamb Shank: Confit Leek, Golden Shallots, Parsnip Puree, Baby Beets

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Day 344 - 377: 6th Month Already?

Let’s see another month has gone by without a post. I never thought it would be this hard even in the slow season to keep up with the blog.

We are back in trouble with kitchen staff running low as we hit the peak of the quiet season it is still a struggle to maintain a sufficient amount for us to all get normal 50 hour week. I personally have been on 4 splits, but as an apprentice who gets paid by the hour I don’t really mind.

I’ve been through 2 partners so far in the 4 months I’ve been in hot entrée, and my third is being trained this week.

Winter brings a dessert change with a steamed pudding and vanilla lavender mille-feuille on the menu and winter risottos and braised rabbit show cases what’s in season.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Day 342 - 343: Happy Mother's Day

Mothers Day. Need I say anything else, probably one of the busiest days ever, This was definitely the busiest lunch I’ve ever done, though it didn’t feel that bad, it was a painful busy. Doing 200 covers instead of our usual 130-140.

Luckily I prepped up big making mass amounts of everything on Saturday night so I had nothing to do and had a stress free lunch service.

After 20 Chicken Pies, 24 kilos of mussles, 18 portions of squid and 5 litres of corn soup, my day ended with a familiar face, a old chef that recently left returned from his holiday.
Overall a spectacular weekend.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

School Day 37-44 : Thus Far 2011...

* School days 34 - 36 was just theory, team bonding and assignment work.

Its also been 7 weeks since we started at school. First up we did poultry starting with Chicken, learning how to take apart a chicken, then Ballontine (leg) and Gallontine’s (whole bird). From here we went on to Game this started with Quail and Duck, finishing poultry and then moved on to Venison, Kangaroo and Rabbit.

After the mid semester break we started doing seafood, with filleting fish, from small fish like snappers to whole 3kg salmons. Next we moved on to soft and hardshell crabs and squid.

It’s definetly been a lot more hands on this year and with everything that’s been going on at work, it’s been harder to catch up on school work.

Finally School this week was the Canapé function for the graduating year of 2010. All three 2nd year classes created a series of finger foods for a function of 100 people, having the first two classes cook and prep, whilst the 3rd did the service. It was a different experience from our usually daily classes and we got a feel of what it’s like to work at big function places such as function centers and sporting venues.

Duck Tataki: Pickled Ginger Salsa, Melting Leeks & Ponzu

Rabbit Saddle: Carrot Puree, Parsnip & Orange Beurre Blanc

Seared Venison Loin: Field Mushrooms, Rosmerry Vinaigrette 
Crispy Soft Shell Crab: Squid Noodles, Tomato Petals, Tom Yum Broth.
Confit Salmon: Chickpea Cream, Pickled Celery, Pommegranate, Apple.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Day 287 - 341: It's been a while...

Here I find myself proclaiming im not dead and I’m still blogging. The month of March saw us with lower staff than ever. Also during this time we have had the food and wine festival which saw Nigella Lawson and other internationally reknowned guests dine at Donovans for 14 intense days. The Age also made a apperence, closely followed by the grand prix and the recent massive Easter break.

What can I saw with recent change in kitchen positions from all the chef departures I’m in my new section and it has left me so tired and drained that I didn’t really even have time to think about blog posts.
It been a month now since I’ve changed sections and my last blog post, I don’t know how many of you are still reading but, I’m comfortable enough in hot entrée to start writing again.

Here are some memories from the last 50 or so days.

Warm Salad of Scallops and Autum Veg

4 Tastes: Char Grilled Asparagus with Crumbed 6 Minute Egg.

4 Tastes: Seared Tuna Loin in Black Olive and Tomato Vinaigerette with Radishes & Pickled Cucumber.

The Sea of Macroons

Areated Choclate Sponge.

Nigella Lawson's Autograph to Our Sous Chef a Thank You for a Spectacular Dinner.

4 Tastes: Sumac and Chilli Dusted Deep Fryed Crab with Fresh Lime.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Day 282 - 287: Been Busy.

Seems like this year I’m very behind on posts, with everything going on and my new responsibility of monthly stocktaking, it seems I barely have time to do a decent post anymore.

My phone recently broke and is gone, along with all my photos from the last few months I didn’t get a chance to post. But with every bad thing, comes something new and improved.

A new iphone 4. A bit behind but I finally got there along with the 40% of other mobiles users out there wielding an apple product.

It’s good to see that Adriano Zumbo has gotten his own show on SBS. His creations are truly inspirational and with all the new cooking shows out there, it’s a breath of fresh air that there is something focusing on pastry.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Day 271- 281: Thanks Mr. Napoli!

I’m back and what an amazing holiday it been. It feel like ages since I’ve been at work, new dishes and new people have joined our kitchen ranks, and a very sad departure of a close friend who taught me many things in my year and a bit at Donovans. Thank You Mr Napoli! Hope you’re enjoying ur holidays where ever you are.

It seem like my move to hot entrée will be delayed till the next round of kitchen shuffles in March, school has started but nothing interesting yet, just a few assignment and small competencies like talking on the phone.