So my Internet was out for a week or two there, but here’s what you missed.  The second atelier is over. For the starter I did a ginger panna cotta, a salad of artichokes and spring onions with an arugula vinaigrette, and filet of sea bream on white asparagus with pancetta cream sauce.  I was happier with this than even the main dish.  The panna cotta, I was so worried wouldn’t turn out but it was great after 15 minutes in the blast freezer. The ginger really came through, the chef advised to lighten it by using half cream and half milk next time.  I poached the fish but overcooked it by probably a minute.  The pancetta sauce was friggin good, and worked well with the fish.  The vinaigrette was another nice surprise I haven’t done before, but would definitely make again. Super color, and super easy.  The main dish went well except for the stupid flan, which completely fell apart.  The chef’s guess was that beets have too much water in them, and that I ought to have used more eggs.  I was so disappointed because the color was so pretty.  Also made veal tenderloin, veal sweetbread wontons, sauteed spinach, and curried cauliflower puree.  I was pretty happy with all of those except the puree, which on recollection I maybe didn’t strain, and the consistency was a little weird.  I would use more curry next time too, and perhaps roast the cauliflower with it.

Since then we’ve done some other cool things, a roast beef tenderloin, beet and daikon brochettes, phyllo stuffed with potatoes. Fish crusted with croutons, honey glazed chicken wings.  We had Napoleon the other day and made guinea fowl with lemongrass sauce, mushroom stuffed mushrooms, and guinea fowl meatballs with chorizo.  The chef saw someone put a piece of chorizo in their mouth, and warned them it was super spicy.  Haha. It was so not spicy.

Yesterday we went to Rungis with the whole class.  We got a tour of the “biggest market in the world” (except Japan’s fish market).  We went through the meat section, and there were hundreds of cows hanging up, lambs too. The weird thing was it didn’t smell really at all. It was 4 degrees in there, and we all had to wear these white coats and hats over our top coats. We went through the vegetables and fruits area and saw some seriously beautiful produce.  Unbelievable.  Everything from tiny eggplants to baby asparagus that were as thin as stalks of wheat, and wild strawberries.  Lastly we went through the flower area, and there was a huge variety. Silvana couldn’t resist and purchased some right there.  I guess only restaurants and suppliers can come purchase things at this market. It is sprawling. Funnily enough it was the exact same place I once got lost on my bike and ended up on the freeway.

In pastry we have had a couple of chocolate practicals recently. It’s like we all just showed up one day and knew how to temper chocolate, and I certainly didn’t at the end of intermediate.  Monday is our final for chocolate and I’m going to try to do a stranded island scene.  Maybe a couple palm trees, a wave, some rocks, with a boat.  Gonna have to use some blue powder for the water I think and the chef hates blue for some reason. Even though today he spent 3 hrs in near silence making us watch him make this flower thing using blue, black, and grey. As long as everything is well tempered I dunno what he can say to me.  I’m a hundred percent positive he’ll come up with something though.  My other idea was to do a chocolate version of starry, starry night, which would require some blue too.  I think the island will be cooler though. More soon.