A typical Day at Cook Street

I usually arrive at work at 7:45am. The HX bus drops me off less than a block away from work. By the time I get through the doors the place is in full activity. The pastry kitchen led by Chef Lexie has been working since 7:00 am, prepping breakfast, firing up the wood burning bread oven and making dough with the students. Chef Dale is busy running around the kitchen double checking his food needs for the day and doing his rounds of the walk-in. Many of the students are already there once I arrive. I pass through the front doors, pause the Ipod and prepare for the day.img_0057.jpg
The great aspect about commuting on a bus is that not only do you reduce your carbon footprint but you can also catch up on reading or prepare for a day’s lecture. That is as long as you are not struggling to find space to work in your cramped seat because a 300lb woman has settled in beside you (though in all honesty the skinnier people take more liberty with personal space than the already self conscious overweight people).I usually gather my group of students around to check in on their progress. They have already set up our Hot Line Station as requested and have our equipment Mise en Place set up for the day. We are ready to cook. A quick check in with Chef Dale to see if there any special needs for the day and I return to get the students started with a knife skills project. This might include Mirepoix (onions carrots, celery and sometimes leeks) for a stock being made on the garde manger station.
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After We achieve these various daily tasks then I grab a cup of coffee and meet with the rest of the chef instructors to go over the daily game plan and any other issues of the day.Breakfast is set out by members of the pastry station and all dig in. Lecture casually starts around 8:45am.Lecture is delivered by one of the Chef Instructors and covers a variety of culinary topics pertinent to the student’s chronological development. I should mention here that the program is very accelerated and intense. There is a lot of material that must be covered in a short period of time. In many ways the program is very similar to the program I taught while I was Director of Professional Programs at Culinary School of the Rockies in Boulder except that it is a few months shorter.

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Lecture usually finishes around 11am and then we break into our respective kitchens and start to cook the lunch for the day. I have a great new group of students and we have a lot of fun putting together our part of the daily menu. Every day a different student is appointed as the Chef du Jour and leads the group through production. The students are usually fraught with anxiety the first time they are in charge but quickly grow accustomed to the responsibility.

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Meanwhile the weekly bread baker is busy pulling out loaves from our wood burning bread oven. We eat freshly made bread starting on day two of the program. The weekly bread baker is also responsible for doing an assortment of other breads during their stint as bread baker. Ultimately they are responsible for producing the daily allotment of baguettes.

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At roughly around 2pm we are ready to enjoy the first course of our instructional menu.

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On this day the menu is Foie Gras with duck confit and slowly cooked cabbage with a lingonberry sauce. My team on the hot line is next up with pan fried chicken supreme on a saffron roasted garlic sauce with wilted spinach.

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Everyday we have a wine selected by our in house sommelier to match the food we have made. It is a complete experience and very European in approach.For dessert we finish with

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chocolate sorbet with white chocolate ganache and chocolate macaroons. Every meal ends with a critique of the elements of the menu by the staff and students and a sensory evaluation of the wine paired with the meal.We end the day and the students clean their respective kitchens. This is a fairly accurate description of a typical day at Cook Street . I will try to give a day by day account of some of the menus we create and wines we taste. Hungry for more?

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One Response

  1. Hi Chef Andy!

    The site looks great, very informative and the pictures look awesome! I’ll definitely keep up with the blogs so keep them coming. See you in class!

    Meghania

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