After a long weekend it takes a little more effort to get the engine back on track. We’re in week 3 and the focus is ingredient identification and to taste as many examples of different ingredients as possible. What better way to learn every color available to a cook’s culinary palette than to taste them. Chef Dale started us off with an herb ID and tasting and then we had scheduled Chef Tim Zeigler at Italco to do an herb and spice presentation. I have taken my students to Italco on many occasions when I was working at Culinary School of the Rockies and his presentations are great. He is very heavy at pushing dried herbs, but that is understandable given the nature of his job. We allotted him 45 minutes and we noticed that after 40 minutes he had 3 more ID stations to go. We gently pulled urged him to push the presentation forward. It’s tough to do when you know that the students are getting so much out of the presentation, but you could easily spend days going over this subject. Anyway Tim really knows his stuff and is fascinating to listen to.He left me a 3 lb rock of Nepalese pink salt and one of the herb and spice posters he created. Nepalese salt is being used by chefs like David Burke who are having it cut into tiles, baking them in the oven and cooking raw food on them tableside.Next Chef Lexie was up with a spun sugar demo. Spun sugar and pulled caramelized sugar is what can give major wow factor to desserts at very little cost.We finally got underway with the menu around 11:30. Today Garde Manger made a beautiful cheese crepe soufflé served with a tomato coulis and basil oil Hot line served a pan fried filet of Tilapia served with sauce grenobloise, which is a derivative of Beurre Noisette. Beurre Noisette or Hazelnut Butter is an à la minute browned butter pan sauce. Once you add lemon juice, parsley and capers it becomes a sauce Grenobloise. We served the fish over a bed of wild rice and lightly dressed baby red romaine. We topped it with blanched whole garlic cloves. This dish would be at home in any French bistro.We paired these two dishes with a nice Vermentino from Sardegna.And for dessert we had a hazelnut soufflé glace or frozen soufflé. This a basically a frozen mousse. This time molded in a nice pyramid shape. I could really feel the power coming off the plate. This dessert needs a “laser” coming out of its peak.Another great day.
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