This day had me up for the long lecture and serious tastings: Cheese, Salt and Olive Oil. I had been working on producing a cheese powerpoint presentation. I have always been intimidated by trying to produce one before. Yet another MS product to try and learn, but in actuality it is easy to do. So, I have a renewed fervor to try and get all my lectures gradually in this format and use a laptop and projector to help me add a visual aid to my lectures. Students respond to lectures in a range of different medium. Oral presentations by themselves do not cut the moutarde, so you need to connect by adding other senses (visual, touch, feel, smell, a good dose of humor, ask a lot questions to keep them engaged and if all else fails make extremely absurd sexual comments).These topics are easy for me because I love them. Salt is obvious and probably the one ingredient that I would most miss if I were suddenly put in a hellish environment where I was absolutely prohibited from using it. Imagine a a salt free spa chef……no stop. I didn’t write that…..too hard for me to put in print. Olive oil took me a while in life to appreciate, but now that I know the level of art and that I have actually visited some of the olive oil producers in Provence. I understand what is involved and the passion that the producer gives to this amazing lipid.Finally cheese. If there is one product that singlehandedly makes me want to pick up my family and move to France it is this one. Once you have tasted true unpasteurized brought to its peak of perfection by a skilled artisan cheese curer, then you understand that of which I speak.The cool thing is that my presentation features pictures of one my students who felt the same type of cheesapithany during a tour at Aleosse and is now the cheese manager at the Truffle in cherry creek. He supplied the cheese for the tasting that featured the different categories of cheese I was attempting to have the students grasp. I believe that the presentation hit on all cylinders and that the students left with a better understanding of what is involved in this art.The menu for the day was meant to be set up as a buffet. Hot line was responsible for Roast NY strip (which we had rubbed down the day before with spices and salt) a green peppercorn sauce which we also started as a base Espagnole (the mother sauce from Escoffier) the day before as well and nurtured to perfection on that day. From stock to sauce a 4 day operation. To accompany slow cooked bacon and onion individual tartlets intended to have the students practice Pâte Brisée. On Garde Manger they put together a salad of mussels with basil vinaigrette. Paired with this sumptuous buffet a red Languedoc Bio-dynamic wine “Les Hérétiques” Syrah, Grenache, Carignan etc. Très Bon.
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