Week 10: Monday, The saucerer’s apprentice

Today was completely devoted to sauces, more specifically Hollandaise and Béchamel and their derivatives.  Today Chef Michael, the person responsible for starting up the school along with Morey Hecox, gave the sauce lecture.  When I started at CSR, Chef Michael had just left the school.  Now ten years later I am working for him.

It was great to watch Chef Michael in action.  It is always a pleasure to watch someone else deliver a lecture that I have given countless times and learn from their technique.  I also noticed how similar our approaches are .  He has his sauce lecture down pat.  His timing is perfect and he knows when to allow extra time for the information to sink in.

He offered up a very simple way to look at sauces.  A thickened flavored liquid.  He set out two columns, one for liquid and one for thickeners and then proceeded to have the students fill in the columns.

He demoed how to make a Béchamel and then had the students each make the sauce in groups of two.

Then he made a Mornay as a derivative.  He gave the students a break and then came back lectured and then demoed Hollandaise.   Then again the same groups of two students each made a hollandaise. img_0351.jpg

Here is what it looks like when the stove is full of white coats.

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Chef Michael showing Thomasino the finer points of whisking.  “Remember Thomas you got to look cool when your whisking”

The lecture and demo were long and consequently we didn’t set down to eat until really late.  When we did, we had an appetizer of braised endive wrapped in ham and topped with Mornay.  Then lamb loin chops with grilled romaine and turned new potatoes with the array of Hollandaise derivatives that Chef Dale demoed.

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Tomorrow I am up with a lecture on Velouté and Tomato sauces.  Sauce week is off to a good start.

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