Week 10: Friday, Kegs and Eggs; and chicken ballottine. British Taste 5

I have to find a way to stay on top of what it going on in LoDo because it can seriously affect your day if you are unprepared.  Maybe I get some kind of email alert. Fortunately for me I only take the bus to work each day to avoid the stress of traffic and parking.  When I got off the bus, I noticed there was a line of people across the street.  Upon further investigation I saw that it was a line to get into LoDos for their annual “Kegs and Eggs” beginning of St Patty’s weekend bash.  They opened their doors at 7 am and were offering free green beer and eggs.  All of the revelers were dressed in green, many with tall oversized green hats. Many were already well gone before they were even allowed entrance into the bar.

The students told me that this was nothing compared to the festivities of the Rockies opening day, when Lodo’s and the Tavern (two bars with decks across the street from each other) have a mammalian protuberance flash off.

Once the novelty of the activities wore off we were able to get back to the day’s curriculum. The topic today: Charcuterie or the art of preserved meats.  A vast topic that is hard to cover in an 1hr and half lecture.

Then I gave a demo on how to remove all the bones from a chicken without cutting through the skin and Chef Dale came and gave a demo on how to do the same thing with making only one incision down the back of the birdy.  Both could be considered methods of creating a Ballottine or Galantine of poultry.

Chef Dale then assembled the ballottine by filling it with different layers of straight forcemeat (as opposed to gay forcemeat) to create a nice pattern when the ballottine is cut.  They also put together a nice composed salad. My team helped me out by putting together the mise en place for the evening’s Taste 5 and assembling a few more birds.

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Chef Dale also had them cut Aspic into nice diamonds (the French refer to this cut as a lozenge).  Chef Michael said that he would much rather have an Asspic than a toothpick. Get it?

Pastry put up some nice pear tarts with a Gorgonzola whipped cream.

We let everyone leave early after lunch to go join in the festivities.  Norm was preparing to host the students in a Piggy Palooza get together at his house on Saturday.  I’m sure they are going to have a blast basting in swine flesh and hops/barley infused water.

Chef Pete (former Chef de Cuisine) for Cook Street and the person that I replaced came back to do this month’s Taste 5.  The idea of Taste 5 is to pair 5 wines with 5 tastes of dishes and to educate the customers about food and wine alchemy.  Each month there is a different theme.

The theme for this month: “before, during and after”.  The natural inclination of a chef is to put that phrase in the context of what you might eat before, during and after sex, but since he is slated to open a gastro pub in the fall? He decided to make the theme what he ate before, during and after his trip to England which inspired his desire to open a Gastro Pub. The UK is garnering a lot of food press recently and a lot of the Food TV stars are coming from there.  Jamie Oliver, the foul mouthed painfully honest Gordon Ramsay (he reminds me a lot of my first chef) and Nigella Lawson come to mind.

The menu for the evening was rustic and flavorful.  Good food all the way around and it was good to work with Chef Pete again.

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