Week 11: Friday, Cassoulet and Corbieres

The day started as most Fridays do with a written quiz. The exciting thing for the students however is that this is their last culinary quiz of the program. Today was also the day their regional report and food cost assignments were due, which everyone handed in on time.
So a big load was taken off their backs and you could tell that all the students were tired from the events of the week.
Fortunately this was a day with very little food production. Chef Lexie came up and did her “pastry between cultures” lecture and then Chef Dale came up and demoed how to assemble a Cassoulet.
I wanted to keep the students occupied while the Cassoulet was baking in the oven. So I told the students to make a walk-in lasagna. Basically scour the walk in for items that could be used up to add to our lasagna.
Well the walk-in and all food ordering falls under Chef Dale’s jurisdiction and he guards it like a mother bear guards it’s den with a new born cub inside. Once again I should have approached Chef Dale and got his blessing on what could be used up for my project but instead I sent my team in for the mission. They were intercepted while I was away.
Once we got that communication breakdown settled we were off to produce two beautiful walk-in lasagnas for Morey and Chef Michael to take home.
We ate at around 1:30 and we set up the buffet line with a mixed green salad, two Le Creuset casseroles filled with Cassoulet.
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Pastry made some amazing macerated strawberries and some philberts (hazelnut) shortbread rectangular cookies.
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Cassoulet is quite possibly my favorite regional french dish. I have had it in its AOC (the Cassoulet triangle goes from Toulouse to Castelnaudary to Carcassonne) region of France several times and it was part of my curriculum at my last job.
Chef Dale presented a version I had never had before. His includes a lamb daube and he tops the crumb crust with a small dice of tomatoes. Truly a very tasty version and all the elements were cooked perfectly.
We washed this all down with a regionally appropriate wine from Corbières in the Languedoc.
We finished the day early and the students were off to enjoy their easter holidays.
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