Breakfast of Champions

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Fish chowder at 7:00 am…yum!

Lots and lots of fish to gut and clean for fish stock.

Lots and lots of fish to gut and clean for fish stock.

It takes an iron stomach to be able to sample fish chowder at seven o’clock in the morning. Until this week I have had no problem eating savory, rich French food early in the morning, but fish stock definitely threw me off for the day. That is one smell (never mind taste!) I just can’t handle before lunch.

This week was a good preview of what’s to come next semester when we take a class on fish identification and cookery. In fish class you learn how to properly break down and debone fish.  The class prepares all of the fish for other kitchen classes and the restaurants here on campus. Trust me when I say you can smell someone in fish class from across campus…breaking down fish is certainly not glamourous but it is a necessary skill for someone in this industry.  

Cleaned fish bones for stock.

Cleaned fish bones for stock.

Mushrooms to add flavor to our fish stock.

Mushrooms to add flavor to our fish stock.

Onions, celery, leeks and a sachet for flavor in our fish chowders.

Onions, celery, leeks (mirepoix) and a sachet for flavor in our fish chowders.

Here are some more pictures from the rest of my week!

Back to school after a weekend at home.

Back to school after a weekend at home.

There is nothing better than having breakfast made by my grandma.  I made sure to stop by her house for French toast before I headed back to school.

There is nothing better than having breakfast made by my grandma. I made sure to stop by her house for French toast before I headed back to school Monday morning.

Monday afternoon I attended a lecture by Alex Wolf, front of the house manager for three Michelin star Jean-George restaurant.

Monday afternoon I attended a lecture by Alex Wolf, front of the house manager for three Michelin star Jean-George restaurant in New York City.  He discussed the benefits of a culinary arts education and the importance of strong front of the house service and hospitality.

Knife trays...every week know we get less and less time to complete a full knife tray.  These are just the required potato cuts we must have: brunoise, julienne, batonnet and medium dice.

Knife trays…every week we get less and less time to complete a full knife tray. These are just the required potato cuts we must have: brunoise, julienne, batonnet and medium dice. We are graded on quality, consistency and accuracy.  Our knife trays also include a variety of minced ingredients like parsley, shallots and garlic, tomato concasse, a sachet and two onions sliced and diced.

I definitely preferred making lentil soup in class compared to fish chowder!  I love whenever lentil soup is available at meal times.

I definitely preferred making lentil soup to fish chowder in class! I love whenever lentil soup is available at meal times. It is the perfect hearty soup for fall and winter.

This week we also learned the proper technique for making all the different types of roux.  We made white, blonde and dark roux.  Roux is used as a thickening agent for liquids.

This week we learned the proper technique for making different types of roux. We made white, blonde and dark roux. Roux is used as a thickening agent for liquids.

On night a kitchen was offering a fall salad with pears, pecans and an apple cider vinaigrette.  It was very good.

One night a kitchen was offering a fall salad with pears, cranberries, pecans and an apple cider vinaigrette. It was very good.

Sometimes you just have to have dessert first....it's hard to resist when it looks this pretty.  In our dinning room they have a few tables set up with desserts from the bakers daily production. This was an especially attractive looking rice pudding with a perfect scoop of vanilla ice cream and a berry pineapple syrup.

Sometimes you just have to have dessert first….it’s hard to resist when it looks this pretty. In our dinning room they have a few tables set up with desserts from the bakers daily production. Usually at lunch my class and I each grab a different dessert that way we can try a bite of each one that looks good to us. This was an especially attractive looking rice pudding with a perfect scoop of vanilla ice cream and a berry pineapple syrup.

On day for lunch I got this plate of curried lentils and cauliflower with roasted endive.  The presentation is not so pretty but it had good flavor.

One day for lunch I got this plate of curried lentils and cauliflower with roasted endive. The presentation is not so pretty but it was very flavorful and spicy.

This blue cheese salad came with my lentil entree.

This blue cheese salad came with my lentil entree.

After fish chowder day I was craving something sweet to change my mind! After class I went to the CIA's Apple Pie Bakery and got a mixed berry granita to drink and two of these macaroons and called it lunch.  I am absolutely in love with these macaroons! Above is a pistachio raspberry macaroon and a dark chocolate hazelnut macaroon.

After fish chowder day I was craving something sweet to change my mind! After class I went to the CIA’s Apple Pie Bakery and got a mixed berry granita to drink and two of these macaroons and called it lunch. I am absolutely in love with these French macaroons! Everyday the Apple Pie Bakery offers about ten flavors that range from savory goat cheese and tomato to sweet strawberry basil. Above is a pistachio raspberry macaroon and a dark chocolate hazelnut macaroon.

Stay posted for more pictures from this weeks classes and my weekend on campus!