This Week in Culinary School: Week 15

sea forager.jpg

Top Three Things I Learned This Week

  1. Sea Foraging– We began the week with our last field trip.  It was a memorable day spent on the beach in Half Moon Bay guided by Kirk Lombard, Sea Forager.  An entertaining local fisherman, he taught us how to look for signs of sea life (like small holes in the sand) and how to forage for them in what is known as the intertidal zone (if you have a fishing license).  The main event was the very large horseneck clam, which Kirk is holding above, but there were many other forms of sealife, some edible, most mainly to other sea creatures, all with very colorful names: fat innkeeper worm, cusk eel, flat nose clam, ghost shrimp.  He also pointed out local seaweed, including sea lettuce, nori and Turkish towel .  It’s hard to explain everything Kirk showed us, but this video is a nice summary:

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/video/players/offsite/index.html?videoId=100000001738149

We finished the trip with lunch at Duarte’s Tavern in Pescadero, which has been around since 1894, where we ate some smaller clams.

Duartes.jpg

clams.jpg

2. Final Exams! We had our last written and practical exams this week, which is a huge milestone! It’s finally sinking in that we have just one week left before we all head our separate ways to our externships.  The day of our written exam, we had a fried chicken lunch, accompanied by mashed potatoes, gravy, biscuits and fruit cobbler.  Also cornbread.  My favorite part of the meal was Chef Kirsten’s kale salad, which consisted of massaged Tuscan kale, fava beans, avocado, toasted pepitas and pomelo, dressed with lemon juice, olive oil, soy sauce and some of the juice from the pomelo.  She shared a genius technique for salting seeds without oil: dissolve desired amount of salt in water, then toss the seeds in this salt solution before baking in the oven at 300 degrees F– this way the salt stays on the seeds, but you don’t need oil.  She also showed me an easier way to strip kale leaves than the method I’ve been using all these years.  Always something new!

fried chicken meal.jpg

3.  Restaurant Week Planning- As we head into our final week, we’ve been busy planning our menu for the two days we turn our school into a restaurant! It’s a really interesting experience planning a menu, testing and developing recipes, deciding how to plate them, and the nitty-gritty of scaling recipes in order to order ingredients and make a prep list.  That’s all I’ll share about it for now– see you back here next week!

 

Thanks for coming by! If you’re curious what it’s like to be in culinary school, check out my previous posts and also come back weekly for my latest updates. I’ll be sharing tips, ingredients, and recipe ideas straight from the classroom. And for healthy cooking and eating tips, join my community on Facebook at The Doctor’s Spicebox

To your health!

 

 

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