Thursday, January 28, 2010

American Regional Cuisine

I always get so excited at the beginning of a new semester. I have the best intentions to blog about it, but then I always get so busy that I simply can't keep up. I hope this will be the semester where I really can keep up. I'm only taking 7 credit hours this semester... Nutrition & Meal Planning, American Regional, & Tai Ch'i.

I admit, I was terrified of taking a class from Chef Turner. He's the absolute center of most "negative" rumors around the college. But, I was assured that as long as you love to cook and have a strong desire to learn... it'll be good.

Believe it or not (and anyone who actually knows me will NOT believe it... ) I was told that I lack the passion for cooking and will never make it in this industry. Oddly enough, that came from someone who has very little clue what it's like to be in the back of the house.  I've had several CIA trained Chefs now tell me that I'm one of their best students... in fact, my passion for the craft of cooking has never been questioned by them, and they are the ones who really matter.  Anyhow, my point is... I should be fine in this class!!!

This class is not set up the way all of my other culinary classes have been, thus far. For this class, we are divided into two teams, A & B. The A team is in charge of preparing "city food."  Our menus are consistent with that of high end establishments and plating and presentation must reflect such. Team B is preparing "country food" and will present in a family table style. Teams will switch styles after 8 weeks. I'm on the "A" team.

For our first lab we are learning about the cooking styles of New England. Our menu for our first lab is as follows:
  • Lobster Bisque
  • Beet & Apple Salad
  • Scallops Au Gratin
  • Duchess Potatoes
  • Glazed Fennel
  • Indian Pudding
  • Parker House Rolls
In addition to the preparation of the meal, we are required to come to class prepared to discuss what we've learned about this region of the country, it's cooking styles, and a brief history on the Boston Oyster House.

I'm really going to enjoy this class!!

Recommended Reading: (Required for American Regional)

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