Tante Marie - 2 days before the snow fell....
After the first day of classes did not go ahead due to the snow on Wednesday, Tante Marie was open for business on Thursday and Friday.
Here is a brief account of what happened.
Thursday morning – We had a talk from Andrew Maxwell the school principle who took us through some additional paperwork (why is there always more paperwork? Always!?!) and handed out our chefs whites, knife sets and recipe folders. We had a familiarisation tour of the school and were put into our two groups of ten students. We then had a chance to have a look through our recipe files while we waited for current students to prepare our lunch.
Tante Marie recipe folder, chef whites and Victorinox knife set
Bare in mind that both the 'Cordon Bleu Diploma' (3-terms) and the 'Intensive Cordon Bleu Dipolma' (2-terms) are the same course with the same qualification being awarded upon completion. Both courses are designed to be undertaken by a complete kitchen novice, the difference being the Intensive course moves at a faster pace and is usually attended by more senior students who already have a strong work ethic. The 3-term course is usually attend by school and college leavers.
Thursday afternoon – Our first demo. We were shown.... some basic knife skills and how to maintain the blades with a steel, how to prepare Brown stock, White stock, Warm goats cheese and honey salad, Lemon and herb roast chicken, Saumon cuit au four et sauce moutard (Baked salmon with mustard sauce), Wilted spinach and finally... Orange whole-wheat cake.
We then had to sample all of these... tough life I know, before slip sliding our various ways home on all the ice covering the roads and foot paths.
Saumon cuit au four et sauce moutard
Friday morning was our first chance to get behind the pots and pans and make the Salmon dish and the orange cake from the demo the day before. It was a little bit of a struggle trying to get used to where everything is kept as well as to how we are expected to work. The only tricky component of the items we were cooking was filleting the salmon tail we were each provided with. On reflection I think if I had no cooking experience it would have been a challenge to complete the items, but not impossible. Lots of guidance was available when needed and everyone produced a good end result that was then hastily demolished for our lunch!
Orange Whole-wheat Cake
In the afternoon we had another demo consisting of the following items: Coleslaw, Sauce mayonnaise, Basic brown and white bread, Herb omelette, 5-6 egg Omelette Arnold Bennett, Soupe a l 'oignon, Petit pots de chocolat au rhum.
Once again we were put through the agony of having to taste all of these... of which the French Onion soup was my favourite what with it being my number one choice of soup of all time!
And that was that. My first two days down and very much looking forward to next week when we get to cook all the items from the demonstration, and looking at my programme... a whole lot more. I hope to see you back here next week, I will take more snaps (of better quality... hopefully) of what I am doing so you can see what is being learnt. Presentation is something I really need to work on and I hope when I look back through these pictures I will be able to see my progression.
Unfortunately after much discussion with my lawyers, I have been advised not to publish any of the contents on the recipe file we have received from the school, what with it being a copy-written document. I will however be able to post recipes for my exam dishes when the time comes along with a few things I have been thinking of trying at home.