Things I’ve Learned So Far

August 28, 2012

I can’t overstate how much I have learned in the past week or so. Here’s the list so far:

-How to butcher, season, stuff, and truss ducks (with more salt than I could ever imagine and with proper surgeon’s knots)

-How to make a classic sauce (and skim them properly)

-How to properly cook a steak

-How to make the most deliciously heart-stopping potatoes

-The meaning of the words fond and concassé

-How to use a vacuum sealer

-How to fry padron peppers and zucchini chips

-How to roll out fresh pasta

-How to make pasta into a dish

-The general recipe for bolognese, spiced almonds, and the best blue cheese dressing I’ve ever tasted

-How restaurants plan out menus for the week, order food, source their ingredients, choose farmers, deal with deliveries that don’t arrive and dishes that need to be changed at the last minute

-How a restaurant kitchen works–who does what, who stands where, what happens when I give my order to a waiter in the dining room and how that food gets on my plate, while everyone at my table also gets their food at the same time

-How to portion out pasta, risotto, and proteins

-I’ve watched the chef butcher albacore, bass, and salmon (which I even scaled)

There’s so much more and I wish I could take pictures, but I think it would look nerdy (and, after all, I’m trying to make friends in the kitchen, too). Along with all of these lessons, I have blisters and burns, tiny nics that burn slightly when squeezing lemon juice or sprinkling salt. I’ve never had more fun.

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