Thursday, September 9, 2010
Recently, I have been spending time providing support within a cooking school for future chefs. Many of the students have their focus elsewhere, but have presently decided to grace us with their presence in the hallowed halls of learning. Many of the students have the ethos that if they ignore what I say, I will eventually give up and move to the Bahamas where I will blithely sip piña colada through a crystal straw and dream of England winning the world cup? Fat chance on both counts!
No, I am here to stay and despite the shortcomings of my present soiree, I have the bit between my teeth and leeks at the ready we head once again to the battlefields of crème de Crecy and Vichyssoise, in the hope that today will fair greater than my last sauté or should I say sortie?
It is great to be a part of educating the younger generation, but often times it goes beyond exasperation and into the realms of unbelief, as I use every bit of cunning and guile to re-direct their focus and willfulness. Over the past few weeks I have collected a few of the sound bites that I have hurled across the steaming presses in the hope that rather than flying strait through their ear space, they might hover for a while amidst the grey matter, before stumbling haplessly through space and crashing to the ground, never to be considered again.
"OK let me say it again....don't stir the pot, don't stir the pot"! What did I say students? 'Don't stir the pot Chef!". Fine!!!! HOY, YOU! Why are you stirring the POT? What did I say "Don't stir the pot chef"
“HOY YOU! Yes you! What knife do we use to fillet fish”? ”A filleting knife Chef”! “What’s that in your hand?”. “Fish Chef”, “NO THE OTHER HAND!” “Oh, a boning knife Chef”. ” And what do we use a boning knife for?”. ” Meat Chef!” “What are we doing today?” “Filleting fish Chef”
“Hoy You! Where’s your apron?” “I left it at home Chef”, “why, was it ill or something”, “no Chef I forgot it”, “well go home and re-unite yourself with your poorly pinny”.
“Hoy you! What’s the rule about mobile phones being used in my kitchen”? Sorry chef, I forgot to switch it off! “Fine, I may just forget to let you go home”, “It’s Off Chef”
“Hoy! Has anyone seen my glasses?” “Yes Chef” (they all shout back). ” Well, I’m waiting”, “They’re on your head Chef (giggle).
“What are you doing with that butter?” “Weighing it Chef”. “How much do you want?” “500 grams Chef”. What weight does it say on the packet?”. “500 grams Chef!
“Hoy! Watch my lips! Do not put the bowl on the heat it will cook the yolks! What did I say?” “Don’t put the bowl on the heat Chef”. “Chef, my yolks have gone all funny”. “Where are they geographically located?”
“I won’t say this again, so listen up. This species of fish have spikes all the way along the dorsal fin. They are lethal and if you handle them wrongly” (interrupted by screams, squealing and whimpering) “Arghhh, ah ah ah ah, that hurt Chef”. “Oh brother, first aid kit please”
“These Knives are razor sharp! They are not play things, they are professional tools, designed to separate meat from bone” “What are they designed to do?” “Separate meat from bone chef” “The steel is the same steel the Samurai used for their swords, hot and cold, pressed tempered and refined steel. What are they designed to do?” “Separate meat from bone chef.” “Today’s lesson is cutting Sashimi. This is fish, this is………First aid kit please”