Some of the world’s pleasures are very simple

Today marks the second full month I have been at my internship. On the one hand, I say to myself: : “it’s been two months already?!” while on the other, I feel like it goes by so slowly…

As I look back on my first two months, I feel like I have changed a lot. I think I have become more aggressive in that I am not staying quiet no more and not let people in a superior position than me in the kitchen get their way. I show my character and I feel earn respect from others, which is super important. If they feel they can walk all over you, you’ll be stuck really.

I have also become much faster in the way I work, not only in the kitchen but outside. I guess ‘work’ outside the kitchen does not really fit but perhaps it’s the way I function. Every move I make in the kitchen, I think what I can get most out of it so that I don’t have to re-do the same movement ie. going to the ‘plonge’ to get trays, grills – stuff for the station I work in – before in the beginning, I would get stuff as I needed them but now I found that to be too time-consuming and now when I go, I get everything I need at once. Something quite obvious but I feel you only get the hang of it much later than sooner. This has transferred into my personal life as well – which I found quite funny.

I am also more assertive with time. For me, every second of every minute counts for something. In the beginning, I felt time was against me since I ran late in some of my tasks but you have to put it by your side and work with time to get things done. I feel I have come very far.

To mark my second month in my internship, I am sharing the simpler dishes the restaurant I work in serves. They look simple to make and serve but even the most simplest dishes can be the most intricate.

The amuse-bouche croutons that all customers get…unless they do not eat pork or fish. In that case we serve marinated veal, foie-gras and truffle or truffle with truffled-butter.

The croutons come in a newspaper-like paper clipped together by small wooden tongs. I would have shown you the picture but then it would have given away the name of my restaurant…still want to keep it a mystery!

The ‘maigre’ – raw dorade with lemon zest and pepper on a buttered (the butter is specially made for the restaurant itself) and toasted white crouton home-made at the restaurant’s boulangerie

The ‘lard’ – paper thin sliced pork on Christophe Vasseur bread (Vasseur received the Gault Millau award as having the best boulangerie in Paris). The dough takes two days to make and an hour and fifteen minutes to bake.  Apparently he wanted to create a bread that tasted like it just came out of a wood fire with a smoky taste.

To accompany the Bisque and for those who do not fish or meat, we serve a lightly toasted crouton topped with brebis (ewe) yoghurt, wrapped in paper thin sliced asparagus with a brunoise of asparagus with lemon juice and oil, salt and pepper.

This is a new seasonal dish we will serve starting next week. It is a carpaccio of Dorade sliced in pieces and thicker than the carpaccio form, stuck together and ‘cooked’ (not literally) in oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. The trick is you cannot mix the raw fish too much with the condiments or else it ‘overcooks’ the fish. I love the color, that it is pink and not all white.

As a final note for this blog post, I am happy to say that today marks the end of my learning experience in the garde-manger! Where am I going to next in the kitchen? Stay tuned…

2 Responses to “Some of the world’s pleasures are very simple”
  1. Roberto says:

    Simple, tasty, good! The way all the meals should be!
    Nice job JJ!

    As always a delightful reading!

  2. congrats on the 2 month mark! 🙂

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