the kitchen gets wheels

Yesterday I started chef school. It was a day of receiving supplies and cleaning the kitchen. I spent three hours cleaning parts of the stovetop. It was messy but it will be worth it. I like a clean workspace.

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Today I had my first real day at school, by that I mean the first day where we were handling food and utilizing our knives. We were taught how to cut carrots… into tiny sticks called bâtonette and then dice those sticks into cubes (small dice). That wasn’t fine enough so we then cut the carrots into 1/8th of an inch sticks called julienne and cubed some of those into brunoise. Still not fine enough so we cut some carrot sticks into 1/16th of an inch sticks (fine julienne) and cubes (fine brunoise). I was going cross-eyed by the end of it!

After that we made tomato concassé by coring the top, creating an X on the bottom and boiling the tomato for 15-30 seconds… until the skin starts to release a little. Then into the bowl of cold water and the skin just peels away! We then sliced the tomato in half and cut petals from the halves.

The next (and most tasty of the day) was roasted green peppers. Using tongs, the pepper is place directly on the gas burner and rotated until all the skin is blistered and black. The pepper is then removed from heat and wrapped in plastic to allow steaming. Later, the skin is removed and the peppers get the julienne treatment; mmmm!

We also learned how to cut up onions, shallots, leeks, celery, parsley, and oranges.

ImageAs the title suggests, I got a set of wheels: a gunmetal grey bicycle! I practiced riding it around today, taking in the sights of downtown Toronto in style. My favourite part about riding a bike is flying past the streetcar. There is just something about that that makes me grin every time!

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There have been a couple places I tried out around Toronto; I have to start writing down what I ordered to be more accurate, but the goat cheese spaghettini yesterday at lunch at Baldini wasn’t superb. What did impress me, however is the Japanese place across the street from the college: JaBistro. I had the atlantic salmon oshizushi and BAM! It was slightly smokey and with the nuttiness of the rice and the smoothness of the salmon, it went down just right!

I rode my bicycle down to the Paper Place on Queen and got a calendar planner and stopped by the White Squirrel for a latte and an oatmeal apple muffin. It was $5. It was good! I think it is worth the ride from the east end for that price.

Tonight for supper I made myself a hotdog. Mild Italian sausage on garlic bread with hot mustard and bacon marmalade and a heap of warmed sauerkraut. Mmm!

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