Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Been up since 630am for finals. School started at 745am. I finished around 430pm. 3.5 hours practical - cooking that is with French chefs scrutinizing your every move and technique.

So this was how the final worked. We were told it could be an entrée, a main dish, or a main dish and a dessert. I studied almost every single recipe we have done thus far - soupes, salads, tartes, poultry, etc. I also studied all the French culinary vocabulary, techniques, etc. It was pretty stressful for me because I felt like this was the first time I actually cared about what I was studying.

Our practical test was broken into two days, - one group went today, and another on Thursday. Everyone took the written exam today. Thankfully, (YES, thankfully) I was assigned to be in the first group for practical. That means I took both tests today and got it over with.

We were randomly assigned numbers which determined what order we would serve our dish. Then we were given the recipes in which we had 30 minutes to study the recipes and write out the organization of our tasks. Our group was given Potage Cultivateur (easy soup with different cuts of several vegetables) and Poulet Sauté Façon Basquaise; a chicken recipe we haven't done before however the technique was similar to Poulets Sautés Chasseur.

Being my first culinary timed test was pretty stressful at first especially with professional French chefs walking around with clipboards critiqueing our technique and organization. Sometimes they would just stare over your shoulder, then start writing stuff down. Luckily, I was focused enough to not have it affect me much. Overall, the timing was right and I actually finished a bit early.

I noticed that many people cooked the cabbage in their soup for too long which turned them brown. I was really happy with my soup overall because I cooked the vegetables at the right time in order for them not to turn brown or become a purée (I did that the first time I made it in pedagogie). I was also happy with the fact that the chefs rated my soup as the second best tasting soup.

As for the chicken, most people had issues with the cooking - the chicken was actually undercooked. I messed up a bit on cutting the chicken as I needed to have a couple "frenched" or manchonner pieces (for the non-cooks, imagine little drumlettes with a clean bone sticking out). I ended up wrapping some chicken meat and skin around a couple bones that I had cleaned up. As far as I know, it worked. =)

The French written test was fine. It was long though - I think around 10-15 pages. I "overstudied" which wasn't a bad thing. I probably just made a few stupid mistakes here and there. Overall, I am SO glad it's over. Now I can relax until Xmas.

And yay for restaurant service tomorrow.

I am so relieved !!!

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