I'm studying the Grand Diplome at Cordon Bleu in London

During superior cuisine each class, or 2 classes working together, have to prepare a dinner for 50 people (staff and other students at Cordon Bleu) including creating the menu, within a budget, and use specified seasonal ingredients.

We had to prepare 3 canapés, an amuse-bouche, a first course based on mackerel, a main course based on quail, a cheese course using Reblochon course, a dessert based on cherries and 3 petit fours as well as 3 breads.

We split into 3 teams, one to prepare the canapés, amuse-bouche and first course, a 2nd team to prepare the main course, cheese course and staff food and a 3rd team to prepare the dessert, petit fours and breads.

I was part of the starter team and worked on the mackerel, amuse bouche and one of the canapés.

The 3 canapés were ham hock croquettes with a little redcurrant jam

crab vol au vents

and shots of gazpacho with a parmesan tuile.

The amuse-bouche was a mille feuille of filo pastry and herb cream.

The first course was a duet of mackerel. Some of the mackerel was cured with beetroot and horseradish and then diced to make a tartare which was topped with cider and apple jelly, and was served with a piece of grilled mackerel and a lime and chilli vinaigrette and beetroot dust.

The main course was roast quail stuffed with pistachio and fig, pea polenta, purple potato purée and a sauce finished with bitter chocolate.

The cheese course was a Reblochon eclair with a honey and mustard dressing.

The dessert was a dome of cherry mousse encased in dark chocolate with a cherry compote and hazelnut crunch.

Finally, the petit fours were pink champagne macaroons, lychee and passionfruit jellies and white chocolate and lime truffles.

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