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

Archive for August, 2012

Day 144 – Onglet, Monkfish, risotto with squid and langoustines – Thurs 30th August

Chef David took us for the demo today where we cooked the Onglet demonstrated yesterday. It was good to have him for a change – we have had him quite rarely in our time at Cordon Bleu. A very tasty dish and beautifully melt in the mouth fondant potatoes.

Next was a demo with chef Eric who made pan-fried medallions of monkfish with risotto made with langoustine stock and garnished with langoustines and squid.

Day 143 – Lobster, Onglet, Stuffed Pig’s Trotter and Plated Dessert – Wed 29th August

We started the day cooking the Lobster with bortsch consommé from last week.

Next we had a demo where the chef prepared pig’s trotter stuffed with foie gras and wild mushrooms, which was braised and then glazed with the reduced braising liquid.

Next, he cooked onglet steak, which is a tougher cut of beef, with fondant potatoes, beef jus and egg and chive vinaigrette.

The last lesson was finishing and presenting our plated desserts.
It turned out to be another chef John day as we had had him for the previous practical and demo and we had him for this class too, which was surprising as he is a cuisine chef, not a pastry chef.

My plated dessert (we had to design our own) is a white chocolate mousse with a raspberry jelly centre, encased in a joconde sponge with an orange and cardamom sablé base and an orange glacage. It was topped with a fresh raspberry and a white and dark chocolate lattice circle. On the plate is a tuile crisp, fresh raspberries, chocolate curls, mango coulis and creme anglaise.

Day 142 – Patisserie exam revision – Tues 28th August

Today we had a day of making the items we would have to make for the final patisserie exam.

We made brioche

chocolate truffles

sablé hollandais

a sugar centrepiece

and prepared all the elements for our plated dessert, which we would finish tomorrow.

Day 141 – Lobster with Bortsch consommé and ratatouille – Fri 24th August

Another day with chef John, this time 2 practicals with a demo in between.

First was cooking the sea bream with rouille and a bouillabaise jus.

Next was a demo where he cooked pan fried lobster with nicoise ratatouille and bortsch consommé.

Lastly we cooked the saddle of rabbit with tomato and anchovy stuffing.

Day 140 – Venison, sea bream and rabbit – Thurs 23rd August

We had a day with chef John today, which was good. He is a relaxed chef from Canada, doesn’t get flustered, will joke and mix with the students and is quite quick in the demos.

We started with a practical cooking the venison dish from yesterday’s demo.

Next we had back to back demos.

In the 1st chef John cooked sea bream with confit fennel, oven-dried tomatoes, rouille and a bouillabaise jus, topped with a croute with rouille.

Next was a creme de menthe and chocolate chip soufflé. Terrible thing to do to chocolate is pairing it with mint.

In the 2nd demo the chef made a chestnut soup with parmesan foam and truffle shavings.

Then was a saddle of rabbit with a tomato, olive and anchovy stuffing with fried baby artichokes and a microleaf salad.

Day 139 – Venison, plated desserts and yet another wine lecture – Wed 22nd August

Chef John took us for the demo this morning and started with a dish of seared tuna rolled in four-spice powder with a ginger sauce and julienne of vegetables.

Next was medallions of venison with a white bean purée (flavoured with bacon, garlic and truffle), ceps, bacon, onions and a game sauce flavoured with chocolate.

Following this we had a technical class with chef Nicolas discussing dessert plating.

Lastly was yet another wine lecture which was as dull as all the previous ones but fortunately the last one I’ll have at Cordon Bleu. Wine, as any subject, can be a very interesting subject and I’ve had some really good lecturers on wine and spirits in the past. Unfortunately the lecturer here wasn’t one of them.

Days 137 and 138 – Sugar Module part 2 – Mon 20th and Tues 21st August

We started the sugar work this week with another poured sugar centrepiece. I had worked out what I wanted to do beforehand and had all my equipment ready

Next we did some pulled sugar and made a 2 colour ribbon and bow.

Following that we did some blown sugar, which is a similar technique to glass blowing, just more edible. Here’s my sugar apple.

Then we did an underwater scene with corals, piped sugar fish and blown sugar fish.

Here’s a close-up of my fish.

Day 136 – Cuisine mock exam and pigeon and shrimp salad, lemon grass consommé with veal and foie gras ravioli – Fri 17th August

Today we had a cuisine mock exam which ran for 4 hours and we had to produce 2 identical plates of a first course and a main course.

The first course was a poached egg on a tartlet of asparagus purée and asparagus tips, with hollandaise sauce.

The main course was lemon sole paupiettes with scallop mousse, crayfish tails, mussels mariniere, turned mushrooms, cucumber spaghetti and crayfish sauce.

It was a very busy lesson and, while it went ok, I hope I can do it better in the real exam.

Next was a demo from chef John who started with a lemongrass flavoured consommé with poached veal piccatas and foie gras ravioli.

Lastly was a salad of roast pigeon breast and shrimp with a violet mustard vinaigrette, baby vegetables and pigeon jus.

Day 135 – Beef fillet, sea bream and croquembouche – Thurs 16th August

We started the day with a demo from chef John who made guacamole with sea bream marinated in lime, chilli and vodka, which he plated in 2 ways.

Next was a sautéed beef fillet with parsnip purée, kohlrabi slices and a marsala sauce.

Then we had a practical with chef Loic making the sole and crayfish timbale demonstrated yesterday,

followed by a technical with chef Christophe who completed the croquembouches started last week.

 

 

Day 134 – Dover Sole and Crayfish timbale – Wed 15th August

Chef John took us for the demo today and made a dover sole and crayfish timbale with champagne sauce.

The timbale mould has a layer of fish mousse at the base (which becomes the top on turning out), the sides are lined with a dover sole fillet, the centre is filled with crayfish tails and crayfish sauce and it is topped off with more mousse. It was cooked in a bain marie and served with a champagne sauce with dots of crayfish sauce. When the timbale is cut open, the crayfish sauce inside runs out.

Next today was this term’s patisserie wine lecture which was 3 hours of tedium. We have 1 or 2 wine lectures each term and they have all been utterly boring and I have learnt nothing from them.
Considering we have a wine lecture and a cheese lecture each term and the cheese lecturer is so passionate and knowledgable and makes the subject so exciting, it’s quite amazing how dull the wne lectures are. Pity the lecturer doesn’t go to the cheese lectures to see how it’s done.

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