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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

 

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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