Wednesday, July 15, 2009

...Now It Cuts Like A Knife, But It Feels So Right...

Day two of class was knife skills. Which is funny because day two of my first quarter was knife skills, but I guess everybody needs a refresher.

Before we could start cutting we had to unpack some new equipment, wash it and put it away. I am finding it smart to often play stupid. Many of the other students believe that since this is their second quarter and they have not seen me before that I'm a newbie. I just don't remember some things or we did things differently. Example, I couldn't figure out how to get the sanitizer to work. Our MILF said that it only takes a drop and Chef concurred. Ok, I didn't remember. Too my credit though the low battery light was on. But when I asked why they weren't using the dish washer and doing everything by hand I was returned with a look of a deer caught in the headlights by Hottie #2. I am a dish washing machine so I jumped in a cranked a few racks through.

One of the items unpacked was a dozen paring knives from Dexter. I grabbed a basket to run them through the dishwasher and MILF stopped me saying knives had to be hand washed. I asked why, knowing that running twelve paring knives through the dishwasher was much safer and that Dexter knives are made to run through dishwashers. Her smart ass reply was if I had read my book last night like I was supposed to, I would know. Ok, I'll bite, I did read the book, but again why? Because dishwashers wil ruin the handles and dull the knives. OK, true enough, but these are Dexters! I'll ask Chef. I came back, said it was OK with these particular knives. I learned long time ago, play dumb, let people feel like they are in control and feelings don't get hurt. I like MILF by the way.

Next we watched some knife skills videos. I am starting to wonder if people with ADD are drawn to be cooks? My class is older and more professional than the kids I was with before but as soon as Chef went to his office, people started talking, goofing off and then fast forwarding the video so we didn't have to watch as much. The NEVER happened when I was in college. I wished they hadn't. There was one really good section on sharpening that got skipped over. These people will struggle with sharp knives for a while.

We set up in a long assembly line which was strange because with the kids we used both sides of the kitchen and had some elbow room. We were supposed to practice all of our cuts, batonette, julienne, brunoise, dice, lozenge, roll cuts, etc. I didn't bother with tourné since I don't have a tourné knife and I didn't bring a short paring knife with me. I bring my own knives. I don't bother with the knife roll if I don't have to since 90% of the time all we need is a cook's knife and a paring knife. For me it is quite simple, I don't trust someone else's sharpening skills. I sharpen my own knives. I know they are sharp. If I cut myself it will be my own fault, not because I trusted someone else's dull knife. Usually I bring my cook's knife, my petty knife and sometimes my santoku knife. Now I wish my cook's knife was about two inches longer, but doesn't everybody.

Mouth was at the end of the table, she's a lefty. And a constant complainer. Several times I heard her say she hates this class. Why are you here then! She has a nice knife though.

The Kid was on my left. This guy is like 4' 8" and drives a big 'ol (1970 something) beat up pick up truck with a huge blower scoop on the hood. He's serious but he massacred an onion. I tried to show him how to cut it correctly rather than just hacking away at it. He was using his paring knife. He was shocked when I said that his knife was dull. It's brand new! Yeah, well, that doesn't mean that the company sent it to you fully sharp. I like The Kid.

On my right were Sushi One and Sushi Two. These guys both work at a steak and sushi place down the road. Young guys but committed. They take copious notes. Deja vu with my last class, Sushi One asked me for help with his cuts. I showed him how his tomato would bend under the knife before cutting, a sure sign of a dull knife. I let him try my knives to see the difference. He just needs more practice with the sharpener.

We cut up potatoes, onions, and carrots. A few of us did a chiffonade on some cabbage and minced some garlic. A few others diced up some celery. We all had to dice some Roma tomatoes. Some were diced some were mangled. Chef threw it all into the big steam-jacket pot with some water for a vegetable soup. When it was ready everyone grabbed huge bowls. I grabbed a coffee cup and asked Bar Code to fill it half way. I don't like vegetable soup but felt it was important to taste it. It was actually pretty good but that doesn't make me a fan.

Next week is sauces and stocks. If we get to pick a sauce I want to make a velouté sauce, first step to poutine!

1 comment:

Brook said...

I'll be back, I need to go cook some supper first.