Ideas and Dreams

Charcuterie Board including my new braised veal tongue terrine!

Charcuterie Board including my new braised veal tongue terrine!

Yesterday (Thursday) was a good day. I had a manageable amount of work to do during prep and when I was carrying my poached potato slices (in preparation for building a smoked salmon terrine today, Friday) to the walk-in, Chef commented aloud, “She’s planning the next one already? You are ON it!” It was a great compliment, especially after my fear (and possibly his and the sous chefs’) that I would have the same difficulties that Station-mate did with regard to planning and organization.

In between charc boards (of which there were 4 today), I took Sous Chef S’s advice and started prepping out my mise for the next day’s prep. I broke down and portioned out a package of chicken livers that had arrived with the morning’s meat shipment. Hands covered in chicken blood, I wiped down my station and moved on to less messy tasks. I weighed out the curing salts for a full and a half recipe of the chicken liver mousse, and I even went upstairs to the office to measure out the liquor for my reduction. I had told Pastry Girl so at least someone knew where I would be… just as I was pouring out the last drop of a bottle of Port, I heard her downstairs going “EEK!” Then I could hear her footsteps skipping up the stairs and I had this feeling that was confirmed… charc board. Of course, the moment I step away, this happens.

I chatted with Sous Chef S about the garnishes for the pork & bacon terrine. He said that he has thousands of ideas of what we could do, but he wants me to come up with my ideas so we can present to Chef. I mentioned the apples and he said that’s a possibility and to figure out what I want to do for certain by the next day so we could order the ingredients for Saturday. I was really excited to start researching! I cleaned down my station in record time and chatted with Honey Bunny when I got home. Just talking about it was enough to stimulate some ideas and I think I found what I want to do — balsamic roasted pears and a maple-mustard. I hope it goes over well!

I also dreamed about food last night. Generally it’s about service and involves the same dishes that I always work with, but this time was different. Honey Bunny and my mom were dining at the restaurant and opted to do a Chef’s choice tasting menu. I started plating this dish that I had never seen before but now I feel really inspired to figure out how I can make it work. I woke up this morning inspired with the creative juices flowing and it is moments like these that I realize — this really is the right path for me, and I really can plan my own menu and run my own kitchen someday. I drew a sketch of what the dish looked like and started doing some preliminary research on the techniques and ingredients I would need. Woohoo!

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