Week 15: Soigne

Lavender Pavlova with Elderflower-macerated Strawberries and Mascarpone

Lavender Pavlova with Elderflower-macerated Strawberries and Mascarpone

soi·gné – swänˈyā/ (adjective): elegant, sophisticated, carefully designed

We all eat first with our eyes, and while taste and flavor are absolutely important to a successful dish, it is also critical that the presentation looks, as Chef would say, “sexy.” Any food can look soigne and sexy — even my terrine plates. I started slicing the toast in half to create long columns when we introduced the new pork pate since it is rectangular in shape and I wanted to continue that design element. Chef said he loves the little soldiers and now we do it on every plate. And he’s right — it does look pretty sexy with the long, lean lines.

But toast aside, I love watching Chef plate up new dishes. The intense focus, the steady hands and darting eyes, the creative mind at work as he recreates the visions he had dreamed up. The result is a plate that looks gorgeous and tastes just as good as it looks. Luckily I get to have this experience quite often as we are always having new dishes rotate in and out on our specials menu… most recently the strawberry pavlova dessert pictured above.

Service was busy on both Friday and Saturday nights, continuing the rough pattern of working a Tuesday-Saturday week (as I get more tired, the week gets increasingly busy, or vice versa). However on Saturday, as I was scrubbing down my station and running through my to-do list again to make sure everything was ready for service, I heard Station Lead calling from the back — “[Matcha Bunny]!” I was confused; I had no timer, nothing in the ovens, why were they calling me? As I turned the corner, I saw my mom in the doorway. Then my dad, Honey Bunny, and my cousin from Vietnam. Wow! I was surprised though flustered. A visit from family was the last thing on my mind when revving up for service. Still, it was nice to see them… even though the guys teased me about it after. “Asian families, huh?” :) Gotta love ’em.

Anywho, Monday night means it’s time to start another week. I haven’t seen the schedule yet so I won’t know until tomorrow if I am continuing on charcuterie full-time or if I will start filling in for Pastry Girl on her days off. We’ll see! Every day is an adventure.

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