This week is by all accounts one of the hardest and busiest weeks of the academic year for the Culinary Arts program -- it's the week of the Harvest Dinner, the biggest fundraiser of the year for the entire college. A guest chef is invited, and the culinary students prepare a meal for around 400 guests who each pay $100 to attend, using a menu created by the guest chef. Today was prep day -- all culinary students helped prep the Mise en Place. Tomorrow the Second Years will be doing the cooking, while we First Years, along with the Hospitality Management students, will be the serving staff.
I spent the day helping prep for the salad - Arugula with a honey, mutard and rosemary vinaigrette. We were also responsible for coming up with optional vegan dishes based on recipes in the latest cookbook from our guest chefs, Capriak and John Pence (Not John and Caprial, Caprial and John -- that was very specifically communicated to us). To replace the first course of crab cakes, we decided on baked acorn squash stuffed with wild rice pilaf and apple cranberry chutney. The tenderloin entree was replaced (WHY?) with a marinated portobello mushroom with apple and onion consomme. And finally, instead of an apple mascarpone cheesecake, the vegan dessert is an apple and phyllo dough tartlet.
All in all a pretty long, demanding day. But I'd still repeat it a dozen times over rather than face tomorrow and the front of the house.