October 24, 2013
I thought I was doing pretty well with my reflections but with chef Miya's feedback on it, I was pretty wrong. Wrong people, wrong products, etc. I do feel a little defeated in the inside because I really thought my papers were par. I didn’t know, even after getting information from websites and from people, that I’d still get the information wrong. I know where I’ve made my mistakes. I don’t take initiative and ask questions at times, and some websites that I visit aren’t up to date with the information that I look for.
Before my Continental Class ended, our final practical was to create a dish. My choice was to make butter-poached lobster with homemade pasta. I decided to work with lobster because I’ve worked on it very often here at Alan Wong's. The way I prepared it was I removed the shell and de-veined the lobster tail, skewered them into balls - as I would here, and blanch them in lobster stock for about 5 minutes. From there, I prepared a poaching liquid made purely of butter, and maybe a couple tablespoons of chopped garlic. I let the lobster cook in there until it was time for plating. I told this all to Chef Felix and one of his first tasks for me was to skewer some lobster. After that was done, he wanted me to prepare him a Beurre Monte (to mount with butter). Water, which acted as a stabilizer was brought to a boil then the butter was added one by one into the pan. The process is quite similar to making Beurre Blanc, but it is just water: no shallots, peppercorns, heavy cream, or white wine. That was kept at a temperature of 110 degrees, which is kept in the area behind the stovetop burners in the apps station. The reason why Chef Felix made me do all of that was because of my story. He wanted me to get an understanding of how Alan Wong's would have prepared that lobster. If I asked long ago of how Alan Wong's would have done it, then I would definitely have done the same in my practical. Fortunately though, once I served my dish, the guest chef had mentioned that it was great, that it was “restaurant quality.” I feel I got lucky cooking that dish, but at the same time, I feel like I should have planned better. The reason Chef Felix made me do all that was because of my story, and to finally teach me how Alan Wong's would prepare their lobsters. It taught me that, instead of getting lucky assuming of how to prepare something, I should just ask and help make something if I have to, in order to really learn and correctly execute what I learned in the real world, or in this case, my schooling.
Donna had given me the chance to prepare and deep-fry a “Poki-Pine” and this was the result:
I had the hardest time trying to get that signature twist on that poke. From the looks of how it cooked, the twist wasn’t so successful, or I think at least. Deep-frying did get a bit tricky as well, since it required extra long chopsticks to keep the piece from floating. Overall, for my first time, Donna expressed that it wasn’t that bad at all, so I felt pretty accomplished in that moment.