My morning started about an hour later than normal with our theory (written) test. The class was divided in two and half took the theory part first and half took the practical (cooking) part first. We had 3 hours to finish the test. It took us about 40 minutes. Then, we weren't able to start our practical until the other class got done, so we went out to breakfast between tests.
At noon started our practical and we had 3 hours to complete everything. The menu was hot leek and potato soup, chicken breast with the madeira mushroom sauce, "hash browned" potatoes (called Pommes Darphin in French) and the nasty floating islands.
The biggest challenge is getting everything prepared (mis en place) before you actually start cooking - making sure you have enough pans, whisks, spoons, all your ingredients, etc. While you can certainly go get more if you need it, you want to be as prepared as possible. I did ok with that, but did forget some things, which caused a little damage to some dishes.
I was really nervous for some reason throughout the exam, even though I had done everything a few times before. Completely screwed up my creme anglaise for the floating islands, but asked chef how I could recover and he helped me with that. Points off, but not as many as if I had made it completely screwed up and hadn't asked for help.
So, how did I do? My soup and floating islands came out very well. My potatoes were overcooked, so a little bitter and my chicken was a little overdone, too. My sauce had reduced too much, so was too thick. I knew how to fix it and tried, but was afraid of ruining all the seasoning. I felt ok when I was done, knew what I had done wrong, knew how to fix it.
I'm now off to have dinner at a French bistro with a friend of mine. I didn't eat my meal today, so haven't eaten anything since early this morning. I'm going to feast! I'm so looking forward to someone else cooking! The chef at this restaurant graduated from the school I'm going to. I'm going to try and meet her and maybe put a bug in her ear about an externship there. 3 miles from my house? Sweet!!
Have a great weekend, everyone!