Drama at College – Cookery School (Day 12)

Posted on Friday, 15th May 2009

There was lots of drama and excitement at Cookery School this week. We had barely set up our work stations in the kitchen when the fire alarm went off. It wasn’t quite as loud as the piercing, tortuous wailing noise that emits from the alarm in my kitchen when I smoke it out (and which simply refuses to stop sounding no matter how hard I try to fan it), but it was still pretty loud. A mass evacuation ensured, and when I say ‘mass’, I mean the entire school. So here we were, hundreds of cookery students and chefs in whites lining the streets outside the college.

A sea of students

A sea of students

At one point, a fire engine turned up.

The fire engine

The fire engine

And then a police car.

The police car

The police car

I wonder what the customers in The Vincent Rooms (the restaurant at the school which is run by the students) made of these events. Presumably some of them might have raised an eyebrow or rolled their eyes and put it down to silly students who can’t cook. Chef thought it might have been an exhaust fan which had been turned off and not turned back on. After about 20 minutes the ‘all clear’ was given and we were allowed back in, although that didn’t stop Chef from jokingly accusing us of trying to sabotage the day to avoid our assessment, the first of six that we will undertake this year.

We remade three things that we had had cooked on previous occasions: a darne of salmon with parsley butter, potato macaire and ratatouille; all to be plated at the same time. I wasn’t nervous for I figured I would have to burn absolutely everything before I failed. Still, I wanted to do well, so it was heads down for the whole afternoon. In the end it all turned out fine, although at one point I worried that I had used too much wine in my ratatouille, but I managed to cook this off enough to give the dish a really nice flavour. My salmon was also cooked just right, and my potato macaire did not disintegrate from too much moisture in the potatoes like it did last time. But chef correctly pointed out that my parsley butter was under seasoned. The moment he said it, I experienced a Homer Simpson ‘doh’ moment and all I could do was nod and say ‘yeah’ in agreement. What I failed to ‘fess up to was that I had in fact forgotten to season the butter altogether. Oops. (Chef, I hope you are not reading this!)

My plate

My plate

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7 Responses to “Drama at College – Cookery School (Day 12)”

  1. Natasha - 5 Star Foodie Says...

    Your plate looks great! Loved reading this fun post!

  2. Sapuche Says...

    Sounds like an eventful day at cookery school! If your photo is indicative of anything, you did even better than you said. Really, your dish looks great, and I can’t imagine myself cooking with the pressure of an assessment afterward. I assume that this is the kind of dish you can easily replicate at home, and the outcome wasn’t in any way dependent on what you had available at the cookery school? Nice job!

  3. 'A Girl Has to Eat' Says...

    Natasha and Sapuche, Thanks! It was indeed an eventful day. Thank you both for your kind words.

  4. Sam Says...

    I wonder what passers by thought at the sight of hundreds of cookery student lining the streets!

  5. Loving Annie Says...

    OOPS – Next time you’ll remember !
    Your plate looked good regardless 🙂
    Hope you have a good Saturday, Ms. Chef to be

  6. Trig Says...

    That’s great. The memories come flooding back. I definitely remember a few fire drills and the odd false alarm. If you look closely you can see the policeman has a wry “chefs setting fire to a kitchen” smile. As for the seasoning… grrrr! No excuse!

  7. 'A Girl Has to Eat' Says...

    Hi Loving Annie,
    I know. Oops indeed! I hope you had a great w/e too!

    Hi Trig,
    Its so great that this brings back memories for you. I am sure there will be many more false alarms in days to come. I love your comment about the policeman’s wry “chefs setting to a kitchen” smile. It’s so true.

    Yes, you’re right. No excuse on forgetting to season. Oops. 🙂