I’m poring over my notes for tomorrow’s afternoon lab in which I am expected to make a chicken consomme with a brunoise (the tiniest cube cut imaginable, terrifying) garnish and cream of celery and celeriac soup with some obscure bitter herb called ‘lovage’. Lovage sounds like a victorian dungeon master’s warm up bum slap before moving onto the paddle.
The task is daunting and I’m already shaking in my steel-toed safety shoes. Which, incidentally, are the least attractive shoes ever. There are some nicer ones, but they’re an unbelievable $300 so they will have to wait. Without meaning to, I sort of rushed through last week’s lab. I think I was worried about not finishing on time. But I’m allowed to start a full 45 minutes earlier this week, so I’m just going to take my time and use every last minute of that 3 hours. After a few weeks, Chef is going to start giving us all slotted times for tasting which is too nerve-wracking to contemplate right now. On the plus side, after this soup nightmare, we move onto salads, dressings and chutneys and such. I am something of a salad queen amongst circles nobody’s ever heard of, so hopefully that will be a more relaxing week. I have a quiz on my poultry butchering failure on Wednesday morning, and then straight into cuttin’ up Mary’s little lambs. I’m really looking forward to that.
In other news, Eric, in a very well timed gesture of benevolence and warmth, bought me ‘Kitchen Confidential’; Anthony Bourdain’s cock & coke-riddled chef’s memoir. We have things in common, Tony and I but I am still missing the desire to be an ugly guy on the line that he had. It’s what got him into a kitchen and is what is keeping me from jumping into one. The tough as nails bitches he describes as being a pleasure to work with in the book do not really resemble me or my sensibilities one bit. I am, instead, one of the white boys who knows all about food before working in the kitchen. I don’t want hideous hands. I want to get through this course and be a food critic, I can feel it. Anyway, my birthday is coming up. 27. Oh boy.