DINNER 165: Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Boy oh boy what a night of food!

Tonight was my final in the GARDE MANGER class I took this term. I made it to school at 4:15, about an hour before our class was scheduled to begin and about 3 hours before our guests were due to arrive. Wendy drove down with me, and she seemed to enjoy a bit of downtime during which she could sit outside and read while I worked to finish up my platter.

AndrewMenu.jpgOur final assignment was a ‘presentation platter’ containing 8 portions of 2 proteins, 2 salads, a cracker piece, and a garnish. We also had to present a plate that might be used for service. I decided to prepare the following menu:

Roasted Asian Duck Galantine
Duck and Smoked Foie Gras Terrine
Soba Noodle Salad with Sesame Oil
Carrot & Daikon Slaw with Rice Wine Vinaigrette
Szechuan Red Chili Deviled Quail Eggs Canapes

AndrewPlatter3.jpgWhen I arrived at school, I had both my proteins, my cracker, one of my salads completely finished, and the other salad just needed to be assembled, so I felt like I was in pretty good shape. I still had to make the Deviled Quail Egg Canapes I chose for the garnish, slice and dip my proteins, and assemble the plate and platter.

AndrewPlatter5.jpgI got right into the work, finishing my second salad quickly and slicing my proteins without incident. I was far enough ahead that I was able to dip my proteins (they’re dipped in aspic, a gelatinized meat stock, to preserve them and to make them shiny) and put them back into the cooler to hold for a while. They tasted great. I worked on the deviled quail egg canapes and got them together easily as well. After cleaning up and a short break, I got my platter together and assembled quickly. I was very pleased with the flow of my platter, and think it looked really appetizing.

Chef walked around and critiqued everyone’s work. He said that my cuts were “deadly accurate”, that the flow of the platter was very nice, and that my plate looked appetizing. His comments to the students were generally positive, but if something needed to be pointed out, he’d do so. Overall, he said that the class accomplished the goals he’d set out for it and that he was proud of each of us. Once he had finished, our guests were permitted to wander around and sample. The students also tried each other’s items, and things tasted great.

I took pictures of everyone’s work, and have labeled it where I could in the gallery. To my fellow students: If I mislabeled something or didn’t mention a name, please correct me! The gallery of photos from our final is here.

We got the kitchen cleaned up and closed down for the end of the term, said our goodbyes, and finished the term.

Wendy, Brian (one of the students in my class), and I went out to KNOTTY PINE ON THE BAYOU. Brian & I worked with them at this year’s TASTE OF CINCINNATI and they invited us out to the restaurant. We feasted! We sampled many items from their menu of Louisiana-inspired fare including fried frog’s legs, shrimp cocktail, etouffee, gumbo, salads with their awesome Onion-Mustard Dressing, fried shrimp, surf-n-turf of lobster tail and filet, and one piece of their made-from-scratch Opera Cream Cake dessert. It was an awesome meal, and we all left there full to the gills.

5 thoughts on “DINNER 165: Wednesday, June 14, 2006”

  • Nice going Drew…

    A question.

    What does “flow of the platter” mean.

    My future son in law is going to culenary school in Ft Lauderdale and so I amaze him from time to time by throwing expressions at him like… lets “plate up”.

  • Hi Todd. Thanks for your message. The ‘flow of the platter’ means that the platter somewhat ‘directs’ people as to where they should take the food from, and the platter stays looking nice as long as possible. The flow also refers to the overall ‘feel’ (if that doesn’t sound too silly) of the platter — you don’t want it to feel crowded, but you don’t want it to feel sparse, either.

    If you look at this picture — https://drewvogel.com/gallery2/v/culinary/GardeManger/AndrewPlatter5.jpg.html — you could imagine a customer picking up some of the salad that’s closest to the camera first, then one of the egg canapes, then one of the round slices, then one of the square slices, then some of the salad at the top. I’ll bet that if you looked at the picture while reading that, you selected the exact same slices that I did when writing it… That’s the flow at work — each component flows into the next smoothly. The platter in the picture isn’t overflowing, but it’s not empty either.

    My wife and I are divers, too, and were in Puerto Rico in August of last year. We dove with Angel in La Parguera and had a great time! See the pictures here… https://drewvogel.com/gallery2/v/Vacations/05PuertoRico/PRdiving/

  • Hi,

    Many thanks for the flow…

    I teach diving here in PR and Angel is a friend of mine. I actualy came upon your site thru a google search of diving in PR.

    You can check out my site at http://www.lemontreedivers.com

    I also maintain a photo log site linked to the lemontreedivers site… you can access it off the blog page as well as the photo gallery.

    My wife runs a small hotel here as well… you can check it out at:


    I follow your site and think that you in fact do “self promotion” really well. Its a great site with wonderful links and pics. keep it up.


  • A few more phrases to use to impress your future son in law…

    * We “fire” things — “I’m going to fire this steak” means I’m going to cook it.
    * “Hot behind” — more than just a compliment that’ll get you slapped when said to a pretty girl, that means, ‘I am behind you with something hot’. It should be noted that in MY kitchens, the proper response to “hot behind” is, “Thanks. I work out”.
    * “Sharp” — similar to “hot behind”, this means, “watch out for me — I’m carrying something sharp” (if you’re carrying a knife, it should be held tightly against the side of your leg so as not to cut someone)
    * “Behind you” — notifying someone that you’re behind them.
    * “Coming around” — “Coming around” means ‘I’m notifying you that I am coming around this blind corner in the kitchen’ — sorta like beeping your car horn on a blind turn.
    * “Get your mise together” — this means get everything you need to cook gathered up and ready… From mise en place, which means “everything in its place”. “mise” rhymes with “fleece”.
    * We don’t “put some sauce on the steak”. We “sauce the steak”.

    That should get you started! Let me know how he reacts when you start throwing these out there!

  • Small world! Do tell Angel we said hello. We had great dives with him (even if he never sent the CD with pictures as promised!).

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