Lunch picture at Cafe Culinaire
Good job guys, you guys work so hard and I know how it feels. It's great being in alumni and coming back to see great food and how far you guys have gone. Good luck with capstones, here are some shots I took during lunch! Don't take anything for granted! You guys have such a great opportunity and the supplies that the chefs provide! Don't waste it! Again every has there own opinions these were just mine. I hope I wasn't to brutal ;)
Lentil and Goat Cheese Gratin
(I remember making this and there was not "meat" product hence vegetarian but there was bacon or possibly ham-hock in it, who knows maybe recipe changed)
easy with the balsamic reduction, take time and plate, check your chive garnishes. A clean less complex plate is always better than a crowded scribbled mess.
Kahlua Pork Pizza
Good crust, nice chew. Crust needed salt but overall pizza was a success.
Thats a really nice oven to be trained on don't be afraid of it! There great.
Seasoned Correctly, beans were cooked nice and crunchy onions were soaked to relieve the raw bitterness. Prawns were cooked nicely, thats one thing about spot prawns especially when you tempura them if you over cook them they turn to mush because so they are so delicate.
Cedar Planked Salmon
Smoked Sturgeon Crust
Morel sauce, Sea Beans
My friend ordered this, honestly the texture of the fish was stringy. It was amazing how hard it was to cut through it, we were both surprised. The salt level on the "fish" itself was a little much. Salmon was cooked to a nice Medium-rare but again very odd texture. The dish itself was well thought out the sauce was nice and not to salty the sea beans added the natural salt to the dish. But once eaten with everything it became a little salty, but thats sea beans they are naturally super salty!
I ordered the duck special. Ordered it medium-rare and it was cooked medium and end pieces were pushing medium well. Was still tender though. Seasoned nicely. The skin needed to be rendered and crisped up, just had the texture of uncooked fat (not to pleasant). At first our server told us this dish was stuffed with the rice and nut mixture but in the end it was not. The rice was dry and the carrots were over cooked. Was very confusing having marcrona almonds, pistachios and walnuts all on one plate. I'd prefer less sauce, not a big fan of things swimming in jus, but again thats just me.
I was told this was a Capstone dish, so I wanted to be as thorough as possible. If I was in your shoes 3 years ago and had the opportunity for someone to rip my dish a new one I'm all for it, because then you can learn and critique and improve!
Dessert first my friend ordered the lemon tart and they ran out so he went with,
Buttermilk Pana Cotta
Texture was a little thick for our liking but was smooth. Excellent job on the tempered chocolate leafs, I suggest not hiding them with the tuile, plate it so you utilize and show off your intricate detail work! The pana cotta I think would have more successful with a little more tart or acidity to it, I understand the kumquats were there but eating candied kumquats and the sweet figs a little more assertive tart pana cotta would have hit it out of the ball park, maybe add cream fraiche.
overall great dish.
This is how you plated it.
This is how we plated it.
SHOW OFF YOUR CHOCOLATE SKILLS!!!
Deconstructed Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Its very hard to deconstruct something and make it good. You either have to be spot on, on every aspect or it will fail. I personally did not enjoy this dish, concept was fun I understood it but each component on their own had flaws.
The ice cream, was very thin and watery. By the time our server took our plates it was a pool of cinnamon ice cream. The toffee was good, little sticky still maybe add some nuts into it to add a more luxurious crunch. Basically i've learned my lesson when deconstructing dishes, especially desserts.
Just a thought you could plate this in a large bowl, center of the plate.
go back and fix your ice cream recipe and scoop mini balls and arrange layering with toffee appropriately and then create your "rum" sauce into a rum carmel anglaise and you can have the server pour table side to really recreate, the sense of pouring milk into a "bowl of cinnamon toast crunch"
just a thought...
Overall guys in the end I'm here to help you succeed. I was in your shoes and to hear a full on description about your courses was unheard of use this write up and critique yourself and don't knock yourself down. Keep working on the dish and then in 2 weeks look back at these pictures and then look at the dish you created then you will see a tremendous amount of technique and skill. I wish you all the best of luck with Capstone, if you have an extra seat I'm always hungry.