Today went quite smoothly. I went in at 9 and Chef Erik was not in yet so Angel, one of the chefs, put me to work breaking down 6 already cooked chickens. I have to say, I am not the most comfortable doing that, but Angel was very patient with me. After the first 2 I did the other 4 without asking a million questions and now I feel confident to do them whenever asked! Something really interesting struck my fancy about the chicken. Angel explained to me that he roasted them with lemon halves inside of them and then this morning as I broke them down I took the cooked, un-squeezed lemon halves and squeezed them on top of the chicken when it was all finished being taken apart.
Chef Erik arrived just as I was finished with the chicken and he had me first chop a lot of rosemary and a lot of thyme until it was literally powder. Before he came in Angel warned me that Chef Erik likes things to be done quickly, which made me nervous, and I took a nice slice out of my thumb in the process of getting the rosemary and thyme powdered. He also wanted me to mince shallots.
He then wanted me to slice a bag full of dried figs and I began wondering where all of this was going. Tonight at 7 Napa Valley is catering an art gallery opening and I was putting together the hors d’oeuvres for the event! Erik started putting together a simple cake-like batter that the figs, rosemary, thyme, and shallots were all about to bathe in. It sounded very interesting and turned out tasting SO delicious. When you bit down you felt that coarse sugary texture from the inside of the fig and at the end the thyme and rosemary flavors stayed in your mouth for a while (mom, you would hate it). SO festive too!
Remember all those tartlets from yesterday? I got to put them all together today as well. Chef Erik made an asparagus filling that was sauteed asparagus and onions in a little butter and parsley. I had to put that filling in each tartlet then top it with some delicious goat cheese that I crumbled. So perfect and, again, so festive. I think I would love to make these for Christmas when my mom and I cook dinner for the family.
I am starting to have a lot of fun on this internship. I’m meeting a lot of great people. I hope it lasts!