Pig’s Eared Julienned, Planning the Buffet – Day 56


  • Fill an egg carton with hickory, set it on fire, and put it the oven with your chicken, to get an incredible smoky flavour. (Maybe not try this one at home).

Thanks Joanne so much for having filled in yesterday. Great job. And doubly thank you for this morning’s pre-exam flash card quiz – that rehearsal definitely got me 20 points on the exam.

Spencer arranging cards, planning out our display
Spencer arranging cards, planning out our display
Chef Ben lights an egg carton on fire - for the smoker
Chef Ben lights an egg carton on fire – for the smoker

Today was finishing up anything we hadn’t already got ready for tomorrow’s buffet. We have 19 different items in our buffet, so that is pretty impressive. The last piece to prepare today was finalizing the head cheese. First we were told to “julienne the ears”. This seemed such a weird sentence – for the past two months, we’ve been julienning all sorts of vegetables (mostly carrots), but the thought of applying this technique to a pig’s ear just seemed weird. We also diced all the meat that had been removed from the brined pig’s head, simmered it in the brine with various spices, then added jardiniered carrots and cornichons, and stuffed it all into a terrine. We had so much left over we made a second terrine (though we’ve been told we’re going to be lucky that anyone takes a bite from even the first terrine).

Vitor working on the BBQ chicken
Vitor working on the BBQ chicken
A seared scallop plate shows up from heaven
A seared scallop plate shows up from heaven

We also wrote out our display cards, and did a whole bunch organizing, so that tomorrow we can hit the kitchen running. 10 of the 19 dishes are hot (or cooked), so there’s quite a bit to do tomorrow. We decided we’re going to try and cook and sauté as much as possible, so that people will be more likely to take some of the food. To that point, Joe cooked up candied bacon and caramelized nuts – if those two items don’t get eaten, I don’t know what will. Joanne had a good idea to have music, so guess who’s classical piano CD we’re going to play? That’s right, my Fermata CD (click to listen) is going to get a public airing in New York!

Vitor and Miyako cooked up some incredibly tasting BBQ chicken today in family meal (secret ingredient – molasses!). At one point I looked over and Chef Ben was lighting an egg carton filled with stuff on fire? What the….. ? It turns out the ‘stuff’ was hickory, and he put this in the bottom of the oven to ‘smoke’ the chicken. The kitchen smelled amazing.

One of the hidden benefits of culinary school is that every-so-often, amazing food shows up out of nowhere – today it was a seared scallop plate that the catering department was testing out.



  1. Joanne Mosconi

    Stewart, you know how much I love your blog- so it was an honor taking notes. Your blog has served as my culinary study guide! And Raymond- I wish you could come to our buffet tomorrow! I must see you soon! So excited to hear Stewart’s music!

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