• Add salt to a vinaigrette BEFORE the oil, as oil can prevent the salt from dissolving
  • Sweat onions for a while BEFORE adding salt, the salt will dry them out too fast
  • Serve a free canapé, you’ll sell an extra drink (where all the profit is)
  • Endives and white asparagus are made by depriving them of the light preventing them from developing a stronger flavor
  • Marigolds keep deer away from your garden (good to know for the cottage)

INTENSE – today was the first taste of pressure in the kitchen. Chef John demonstrated the tricks to making ratatouille, and then off we went to do it. It was a good lesson in team work because we had to prep all the ingredients as a team (you do the onion ciseler, I’ll do the tomatoes emonder, etc…), but then plate it individually.

ratatouille quenelles
ratatouille quenelles

We had to plate the ratatouille in 3 quenelles (which are three-sided-egg-like-shapes formed by consecutive squishing of the ratatouille between two spoons. I DID NOT get the hand of it very well at all – put it on the homework list.

Chef then demonstrated how to prepare and then assemble the beet/goat cheese timbale and we were off again. For this we had to roast beets, make a vinaigrette, make an apple vinaigrette, a frisee salad, and assemble all with goat cheese in a round form. I got it done, but not perfectly.

Picked up a free baguette and Italian loaf from the baking class, and headed home to recuperate and study for tomorrow’s test.



baguettes outside the bread class
baguettes outside the bread class
Stewart Borden
As a graduate of the International Culinary School, Stewart is currently testing recipes for a NYC Italian chef's cookbook. He is a film and theatre composer as well as an accomplished pianist and the bassist for the band Men in Suits.