A buffet table to celebrate the last few days of class
Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Last week, we had our last two classes in savoury food. It was about catering and we set up a buffet table as our final project. We made hundreds of bite-sized morsels of food, both hot and cold. I learned to make some of the tastiest dishes I’ve ever cooked in my life. I also have a newfound love for gazpacho.

And since we’re nice pastry students, we invited all the anglo classes to join us. This was going to be the last time we (both cuisine and pastry classes) would all be together.

Our long, tightly packed buffet table completed.

The centrepiece was created by our Chef, Alain Montassier, for his M.O.F. competition last year.

A gazpacho made with tomatoes, red pepper, onion, baby beet greens, tomato juice, bread crumbs, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Another gazpacho made with cucumber, avocado, mint, ginger, garlic, yogurt, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.

After the gazpacho, I was tasked with making this very time-consuming, delicate, thin cracker. First, I made a crepe batter, spread a very thin layer on a Silpat sheet and baked it just until set. Then, I removed it delicately off the Silpat sheet without ripping it off and cut it into 10cm x 3cm rectangles. Then, I take a piping tip and cut out poka-dots from each rectangle. Then, I wrap each rectangle around a metal rod and put them back in the oven to bake until golden.

Afterwards, we have to make a pâte à choux (cream puff) dough and pipe handles for each mug. Then, we toast circles of bread for the base. The inside of the mug is filled with a carrot and chorizo mousse and topped with a hemisphere of parmesan jelly.

After finishing those 'beer mugs', I helped my friend with her scallop dish. Secretly (or not so secretly), I wanted to taste these gorgeous giant scallops that she was searing. Chef taught us a trick to sear the scallops. We roll them in powdered cocoa butter and put it in a hot pan. The cocoa butter melts and browns the scallops beautifully without any flavour.

The scallops sit in a savoury applesauce and they're topped with a walnut and caper crumble. This was my favourite. And yes, I did eat quite a few of these.

Here is a spoon made from a bread slice that has been generously brushed with hot oil and curled around 2 metal rods and baked until golden and the shape is set. The green part is a pea mousse which sits under a balsamic jelly and poached quail egg. This one also required lots and lots of detailed work.

Some zucchini and cream cheese crepe rolls.

A salmon mille-feuille made of finely sliced smoked salmon, cucumbers, apples, carrots, and a savoury genoise base.

Langoustines in its own cream sauce with a kumquat confit.

White fish in an artichoke and herb sauce.

Braise pork cheeks in a périgourdine sauce with potatoes cooked in beet juice.

Pork belly. I don't remember the green sauce it's in.

And that's us, a little exhausted but still smiling.

And this is what happened 5 minutes after we started eating. Nom nom nom.

Well? Let me know what you think. Write me a comment below!