Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Foundations III

Phase 3, Week 1, Day 1

Today we began the final part of our Foundations classes. We will build on the first two classes and additionally develop skills in the identification, butchery, and fabrication of a variety of meat and seafood. We will also begin to apply techniques of plating and presentation that are used in modern kitchens, and hopefully begin to realize our own style.

The class is set up so we will have three written tests and some additional assignments just like the two other classes before. The biggest difference in this class is that we have a timed practical test twice a week, instead of three times a phase. However, for the most part, we will be able to do our mies en place the day before the test. So we won't have to be so strained on test days. Also, all those extra tests will compile to the same percentage as the first two tests did in our earlier classes. Down side, there is no practice session- it's a one shot deal, but with a little wiggle room because there are so many of them.

F3 Classroom, the TV screens are cool!!!!
Today, as most first days, we went over the syllabus and the assignments for the class. We finished up with a lecture on plating and modern plating techniques.

Some things to consider when putting a plate together are:

  • Use large plates; crowded food looks messy.
  • Use neutral colored plates; white or earth tones will compliment all colors of food.
  • Negative space makes a dish look elegant.
  • Find the focal point of the meal.
  • Think about color contrast when creating a dish.
  • Garnish should suit the food (there are many different lines of thought about garnish-depends on what you like or what your chef likes ;0)).
  • What grows together, stays together; preparing fresh ingredients that are in season tastes and looks better.
  • Use odd numbers of pieces
  • Create height with the dish, but nothing too elaborate
  • Consider the rim of the plate as your frame
  • Use a variety of shapes and forms
  • Be able to serve it quickly
  • Keep it simple
Got all that? Easy, right? That's what I thought too. I just figured you used a little artistic flair and Voila! You had a beautiful plate to present. Apparently , it's more complicated. Isn't it always?

To simplify, remember BUFF (Balance, Unity, Focus, Flow).

A few examples of some modern plating techniques
Salmon w/ Dauphine Potatoes, Roasted Veg & Herbed oil
Roast Beef, Purple Potatoes, & Pesto Fettuccine
Veal Meatballs w/ Whipped Potatoes & Root Veg

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