ISCAHM – Kitchen Time! Week 4

We are now doing some kitchen work. However, it was actually the 4th day of the week that we actually had work to do. The work was relatively little since they did not want to overwhelm us with the kitchen work.

For the first 3 days, it was more of prepping us up on what happens inside the kitchen and the basics. On the first day, Chef Gerd was our chef-instructor. Since we are Section C, we were assigned to Kitchen 3 (K-3). This is also the same kitchen where we had the tour before.

Chef Gerd assembled us and he was talking about kitchen work and he randomly assigned us into groups already. Moreover, he also assigned random team leaders and I was one of them. Here is my team. We are team 1. I am technically the section chef of our team also called the chef de partie.

During this session, Chef Gerd demoed the various cuts of fish, meat, and poultry so that we get a heads-up when we are going to cook these cuts in the future. Here is a snapshot of Chef Gerd filleting a red snapper.

The next day, we went to Kitchen 1 (K-1).

Everyday, before class starts, we must have already done our miz (link) at least in the morning or the day before. So technically, we must arrive before class starts and end later than dismissal. During this time, miz was easy since it was a demo again in making mother sauces inside the kitchen so all we had to do was set up our stations.

This day, it was Chef Norbert who did the demo for making the mother sauces.

Since this day was about making sauces, stock is essential so we started the day making stock. Finally, I got an actual view on making a brown stock. I was so happy!

Moreover, at least now I know what base sauces should taste like. Tasting butter based sauces made me realize that Europeans like it tangy eh?

After sauce day, we had knife skills day.

Chef Uli was the one in charge for this.

What happened was that he demoed a particular cut of a vegetable; afterwards we went back to our station and did the same cut. It was just to give us a feel of how to cut a particular cut.

Here was my first julienne. Not bad for a first time I think.

At the end of the day, we have tried all the different cuts of vegetables.

And potatoes! The French really love potatoes eh?

On the 4th day, the cooking day, we had Chef Uli again. The objective of this day and the following day will be for us to see the actual cooking methods that are used inside a kitchen. Before starting, the chef in charge will give a short demo and briefing on what to do. Then the work is split amongst teams. You can see a white board on the background below. It was the recipe that we were supposed to do for the day.

However, most of the cooking is still done by the chef as of now.

By the way, if you were able to see one of the recipes on the white board, there was a potato salad. It needed mayonnaise so I made one from scratch. This was my first real mayonnaise.

I did this during our break with the help of our sous chef in Kitchen 3, Chef Shoilo.

Moreover, I was lucky since the chef and sous chef were too busy before service time that they let me handle the fish. I was actually hesitant to do it since fish and everything from water, as we all know, is delicate. Luck again was at my side because the fish was a forgiving one. It was a red snapper.

At the end of class, when everything was cooked, we had a family-style lunch.

Lastly, we had another cooking method day, this time with Chef Norbert. Setup and routine were the same as the day before.

I did the carving of our prune stuffed roast during service time.

At the end of the day, I was really happy since I learned a lot. If you are thinking of coming to ISCAHM, I would really recommend it. Here is the thing though, you can only learn if you really want to since cooking is pretty subjective so the approach is also very subjective. What made the experience here very worth it so far were the tons of questions I asked the chef with regards to cooking techniques and ingredient familiarity. In my opinion, the most valuable thing you get during a culinary school is the extra questions you ask in cooking school. Books and manuals can be bought but experience on the other hand cannot. It is the experience of the chefs here that made learning here very valuable especially their knowledge in the food industry.

Anyhow, that’s it for now. I am pretty sure I still have tons of things to say in the future. I still have 13 months more to talk about the journey/experience here in ISCAHM.

By the way, this is like the BIGGEST BLOCK of butter I have seen in my life!



10 responses to this post.

  1. Galing! I want to attend ISCHAM, soon πŸ™‚


  2. Posted by Jonnek on February 22, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    How much ba yun course na yan sa ISCHAM and how long ang duration. It looks very interesting.


  3. Somebody is going to be the next Top Chef! FTW! Hayan i know what FTW means na πŸ™‚


  4. Posted by sheila's ditsi on March 2, 2010 at 9:35 am

    wow hershey! im so proud of you! πŸ™‚ you’re the team leader!!! and the chef is assigning you to cook. teacher’s fave eh? keep up the good work!


  5. […] our first time in the kitchen before, we do a LOT of cooking now! Oh […]


  6. Posted by Ian on February 4, 2011 at 9:51 am

    will u be automatically be a CHEF as u graduate the 14 month course?
    thank u πŸ˜›


    • nope, you are going to be a cook, it is like in the military. The chef is like the general in the military. After graduating from military school, you are not automatically a general right away, you are just the front liner πŸ™‚


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