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Two Tents…

Ah yes the age-old bad joke of “Hey Dr. I keep thinking I’m a wigwam, I’m a tepee. Well there is your problem right there; your two tents”…. really does speak to what this last few weeks have been for all of us in our block. I don’t want to give the impression that this was a bad class or that I didn’t learn anything. I really did learn a lot about how to properly and more important than that how to improperly run a catering or banquet event.

Why was the class two tents then, well because my block dropped down from a group of 8, to a group of 4 people and there was a lot of prep and production that still had to get done. The events where already set up and could not be changed just because we didn’t have the original number of people who were planed for. Should the class have been made easier because we had fewer people? No it shouldn’t have, in the real world we would still have to get the job done if members of the staff didn’t show up. This doesn’t mean that it was any fun for the rest of us that had to buckle down and shoulder the work load…

More to the  point is what the class is all about, and it can really be summed up into two words, Catering and Banquettes… Bet you all didn’t see that one coming, now did you… Really though that is what the class did. We would prep Wednesday-Saturday for at least two events. One would always be the potential new students tour that NECI would have every Friday. For this we would put out h’orderves and then run action stations and give everyone on the tour a “Taste of NECI” both in the food we would cook in front of them and with the questions we would answer for them while cooking said food. To this end one day in class we had a  challenge to come up with an h’orderve that would be run for that week’s tour. There was 3 of us in class that day and here is what we came up with. This was the wining one (not mine just to clarify);  Wasabi Carrot Slaw on Pickled Ginger and Cucumber Base. This one is mine; Cucumber Bowls filled with Fennel and Herb Creme Fraiche, dusted with paprika and garnished with a pea shoot.Last but most definitely not least is; a Parmigiano Cracker, topped with an Herb Goat Cheese and Bacon, garnished with lemon zest.

Notice a trend with all of them? They are all salty, sour or a bit spicy, so that as an h’orderve it would make you want to take a drink, A.K.A. spend more money on drinks, thus increasing your profit margins…

The other event that we would spend all week preparing for was Sunday brunch. I never got a chance to take pictures of brunch or the food items that we sent out, mostly because I was two tents… go ahead and sigh or laugh it is a really bad joke… in getting everything set up and put out for the buffet itself. I can’t really go around with my phone taking pictures after we are open and people are eating all of the food, and really who wants to see pictures of empty buffet line?

One of the last things that we had to do for this class was go off site and cater an event. This is not normally something that is done with this class, but the event just happened to be going on and our instructor thought it would be fun. It was fun once we knew what we where going to be doing and it really was a pretty event in Massachusetts… That is a very long car ride back when the event ended at 10:30pm… However we did get to go show off and strut our NECI stuff as it was. Alright I get it less typing more pictures right?

Well to start out it was on a farm and when on a farm you go see the…but you do have to walk to them…Funny note the guy behind the camera in all of these pictures also has a shaved head, and yes we planned it that way… the deer looked tasty…So did the ducks…Never had peacock before but I wonder how it would taste. Alright so it was a strange farm, on to the event!This was how the event was set up before everyone arrived…The “kitchen” was set up on a dance floor. Almost like we where on a stage…well alright we are on a stage and when on stage where everyone can see you, you have to remember to….…Smile! Also you have to work even more clean than normal…But hey we got to bring our own Vermont cheeses… …and the best butter Vermont has to offer. For anyone who can find or wants to get something from VT Butter and Cheese Company go here. Trust me it is the best butter you will ever have, period, end of story. The mushrooms you ask, well yes they were wild-crafted from Vermont as well…

With this ladies and gentlemen as the sun sets behind the trees  our story of Two Tents draws to a close. Until next time Chef Fans when we get to the class that I have waited over a year to take, Taste & Flavor!

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3 Comments on “Two Tents…”

  1. Grandma August 17, 2011 at 1:08 pm #

    Sounds wonderful. I know you are having fun and learning and tasting a lot. Bon Appetite’ Love Grandma

  2. Grandma August 18, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

    I went into the cheese site, and can you believe 3 of the Whole Foods in the KC area carry the Vermont ceeses and butterl. Going by there to see what they have.

  3. Grandma August 18, 2011 at 4:27 pm #

    Forgot to say Mom, Cre and Raliegh coming for dinner tomorrow nite, so it will be fun to surprise them if I can find some. John and Carli are in town and they will be there also.

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