Halfway mark! Week 7: Charcuterie, Field Trip, Quiz #2 and Brunch

Sometime during this past week I have completed over half of the professional culinary program at Northwest and I can see myself working the line in a kitchen. We were introduced to the term charcuterie with the hands on butchery of a side of pig and lamb. Understanding charcuterie allows us to know how to utilize each part of the animal to maximize yield. There were 3 sides of pig at 192 lbs each and the total amount of garbage after all the trimmings was only 8 lbs. We have render the pig’s skin to gelatin, pig’s fat into lard, stock from bones, headcheese, pork chops, sausages, and the works. We even went on a field trip to visit Two Rivers Meat in North Vancouver and saw the inside of a meat packer/butchery/processing and came out from it very inspired from the passion from each employee working there.

Friday consisted of quiz #2 for the term. There is a quiz every 4 weeks. There were a lot of materials to study for in this quiz which covered the French mother sauces, seafood, food costing, and pastry. We have also studied the material from charcuterie week but it wasn’t on this quiz, but it will definitely be in next week’s midterm. There is a group of us who are on a Facebook chat group which we used as a study tool.

Let’s talk about this midterm… I can’t believe it’s midterm week already! It will consist of 3 days- Tuesday will be a written exam, Wednesday is a 2.5 hours practical, and Thursday is a 4.25 hours practical to satisfy the ITA’s requirement. So far my entire weekend has been immersed into playing the practical exam days in my head over and over again. The exam is individual-based, and knowing I have been able to accomplish my first menu dev solo and creating a mayo, I do have some confidence going in to this week, but not without practicing at home, I’m working on omelette, gnocchi, hollandaise, creme brulee, and knife cuts.

A couple of things I’m looking forward to doing – using the pressure cooker hands-on (we’ve used pressure cooker in class a couple of times, but I didn’t have too much involvement with it other than adjusting the heat below it), and using a pasta machine.

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