Sunday, 15 January 2017

Internship Week 2: Breakfast Shift

Another week has so quickly gone by. This week was different from what I've experienced thus far but fun, and quite a learning experience as most of our breakfast was a la carte. Before this week, we have focused mainly on table d'hote and buffet menus. Chef Cheryl-Ann Shortt-Charles was the facilitator for our breakfast shift group. Learning from her was a pleasure as she is very meticulous with her work (and ours) as well as organized, two qualities that are very important to me and what I strive to be. The new menu type emphasized teamwork, something that's important in the industry and something we definitely needed practice with. Previously, we were all assigned to individual dishes so teamwork was limited except for our familiar peers assisting us when necessary. With an a la carte menu, especially for breakfast, it was important for us to cooperate and work on different elements of each dish, then putting it together in a timely manner. Breakfast is usually even more fast-paced than lunch because not many people have the privilege of enjoying a leisurely breakfast. We were timed with our delivery of each order so that we were able to increase our speed while still producing a quality dish. Our facilitator also stressed the importance of mise en place. While we appreciated mise en place as useful for producing table d'hote items, I found that proper mise en place was a necessity for effective production of a la carte menu dishes. Mise en place literally translates to "everything in its place" and is used to describe organizing ones work station and having all the necessary ingredients, mixtures and tools at hand for working efficiently and creating dishes.
Breakfast Wellington with perfect pastry dough!
Not the most beautiful dish but definitely delicious!
On the Friday of our breakfast week, we were part of the team for producing the weekly brunch. We were responsible for all of the breads and breakfast items while the lunch shift was responsible for the soup, hot items and salads. Both the lunch shift group and the pastry students were responsible for producing the desserts. I was appointed "chef of the day" along with one other classmate for the brunch day. I was responsible for the organizing and setting up of our brunch station. Once again, I was appreciative of my facilitator's meticulousness as she assisted and directed me on how to approach organizing the buffet. The event turned out to be very successful, as brunch usually is sold out and all three groups - breakfast, lunch and pastry - produced delicious items.

Egg/Omelette Station

Pancakes and Spinach & Feta Quiches

Savoury Crepe Station

Choka Variety: (top left, clockwise:
eggplantpumpkin, tomato and bodi.




The a la carte menu was very useful to us as our groups needed training and practice working as a team. There were a few misunderstandings that occurred as a result of us being forced to work so closely together but they were all eventually resolved. More teamwork for practical classes is definitely a necessity and we were all shown a different perspective in having to work this shift.
As part of the internship, we are required to work one week in the Food and Beverage department (Front of the House) which I will be doing in the coming week. I look forward to working in a different environment from the past two weeks and learning some new things!

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