Sunday, 29 January 2017

Internship Week 4: Dinner Shift


Time flies when you're having fun. Unfortunately, four weeks have flown by and our internship has come to an end. This week was different from all the others in a really good way. Our classes have become smaller as several groups of students have completed their internship and were no longer required to return. We had all become familiar with our new work, our groups and our duties, and as such, the running of the kitchen became smoother, faster, smarter and inevitably more fun. Of course, conflict still existed, but on a very small level that was quickly resolved.

Avocado Tartar, Mixed Baby Greens &
Herb Oil, Pickled Cauliflower, Garlic-
roasted Tomatoes, Carrot Reduction and
Balsamic Reduction

Cream of Provision & Chive Soup with Jerk-flavoured
Dumpling and Pineapple Oil

Pan-seared Mahi Mahi atop Red Curry Risotto, Melange of
Vegetables and Five Finger Chutney

Cilantro-coconut crusted Rack of Lamb atop Cous Cous,
Vegetables and Apple-rum Sauce

Cinnamon-roasted Chicken stuffed with Cumin Rice Pilaf,
Roasted Vegetables and Orange-beet Sauce

Olive Oil Cake (below sorbet), Passion Fruit Sorbet, Ginger
Snaps and Marinated Fruits

For our dinner shift this week, we were once again privileged to have Chef Ottley Alexis as our facilitator. My favourite part of working under him was his sharing of his vast knowledge on almost every type of cuisine you can imagine. Dishes and ingredients did not seem to exist independently to Chef Ottley and he was always able to describe its background, culture, origin or at least some interesting fact about each of them. He taught us new ways of doing familiar things and easy ways to master new things. He readily and thoroughly addressed any questions or issues we had and and taught us how to make errors work to our benefit. We worked in stations rather than dishes for the greater part of the week, and emphasis was placed on us conquering our stations and continuously improving. Time management was of utmost importance this week, particularly because it was our last week and we were expected to be familiar with the running and timing of the kitchen. Another important task for the week was ensuring minimal wastage and optimizing usage of ingredients. Unfortunately, after doing preparations for dinner, especially for the buffet, many reservations were cancelled and therefore there was a large amount of leftover food.
Being familiar with our group and becoming comfortable with our work resulted in better teamwork and higher team spirit. Asking for and offering help where needed became more natural and easy. Working together not only during preparation but "on the line" to prepare and plate dishes in their entirety was far less chaotic and disorganized than the past weeks.

Turkey Satay

Roasted Lamb

Braised Lamb

Soup Station

Soup Station

Dessert Table

Salads

Breads

Our last day of internship was bittersweet. We all have become more familiar, closer and built better relationships with our peers, not just in our own group but with many from other groups, during the past month. We learned a lot about our strengths and weaknesses in the kitchen and helped eachother to improve our skills in those weaker areas. We developed a greater understanding of how the kitchen works and an appreciation for the importance of teamwork and being a team player. Though it was stressful at times, we all worked through the hardships and had a successful internship. Some of us gained a new perspective and decided that they preferred Food & Beverage rather than Culinary and some liked neither area. For me, I thoroughly enjoyed working in the kitchen with my peers. Despite the inevitable confusion almost every week (particularly at the end of the day for clean up), working with my teammates was enjoyable and I can see myself having fun, cooking and learning in a kitchen for a very long time to come.

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