I guess if I wanted to apply to be a judge on a reality cooking show, I could theoretically say, "Ahem, I am Le Cordon Bleu trained". Thanks to Ming, who extended an invite to me for an afternoon workshop, with Chef Franck Bruwier who is a creative Chef who favors innovative classic French cuisine.
[Verbatim from the press release]
Through his international experience in U.S.A, Mexico, France ( a 3-Star Michelin restaurant) & and as chef instructor in le Cordon Bleu London, his last posting, he easily integrates different food cultures and traditions whilst maintaining the distinct feature of each recipe. He will be covering recipe such as, ‘Soupe a l’oignon gratinee - French Onion Soup and Magret de canard roti, pommes cocottes au lard et champignons a la graisse d’oie - Roast duck breast, potatoes with bacon and mushrooms cooked in goose fat’.and cakes for this coming festive period.
Okay, usually we show the certificate at the end, but this time, I shall show it at the beginning, and treat the rest of the post as a flashback....
It is definitely good news to us kitchen enthusiasts, who wish to enhance our culinary skills with french sounding credentials, as Le Cordon Bleu has now reached our shores, in Sunway University College. I felt young again, as I waded through the sea of young adults, all in pursuit of a higher education. Oh, hangon, I am young, what am I talking about.
Participants are given a goodie bag that include a chef's toque, an apron (that requires a phD to assemble), and recipes for day. Actually, it's not so much a recipe as an ingredient sheet, for you really have to be there to know what to do with 1kg of onions, 500ml chicken stock etc .
We were ushered into the swanky new kitchens, with warnings as we entered, DO NOT TOUCH THE HOT PLATE. Actually, it's a good thing they did warn us, for some reason, that hot plate was just calling out my name to place my hands on.
The ladies preparing to do battle, as they don on their armor.
Chef Franck Bruwier is animated, and captivates the audience with his instructions...we are assigned into teams of two, at each work station, and I am teamed with Cumi, or rather, I quickly sidled up to him, as I didn't really know anyone else, and I'm terribly shy.
The arrival of some VIPs who make a grand entrance...
As I mentioned, the apron really is quite complicated, and that gentleman in the front is still struggling with it.
Our first task was French Onion soup. Did not sound too difficult, and Chef demonstrates how to slice onions without looking, not something I'd recommend you do at home.
Next he demonstrates how to use a MANDOLIN. Innocuous looking enough, but can render quite bad cuts if not careful...
Cumi cautiously rolls his potato over the razor sharp blades of the mandolin. I have to say, Ciki is one lucky lady. Cumi is exceedingly organised and neat, and made me feel like a slob, with all my vegetables and peel all over the place.
This is the end result of using the mandolin...I think we forgot to use these potatoes, as at the end, I dont remember doing anything with it.
Check out the lethal weapon..
Datin Paulene is cut for the very first time, as you can see from the stained sheets. Actually, Cheffing (is there such a word?) can be quite dangerous. You're surrounded by sharp knives, hot flames, almost like fighting dragons.
Next was pan seared duck breast in goose fat. Look at that GLORIOUS BREAST!!! Plump, fat and makes you just want to sink your teeth in.
To accompany the breast, we also used some smoked duck, which is a remarkably close substitute for bacon.
Mmmm, so good, I could eat it on its own. One thing you have to give the French, the ingredients used are always excellent.
Cumi here is multi skilled, as he can photograph and do something else at the same time. Assisting our station was the tattooed east malaysian Chef Allan, who looks like he doubles up as a shaolin fighter in his spare time. You do NOT want to get into his bad books alone in a dark alley I swear. In addition to being well trained with the use of knives, as I said, he also looks like some martial arts proponent.
The breasts fits snugly into the pan....
As I was saying, he is very multitalented. Frying and shooting at the same time...
The seared breast resting on a grill, as the juices flow.
Magret de canard roti, pommes cocottes au lard et champignons a la graisse d’oie is the name of the dish we were preparing. These vegetables are sauteeing to make a sauce for the duck.
This is one instant when too many cooks do not spoilt the broth, but rather, enhance it.
Allan, me and Cumi. Actually Allan recognised me from the last issue of Flavours, and asked me if I was fattyboy...close nuff...
Champignons sauteeing in my favourite ingredient, butter.
And tah dah, our finished product. As time was running out, we did not have the time to plate our creations onto fine bone china, and dine there with a glass of wine. Instead, we were allowed to "ta pau" our duck and soup home. Sigh, there goes the glamour.
However, it did make a LOVELY dinner at home....the duck was juicy and tender, though I am sure it would have been much nicer when it was hot.
The French onion soup is REALLLY good, if I may say so myself. The sweetness from the caramelized onions is amazing, and its not a difficult dish to make, although time consuming. And honestly, quite economical as well.
Just look at that!
Read my workstation mate's account HERE.
Upcoming courses include:
7thDec 2011, Wednesday, and 9thDec 2011, Friday
Sweet temptations. Let your sweet tooth take you on a journey. It’s time to bake!
Financiers, Gateau Et Gateaux De Voyage “Financiers, Cakes and Pound Cakes”
.Quatrequart the vertet aux pamplemoussesconfits
Green tea pound cake with comfit grapefruit
.Weekend au citron
Lemon pound cake
Small almond cakes
Sunway Le Cordon Bleu
Institute of Culinary Arts
Mail: 5, JalanUniversiti,
Phone: +603 5632 1188