culinary school- week 7 (140 lbs)

Monday was the first of 2 seafood days. We began by killing and processing a live crab (done by plunging the tip of a cleaver down into the centre of its head, then swiftly chopping through its body, severing it in half lengthwise). Next came the demo showing us how we were to kill a lobster (these are smart, social creatures who know what 'up; not to mention that they can keep twitching for up to 20 minutes after they are killed, even if they have been cut up into pieces). As the tip of the instructor’s* chef knife sliced into its skull and he skillfully twisted its head in reverse to its body.... without warning, out of nowhere; I lost it. I was crying for about half an hour- had to sit out of class and the whole lobster slaughter. I suspect it was an accumulative response not only to all of the animals we have been working with so far this term….cows, pigs, fish, poultry and game, but also a deep sorrow for all animals that have ever suffered and lost their lives in order to be our food, our scientific research, our shoes & handbags, our livelihood, and our sport- so very often without the respect, awareness and gratitude that they deserve.

*It is important to note that our instructor, Chef Ian, was teaching us the quickest and most humane way to kill these creatures. Both crabs and lobsters are often killed by plunging them into boiling water, and crabs often have the shells ripped from their backs when they are still alive. We were shown how to kill as swiftly and efficiently as possible, in order to minimize their suffering.

I finally composed myself and returned to class. The (lobster) bisque was delicious. I don’t at all mind being a cry baby, but am rather uncomfortable realizing what a hypocrite I am.

Mid terms are coming up for 2 days of next week….so I’m off to study. Here is a list of what we made in week 7:

Killed & Processed Crab and Lobster
Crab & Corn Chowder
Lobster Bisque
Seared Tuna Carpaccio

Restaurant Day (Seafood….)
Lobster Salad
Prawn Seviche
Seared Scallop w. Tamarind-Orange Sauce
Crab Cake w. Salsa & Chili Sauce
Crab Salad ‘Sandwich’ (w. Salmon Gravlax)

Stuffed Quail w. Cherry Red Wine Sauce & Yam Puree
Fried Escalopes of Sweetbreads w. Potato Anna & Bernaise
Crepes Forestiere (w. Duxelles & Morney Sauce)

Mussels & Venison….
Venison Steak w. Garlic Flan, Blueberry Sauce & Parsnip Garnish
Mussels & Frites (w. Garlic Mayonnaise)
Cheese & Pepper Biscuits

Lemon & Basil Scones
Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Cookies
Orange Almond Lace Cookies
Morning Glory Muffins
Poached Pear Tart w. Crème Patissiere & Red Wine Glaze

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