Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Class-Second Harvest Culinary Class

Mike and Greg Give Cooking Class

Well, we hosted the cooking class last Monday, and it was awesome.

This 16-week cooking program is geared towards people that are low-income or recieving some form of state assistance to train them in a field so that they can become employable. 12 week course followed by 4 week internship in a catering facility. Throughout the 12 weeks they attend a series of ServSafe classes daily and will be certified ServSafe at the end of the program.

Currently, the program is funded by Second Harvest Food Bank and the United Way and is really a great program, which is why I chose to get involved with them.

The Premise

The premise for the class was to hang out with the five students, do some stuff with some beef tenderloin and go home, but what happened was a little bit out there---CheffyStyle...

Walking in the door

Walking in to the kitchen was a far cry from what I was expecting but it was right up my alley anyway...

This catering kitchen is a part of the Knox Area Ministries and thanks to donations and funding available offer this culinary course and feed the sixty plus residents of the mission but also another 200 homeless three times a day.

So what started out as playing around with five students for a couple hours, within the next two hours we are going to design, develop and execute a function for sixty people, while we are talking about tenderloin, how to clean it, where it comes from blah, blah, blah...

Let the games begin....

Let's Make Some Food!!!

Greg and I started just pumping through the walk-in having the Chef tell us what we could and couldn't use out of the walk-in's and just changed for quite a few people, Greg and I were having a freaking blast, this is right up our alley....

So we settled on ground sirloin wrapped in bacon like a filet...with a beef base brown sauce made from veg stock and mirepoix finished off with a sweets vidalia jam that was pretty rocking for what it was...also had mashed potatoes, asparagus in cheese sauce and baby vegetables tossed in garlic and butter

The class was more than I was originally expecting, first, I was expecting to do lunch with a couple people and just feed us, but when Chef Allen opened up the opportunity to do lunch for the sixty with whatever we could come up with out of the walk-ins with only a little over two hours to design it and pump it out, Greg and I were all over it, it was right up our alley, unfortunately in our professional lives one of our greatest attributes is the innate ability of pulling a meal out of our ass in a hurry...

Anyway, Greg and I went through the walk-ins and freezers and planned on both meals, the sixty plus and then started figuring out what we were going to do with the tenderloin.

Once we got started on lunch, and had the proteins ready for firing, Greg started on the cleaning of the tenderloin explaining about the cut of the meat, where it's from, buying meats etc. while showing them how to properly clean one.

In Walks The TV Cameras

Allen tells me that someone had gotten a hold of the TV station and they are going to be coming down for a little while and shoot us while we are cooking the meals and giving the cooking class.

So he took some shots of Greg while he was cleaning and talking to them about the tenderloin and meat in general, they took some good shots. While Greg was doing this, I am still working on some of the loose ends that needed to be tied up for us to have service in an hour.

So although I am still prepping food for this sixty that we are about to do, I talk to the TV dude for a minute-talking about RestaurantEdge and how this is one way for us to give back to the community not only as a business, but as people that love food and love expressing their craft especially when you can instill some knowledge, passion and creativity.

Man! Do I love food....

The Tenderloin
Greg had 'tenderloin' duty...

So after we had finished with the sixty, we cleaned and re-grouped the kitchen and then started in on our lunch...

I had roasted sliced whole russet potatoes in a garlic-cream, and we used the leftover vegetables from lunch.

Out of the tenderloin, Greg and I decided, (more Greg, the tenderloin part was his baby, with the CheffyBabbles intefering when he had a point to make about what Greg was talking about) that we would make:

Beef tips with onions grilled on a flat top, so that we could explain the use of a quick rub for meats.

A psuedo-Steak Tartar made out of the hangers

A petite filet topped with a Chiptole Gouda Brown Sauce

And roasted the tail end to show explain roasting methods and a different method of using rubs.

It was a pretty cool experience....

Allen said that we could make this a recurring theme with his other classes if we wanted, I don't know about them, but I had a real good time...

Real Food by Real People

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