Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Eat your greens: brussel sprout salad, cactus pads, broccoli soup and spinach fettucini

Team A served nopales (prickly pear
cactus pads) in a salad and on toasted pita. 
Team A students Chuck (L), Jessica(C) and
Tom (behind) tuck in to Team B's buffet.

Last week our Advanced students returned from Hamilton Farmers' Market with a small mountain of fresh veggies, pumped with the spirit of competition. It wasn't exactly an Iron Chef face-off - more like a friendly round of pick-up. Divided into two teams, their goal was to turn out the best buffet of vegetable-based dishes they could muster. They had to include six vegetable dishes and two meat dishes, and had the chance to prep everything a day ahead.

For two hours they cooked up a storm, but their participation didn't stop when the stoves were turned off. When the two tables were laid, each student sampled foods from the opposing team's buffet, writing a critique of each dish with reference to cooking technique, seasoning and creative use of the ingredients.
Chef Bill (L) and Chef Greg (R)
sample and mark the students'  efforts.

The spread offered a great variety of dishes, and everyone on campus - students, staff, and even the visiting computer technician - got in on the exercise. The newest Basic students, still engaged in the theory part of their studies, tasted and critiqued alongside the Advanced students.

Our chef-instructors did their own evaluation, sampling and marking each dish, but were also watching how the students functioned as a team, organized their time and workspace, presented their dishes, and marked their fellow students' work.
To see more photos, visit our Facebook page.

Team B's dishes: clockwise from top left: broccoli soup, vegetable sushi,
 curried potato croquettes, parsnip & carrot hash, rice pilaf, veal stir fry,
Waldorf salad and vegetable lasagna.

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