Cocktail practice

Last week I had the opportunity to be the chef’s assistant for the upper-level cuisine student’s final demonstration class. I helped to pipe cream, bake macarons, fill jars, deep-fry and garnish these cocktail appetizers for their class.



Of course these aren’t actually the final plated dishes. I took these photos after the finished dishes were eaten. The squid ink-brushed macarons, for example, were served in scallop shells as they are filled with a salted cod brandade.

March 13th, 2017


Salmon and sea bass terrine with spinach, basil and beurre blanc sauce

This dish is yet another terrine. It was cooked in a loaf pan but sliced and plated for the photograph.

Terrine de saumon et bars aux épinards et basilic, sauce beurre blanc

Beurre blanc sauce is just so lovely and glossy when it’s done right. I found the crisped sea bass skin was a nice touch for texture contrast.

Salmon and sea bass terrine with spinach, basil and beurre blanc sauce

March 13th, 2017


Duck terrine with pistachios, cranberries, and brandy with Cumberland sauce

Terrines are apparently a very, very big deal. This dish is garnished with orange and lemon zest, pea shoots and basil. I find that the Cumberland sauce tastes terrible on its own but makes some sort of sense when tasted with the duck terrine. It’s mostly Port wine, anyway.

Terrine de canard aux pistaches et canneberges avec sauce Cumberland
Duck terrine with pistachios, cranberries and brandy

March 12th, 2017

Venison medallions and cured freshwater fish filet

These dishes feature Canadian specialities: freshwater fish (walleye and trout), venison (deer meat) and morels (black mushrooms).

Médallions de cerf, polenta crémeuse aux champignons, purée chataignes
Venison medallions with mushroom polenta and chestnut puree-filled morels

The venison is topped with crispy fried sage leaves and garnished with a refreshed venison jus.

Venison jus

The second dish I made was essentially warm salad. The cured fish was torched à la minute on the skin-side only to give a slightly caramelized appeal.

Filet de doré et truite mariné aux herbes salées du bas de fleuve, salicornes en salade
Cured walleye and trout fillets marinated in herbed coarse salt, over a bed of saltwort, asparagus, arugula


March 12th, 2017

Proulx Sugar Bush & Berry Farm tour

Last weekend I went on a field trip to a maple syrup farm! We enjoyed a very Canadian brunch and tasting.

My classmates and I tasting the different forms of maple syrup

I hung out with these two horses, Sparky and Winston, as well as our fantastic tour guide.

Selfie with a horse!

This goat also kissed my cheek (and then tried to eat my hair.)

Selfie with a goat!

Finally I did the most Canadian thing of all: rolling hot maple syrup onto a stick in the snow to make a lollipop!

My maple syrup lollipop

It was a pretty great adventure.

March 5th, 2017

Blanc manger and braised pork shank

These are dishes from what is apparently called “DOM-TOM”: Départment et Territoire D’Outre Mer, or in other words, Departments and Territories overseas from France. This includes areas such as French Guiana, French Polynesia, and Bora Bora.

Blanc manger noix de coco et fruit de la passion

Coconut and passion fruit cream dessert, which closely resembles panna cotta.

Jarret de porc en cocotte, riz créole, salade d’ocras et sauce chien
Pork shank, creole rice, gumbo salad and “dog sauce”

I learned that gumbo salad is a cold salad featuring okra. I have also learned that the french word for “okra” is “ocra”, which is a close call away from “orca”. To be clear: this is not a killer whale salad.

March 5th, 2017

Gnocchi, three ways

The first type of gnocchi is how gnocchi is enjoyed in Paris.

Gnocchi à la Parisienne

Yep, it’s pretty obvious that this one collapsed in the centre once the steam escaped before I took the photo.

Gnocchis made with choux paste

I was actually supposed to fill the bottom of the ramekin with bechamel sauce so that it wouldn’t be, you know, hollow on the inside. My bad.

Gnocchi à la Romaine

My classmate who lived in Rome and attained a master’s degree in Italian cuisine claimed that this is not actually what gnocchi is like in Rome.

Polenta gnocchi

Needless to say, there was some argument as to whether or not this is gnocchi or just oven-baked polenta.

Fried polenta gnocchi, with a smoked cayenne aioli
Pan-fried polenta gnocchi with a parmesan tuille and twig of roasted thyme
Gnocchi à la Piémontaise ou à l’Alsacienne

This last one is the gnocchi I am familiar with. Potato gnocchi with fresh sage, capers, parmesan and butter is hands-down undeniably delicious in my humble opinion.

March 5th, 2017