Well hello, it’s another week! Every day has been bringing me new situations, and new problems to solve, and new lessons to learn. Good thing, or else this might get boring! Maybe.
Anyway, I worked on my knife skills a bit, because they are sorely lacking. It’s sad! What did we train me with? Chutneys! And fruit puree. Today, Carlos, my trainer, made apricot and black currant chutney to be eaten with the cheese plates served in the evening. He makes it right behind the counter, and boy did it smell delicious. The aroma just permeates through the entire store (which goes back pretty far).
He also made an interesting new recipe-pear puree with caraway seeds. It has to set overnight, so we won’t be able to test it until tomorrow. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of it. It did taste very unusual, though. It’s not every day you see caraway seeds in any recipe. I’m excited to see what can be paired with it! The recipe suggested dry jack, Mimolette, and garrotxa, all of which are fairly mild.
Hmm….oh yes, today, I got to meet our store’s pastry chef. I liked her right away, and I am very excited to see what she is going to prepare. What I love about my work is that things are always changing. The employees are constantly thinking of new recipes, and the management is constantly asking for new ideas. I feel like I can be part of something really creative. Moreover, the clients recognize this, and the store has garnered quite a following, considering it has only been open for about 10 months. Anyway, getting back to the pastry chef-she made a delicious three-layer chocolate cake covered in dark chocolate ganache. Her next creation we are going to roll out is a bacon chocolate cake. I haven’t tasted it, but the others have, and apparently it is heavenly! Here is a shot of the chocolate cake if you are curious:
In addition to working on my cutting skills, I brushed up on my wrapping skills. Everyone has a different method. The head cheesemonger, my predecessor, and the manager all have different methods. I try and use the French method I saw while in France, which consists of pleats, but for unusual shapes where I have to ask the head cheesemonger, I just use his method, which looks like petals folded over each other. As long as the cheese is neatly wrapped, it probably doesn’t matter. However, to neatly and quickly wrap takes some practice! The client I helped today was incredibly patient as I stood there trying to neatly wrap his cheeses and slice of chocolate cake. I will get there. It’s really just the first time I have tried this method, so it will take some getting used to.
Yes, I did manage to try some cheeses today, but I am going to have to wait for another day to write some reviews and long descriptions on them. The cheeses of the day were: Cashel Blue, a creamy blue cheese from Ireland; Vella Dry Jack, from Sonoma, California; some TRUE gouda from Holland (like like!); and Moliterno with truffle.
Starting next week I think, the store is going to be selling sake at the bar. That means that we’re going to have sake training tomorrow afternoon. Aware of my nonexistent alcohol tolerance, I’ve already planned for a way to get home without driving. I’ll let you know how that goes. I’ve never been a critical sake drinker, but it should be interesting!