The last 6 months have culminated in this – the final exam. Surprisingly, I wasn’t as nervous as I was for basic (where, if you’ll remember, I got the poached chicken, which I felt was kind of insulting because it was so easy -.-). Maybe it’s because I felt more confident in the kitchen after 6 months, maybe it’s because I spent the previous day thinking of and writing down plans for every single recipe in terms of organization, how much time on each item, and the order in which to proceed.
I got the dish that I wanted the most – veal with a duxelle of mushrooms, an asparagus coulis and risotto – so I was pretty happy with that. I started with the reduction of the béarnaise sauce, then worked my meat into the circles and started my stock with the trimmings. I then finished my béarnaise sauce, which the chef said was “pas mal,” then continued with the rest of the dish – the duxelle of mushrooms, the mornay sauce (starting with the roux), and the asparagus coulis, which wasn’t really that much work. Following that, I began sweating shallots for the risotto, seared the veal, basted it, and put it into the oven to finish. While the veal was in the oven started cooking the risotto, took it out to rest, and finished everything. I plated 10 minutes before time was up – no need to hurry.
For me personally, the risotto was a bit too greasy (there was oil leaking out of the rice when I plated it), but everything else was not bad, although I would’ve liked to have more coulis. I plated 4 servings on a large silver platter with a sauce boat, and it looked a lot better than my basic dish did just because there was more stuff to do, but like in basic, I didn’t bring my phone into the exam, so I didn’t get a photo.
All that being said, though, it doesn’t really matter though – I passed intermediate!