Thursday, October 23, 2008

Canapé [kan-uh-pey]

1. a thin piece of bread or toast or a cracker spread or topped with cheese, caviar, anchovies, or other savory food.

Moving to a new station is like waking up in a house you just moved to. You fumble around looking for familiar things in a new environment and slowly you become comfortable in your surroundings.

The canapé station is a place for Level VI students to practice skills, show creativity and demonstrate resourcefulness. Chef Phil will come to the canapé station and say, “I have such and such in the walk-in, what can you guys make with that?” and that ingredient must become a part of our planning.

Our first night, the weather in New York City had turned colder than normal so I felt like it was a soup night. Having arrived in the kitchen a bit early, I asked Chef if there was anything we needed to use up and he said that we had a clean slate to start. So, I tossed the idea of a purée of butternut squash soup served in little white ceramic shot glasses. He liked the idea and said go for it.

When Ashley came into the kitchen, I had told her what my plan was and she complemented the soup with her ideas. Ashley baked off small phyllo pillows, we made a goat cheese/crème fraîche topping and prosciutto straws.

Chef Phil gave us this great idea to take thin strips of prosciutto and wrap them around skewers. The skewers are baked in the oven for about 10 minutes, then allowed to cool. The prosciutto straws slip off the skewers and hold their cylindrical shape.

Our canapés need to be ready to plate slightly before 8:00 pm. We usually figure out the plating design close to this time and make a few samples for the Chefs in the kitchen to munch on and give their opinions.

With thumbs up from the Chefs we are ready for service and ready to knock out anywhere from 50 to 75 small plates in the span of an hour or so. The canapé is the first impression our patrons receive at the beginning of their meal – so we need to hit it out of the ballpark.

1 comment:

Gowshika said...

Great thoughts you got there, believe I may possibly try just some of it throughout my daily life.

Blast Chillers