Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Week Two- Internship Experiences Galore at Black Star Farms

Revold Road Sunrise on my way into work 

Internship- Black Star Farms
Steph Sheffer
Week 2

I spent an entire evening researching what I could do for my very first breakfast at the Inn.  Once I came up with a plan and a recipe to work off from, I ok’d it with the chef the day before and then I experimented it on the family at home. 
My test run plate at home the night before

I decided to make a crustless quiche since I would be cooking for a smaller group that morning.  The Inn can accommodate up to 20 guests at a time, this particular morning we would be serving 6 guests.  I used ramekins to cook my quiches that had to be done in the oven inside a water bath.  At home when I practiced I found a few things that didn’t work quite right or needed to be changed.  This was good for when I recreated them for my first breakfast because they came out really nice.  
There are a lot of things I would do differently now- but for a first try this was alright :)

Most breakfasts at the Inn are expected to have a starch, meat of some kind, vegetable, sauce and a garnish.  There is a little bit of room for changing this up, in the case of a sweet breakfast like waffles you may omit the veggies or you could be creative and put your veggies in the waffles!  So for my first breakfast I made “A crustless roasted vegetable quiche with a Red House White and Crimson tomato sauce, finished with Raclette cheese.  I garnished it with a fresh chive and rested the quiche on top of some wilted spinach too!  I had two guests hug me after the finished breakfast that morning and one couple even clapped in applause.  It felt good to have accomplished my first breakfast at the Inn so successfully.

Another aspect that is required when you work at the Inn is to create appetizer plates for “Hospitality.”  This is the reception that the guests can attend when they first arrive that offers wine tasting and a few appetizers to celebrate their arrival.  For the second week I am put in charge of creating some of the appetizers.  Chef Jon helps me with a few ideas that have worked in the past, but gives me some room to come up with my own too.  One of my first appetizers I created was asparagus wrapped in prociutto and then baked in the oven with a Parmesan garnish.  They turned out really nice!

I also had an opportunity to shadow Chef Paul this week at the Hearth and Vine.  This was a really great experience as well.  Chef Paul cooks an entire meal for their patrons out of a  wood-fired brick oven!  They can only accommodate up to 20- 25 reservations at the Café, which does a lunch menu of pizzas, salads and sandwiches in the daytime and then transitions to the more formal dining restaurant in the evening.  I helped prep a lot of the elements of dinner that afternoon while also having the chance to create a few pizzas and learn how to use the brick oven.  I had a great time and was completely enthralled with the talent of Chef Paul, as he would create up to four entrees at a time in the brick oven that evening.  He was like a one-man band, completing five different tasks at a time to complete each entrée.  Every single patron that night was gushing with compliments. 
Chef Paul in action- cooking with the brick oven- very cool!

-The brick oven with dinner being created inside

One of the plated dinners that evening

I am starting to see why I love culinary so much.  There is a specific artistry that each chef applies to his or her craft.  I love how we are creating not only great food, but touching all the emotions and senses that are required to make our food memorable.  At Blackstar the culinary staff is contributing to a very satisfying experience for all their guests and patrons.  Every person that I have seen experience a meal here, leaves with such satisfied smiles and gushing with compliments.  I love it here!