some photos from patisserie class

some photos from the first three weeks of patisserie. been tempering chocolate, doing chocolate work, made a cake, working on things for plated desserts for the restaurant, ciabatta bread, other stuff. learning a lot and having fun.

some filigrees from week 1:

assembled into a nice piece that can go on a plate:

an army of filigrees:

cake with green tea, chocolate, and pound cake layers.

buttercream to cover it:

made some chocolate spikes, rings, etc.

assembled and put as cake topper:

lots of cakes!

chocolate flower:

chocolate pots:

ciabatta bread!

first night of service – green tea cake with dacquoise (crunchy bottom) and greek yogurt yuzu mousse, mango orange gelato on a hippenmasse leaf (like fortune cookie), and chocolate pot with strawberry/raspberry compote and creme anglaise. very nice and delicious!

second service night – dark and white chocolate butterfly on chocolate spike, creme brulee on top of ginger tapioca in puff pastry shell, strawberry/raspberry compote on a small hippenmasse chip + some chocolate and creme anglaise sauce. those butterflies were hard to make and really fragile, but very pretty! also quite tasty.

alan wong’s

my brother and sister-in-law gave a very awesome christmas gift – gift certificate to alan wong’s. we finally had the chance to try it out. we got the “tasting of the classics.” the food was good, but it was SO much. we are not small eaters, but i was totally stuffed at the end. i think maybe they could reduce some of the portions… or not offer so many entrees in the tasting menu, like it would havae been nice to have a salad instead of say the lasagna. anyway, next time we’ll order ala carte so we won’t be so full.

“Soup And Sandwich” Chilled Vine Ripened Hamakua Springs Tomato Soup Grilled Mozzarella Cheese, Kalua Pig Sandwich

look at that huge cheese thing! this is what i am talking about… it’s like the size of half a sheet of paper! nice cheesy kalua pig sandwich, creamy tomato soup.

here’s a picture of the soup:

Chopped Ahi Sashimi and Avocado Salsa Stack Stacked on Crispy Won Ton, Spicy Aioli and Wasabi Soy

this was good, although i am not a huge fan of crispy won ton, but that’s just me. we saw the appetizer size of this thing and it was ridiculous. it must have had a diameter of like 4-5″.

Ginger Crusted Onaga, Long-Tail Red Snapper Miso Sesame Vinaigrette, Organic Hamakua Mushrooms and Kahuku Corn

both of us chose this one as our favorite, although the fish could have been seasoned better. the sauce went really well with the fish and the corn. also, cameron is not really a big fish person, so it’s unexpected that this was his favorite.

Seafood “Lasagne”

this was good, but so rich! nicely cooked seafood in here. this about where i started to get quite full…

Twice Cooked Short Rib, Soy Braised and Grilled “Kalbi” Style Gingered Shrimp, Ko Choo Jang Sauce

the eggplant needed some seasoning. the shrimp and short rib were good, but i was so full!

“Mini Coconut” Haupia Sorbet in a Chocolate Shell, Tropical Fruits and Lilikoi Sauce

when this came out, we were like, “are you serious???” look at it, it’s huge! i think it would taste better without all the coconut shavings on the chocolate, was a little too coconutty. i was so full already though, so it was hard to enjoy this…

anyway, the food was good, but next time i’d rather order ala carte because the classic tasting menu has too many entrees and too much food. i couldn’t really appreciate the last few dishes because i was too full. also that dessert is kind of ridiculous. anyway, we had a good time! we’ll have a better strategy next time :)

menchanko tei

the other day we went to try menchanko tei on keeaumoku. it used to be in waikiki; now it has moved to the location where two of our favorite restaurants once existed (taishoken, which had the yummy tsukemen and go shi go, which had the yummy udon). hopefully this place will survive! the restaurant is part of a larger chain so we can hope.

i tried the menchanko ramen:

i enjoyed it very much. it has thick noodles and a light, drinkable broth. there’s a good variety to the toppings – shrimp, pork, mochi, chives, tofu, and that tofu thing. nicely balanced bowl of noodles, not too heavy, just right!

they also have katsu, nabe, other noodles. i’m not sure if i will try those though because i really like the menchanko one… maybe cameron will try them!

they had this cute drawing to advertise the chicken nanban set too…

i love cute drawings of food…

last day

today was my last day at my computer job. one more month, and it would have made five years. i will definitely miss the people there, but i think it’s a good time to move on. part of the reason i started going to culinary school was because i felt frustrated at this job. i wanted to try something different, not just look for another job in the tech industry. i didn’t think i would actually become a cook though. i mean, it’s hard work being on your feet all day, the pay is way lower than in the tech industry, and i had no experience before i started school. probably a more rational person would not do this, but i found out i like being in the kitchen and making food. i have more energy overall when i work in the kitchen instead of at a desk. i feel like by making food for people i’ve done something useful and hopefully made some good food for people to enjoy. i don’t really know why, but i guess this is how i am. so i’m going to go with it and see where it takes me. i’m not very good at planning life or making the most rational decisions, but i try to follow my gut. everyone says life is short, so if we can, we should follow our dreams, take chances, and see what happens. we’ll see what happens!

july 4 dinner

my mom said i should try to keep up my blog… good advice, mom!

anyway, on july 4 i made a five course gluten-free meal (also dairy free and nut free) for ten people. first course: corn chex crusted fried shrimp with a basil lemon aioli and some bell pepper confetti. this dish was cameron’s idea. corn chex is an excellent gluten-free frying material. it’s good for making chicken tenders too.

second course: kalua pork taco with fresh salsa on a freshly made corn tortilla. i started making my own corn tortillas with masa harina (buy it at the store and just add water and salt). i like them a lot better than the ones you buy in the store. the kalua pork is made in the oven with some salt and liquid smoke. local cocktail tomatoes with some jalapeno, onions, cilantro, lime juice, and salt.

course three: red and green lettuces grown in maui, locally grown corn, tomatoes, and cucumbers with a strawberry lemon vinaigrette. the maui lettuce we get at costco. i like salad with all these good fresh ingredients :)

main course: mochiko chicken (no shoyu so gluten free) with sweet chili sauce (orange from food coloring…), tamaki gold rice, and kale with some caramelized onions and dried cranberries (if this wasn’t a nut-free meal, i like to toss in some toasted chopped pecans or other nuts). this mochiko chicken recipe is cameron’s favorite from all the gluten-free stuff we tried during his food sensitivity diet. i’ll post the recipe later.

dessert: gluten-free angel food cake with fresh strawberry sauce and a chocolate soy anglaise. the angel food cake has some tapioca flour, rice flour, corn starch, and potato starch.

anyway, it was a good meal, and i think everyone enjoyed the food. the gluten-free/dairy-free lady who came also got some new ideas to incorporate into her cooking so that’s good. i guess i learned a lot during the six months we were cooking gluten-free!