Saturday, April 25, 2009

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Going to a barber school and paying for a service may get you some mixed results but going to a culinary school for a student dinner seems like more of a sure thing, especially when these students are at the end of their nine month program. It will be H’s turn in a few weeks to be part of the team putting on the event, but on Thursday, the three of us got to be guests at one of the other group’s dinner. A. was very excited about going. She said, “We get to get dressed up and eat a fancy meal. We don’t eat this way.” I looked at her and she corrected herself, yes thanks to H’s practice meals, we do eat this way, but usually we’re in our comfy clothes aka pajamas when we are doing it. I was looking forward to it because it had been a particular nasty day at work (wish I could elaborate) and I was looking forward to participating in what felt like an episode of Top Chef.

The students get a budget and with that budget they must transform the lecture room at culinary school into a restaurant by renting dishes, linens, glasses, decorating the room, coming up with table d├ęcor, and then of course, all of the food and beverage. The three of us sat at a table with some of H’s classmates and really enjoyed ourselves. This particular group of students were lucky to have some pastry students in their group so there was a variety of homemade bread and a spectacular dessert course as part of their 7 course tasting menu. The theme was Mediterranean port cities, with each dish originating from a different port. They even had a belly dancer come out and perform in between some of the courses.

A side note, as we arrived at school one of the pastry classes was just ending and the students were walking out of class with the most beautiful lemon tarts beautifully decorated with meringue and some of the students were giving these away to school staff and some of the cuisine students. I thought to myself, if I worked here I wouldn’t be able to fit through the door with so many opportunities for delicious desserts.

Each course was served with a different wine and the dessert course was served with a shot of Kahlua. By the time that course came around I had stopped drinking since at the end of the night I was the one driving us from the train station to our house, but all of the beverages really complimented the food. A. stuck to water that was decorated with mint leaves, so no detail was missed.

There were a few misses regarding preparation. My favorite courses were the gazpacho and the beautiful tiramisu. A. tried everything and was also crazy about the tiramisu. It was nice to be the two people at the table just enjoying the food and not critiquing everything as the other students were. They were all busy thinking about what they plan to do differently when it’s their turn.

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