Michigan ~ Day 18

Argh!!! Second day completely without internet or phone service, I am NOT happy. It wouldn’t matter so much except that today is Paco’s birthday and I can’t even tell him happy birthday!!!!

I didn’t make it off the farm at all today. Which is absolutely fine, but I sincerely hope that Mum and Dad aren’t worried about me due to not having heard from me in a day and a half.

I came into a kitchen that would have made any chef I have previously work with cringe and possibly want to cry. I visibly cringed and probably very audibly groaned and automatically thought, Jared would be so exasperated, Chief would throw a fit… 

I got that into order as quickly as I could, but not as quickly as I would have liked.

It was our busiest day of the year so far, but it went smoothly – BoH-wise, anyway. I was able to jump out twice when Ben needed to leave the tasting room. This conversation was fun:

guy: She’ll have a glass of the Pinot Gris, and I’ll have the Regatta.
me: *pours glasses, presents glasses*
guy: That’s a glass?
me: Yes.
guy: That? That is a full glass?
me: It’s a five-ounce pour.
guy: Wow, you guys are stingy, aren’t you?
me: *smiling* Five ounces is a standard pour.
guy: *looking incredulous* Standard where?
me: Standard in the industry. It’s twelve ounces for beer and five ounces for wine. That’s how bartenders count drinks, and it’s based off of how much alcohol your body can process in an hour.
guy: Oh yeah?
me: Yup.
guy: Where were you trained?
me: The Midwest Culinary Institute.
guy: Yeah? Well, you need to go back.

I just laughed and handed him his check. At that point, I’m pretty sure he was just annoyed that I had an answer for everything he shot at me. And that I was smiling the whole time. Some people, man… some people. It was the ‘stingy’ that got me; otherwise I probably would have tried to be a bit more… I don’t know, pacifying? my trained self was officially offended =D Hey, it’s ok. I was laughing when I told Scott and Ben about it.

Throughout service, we prepped for our first Farm to Table dinner. At a Farm to Table dinner, all the meat is our own meat, and all the greens are picked within the 48 hours prior to the dinner. The menu was as follows (and I shall comment along the way, which is easier):

First Course: Beef & Black Bean Soup w/ Cilantro Pesto

Aside from the cilantro in the pesto probably being the ridiculously awesome-in-its-hugeness tub of cilantro which I chopped in my first week, I didn’t have much of a hand in this at all. The soup was done, as was the pesto, and all I did was follow Scott ladling soup and spoon pesto into the middle of the bowl. I couldn’t have the pesto, but I got to taste the soup, and it tasted sooooo good, similar to meat-and-bean soups that Mother makes =) It made me feel *happy* inside.

Second Course: Salad of Mixed Greens, Pond Hill Farm Bacon, Charred Tomato Vinaigrette, Poached Egg

Greens, bacon, vinaigrette: self-explanatory. We also garnished the salad with cherry and heirloom tomatoes which we ended up just snacking on afterwards. There have been a couple times where KK will walk in and give me a present of a just-picked cherry tomato =) Nothing, nothing beats just-picked tomatoes. There are no words. And as for the eggs, they were brought in that morning and had never hit the refrigerator. Isn’t that awesome??

Third Course: Grilled Pork Loin w/ Rhubarb Compote

I am the grill-master xD I am immensely proud of my crosshatch grill marks. We grilled them rare and brought them up to temp in the oven when it was time to plate. The pork was served on a bed of kale sauteed in bacon fat, with a generous spoonful of rhubarb compote cascading off of the pork. It was such a beautiful color contrast – the deep rich green of the kale and the bright pink of the rhubarb – and flavor contrast, the kale being slightly bitter and the compote being acidic/sweet.

Dessert: Strawberry Rhubarb Tartlet w/ Basil Creme Anglaise

The shells were a lemon short dough which I did not make, but which I helped pat into pans and bake off. The filling was a mix of our strawberry preserves, sliced strawberries, diced rhubarb, and perhaps other things I didn’t catch. We had the creme anglaise on the plate, with what I’m guessing was strawberry sauce – maybe it was raspberry? – swirled through it, the shell at 10:30, filling scooped into the middle, and fresh leaves of basil as a garnish.

I met friends of Chef Ketover! They saw my jacket and asked if I actually went to MCI/UC. They asked for pictures with me, and they said they would show Megan when they saw her in a couple of weeks. It was great =)

The complete lack of stress was absolutely amazing. When it was time to clean up, yes, I suddenly felt exhausted, but I honestly didn’t feel it until the very end. Scott said, “I don’t think I can let you work FoH for these events.” He elaborated that what he meant was that he liked having me in the kitchen =) I knew that. But he wanted to make sure I wasn’t offended and thinking it meant I’d be bad at FoH. Lol. Oh, we were going over the schedule and I was trying to figure out if I’d be able to go to the midnight premiere of Spider-Man.

Scott: I could give you the 3rd off and you could work Sunday-
me: Nope! Sunday off, don’t bother.
Scott: Oh, so you’re choosing God over Spider-Man again, I see how it is =D
me: God is ALWAYS over Spider-Man.

On that note, goodnight =D

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