Holla at ya Hollandaise! (Taken with Instagram at Culinary Institute of America at Greystone)
Today we took our Skills One Final in three parts:
a. 40 Minute Knife Cut Tray
b. Written Exam
c. Practical —> Sauce Espagnol, Consomme, Hollandaise, and Blanched Broccoli topped with Hollandaise.
We worked in our groups of four to five but were required to make each dish individually. Every group had a specific time by which we were expected to have all four of our “dishes” ready - hot, plated, and presented for grading.
Everything went smoothly with my production - my consomme was clear, the roux for by espagnole browned nicely, and my broccoli was blanched to crisp green perfection. Then, in the last moments of whisking clarified butter into my hollandaise, disaster struck. My hollandaise broke.
I started to panic. Luckily, my fellow team mate, Galen, reminded me that we have been trained to respond to this disaster scenario. I had no choice but to pull it together. Resisting the urge to throw down my whisk and burst into tears, I ran to the walkin for an egg, whisked up the yolk, and began to slowly incorporate the curdled greasy mess that was my Hollandaise into the yolk. It worked! As I furiously whisked, the mixture emulsified creating a smooth, lemony yellow sauce. Relieved, I tasted it for seasoning, threw some into a tasting bowl, hurried over to the grading table with my dishes, then immediately headed to the first stall in the girl’s bathroom and cried.
When I blotted the tears from eyes and returned to class, Chef assessed my dishes. He felt my Espagnole was overly thick, and my broccoli under seasoned, but he thought my consomme and Hollandaise well executed. He didn’t even know! Like a diner patiently awaiting the arrival of his Eggs Benedict, he had been blissfully unaware of the chaos involved in the food’s construction. I guess their’s hope for my culinary future yet.