1. culinarian247

    culinarian247

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    I have come to a eye-opening truth about myself; I am not good at Garde Manger. All of my other culinary related courses I do real good in. Saucier, supposedly the toughest class in our curriculum, I am kickin' butt in. Why can't I pull it together for Garde Manger? I get to the class and I turn into Forrest Gump. I need to pass this class and I am falling flat on the ol' face. I wish I could get tutoring like the general ed classes but it's not possible. My only comfort comes fom knowing that on May 15th the pain will be over. The semester ends. Is there anything I can do that will help me pass this class?
     
  2. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    I'm in my late 40's and am coming to grips with my own mortality. I cannot do everything and am learning to be satisfied with what I know without being complacent. :chef:
     
  3. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Well life is not really like a box of chocolates, if it is, you're in the wrong class! You gotta love lettuce to do good at Garde Manger. :) I kid, but I also don't. Garde Manger is the least respected of all departments (think salad girl) but one of the most difficult of all jobs. Find your respect for the position and see what happens.

    So what's bugging you about this class?

    Kuan
     
  4. suzanne

    suzanne

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    Are you talking about making those inedible aspic-armored buffet fantasies that you only see now at competitions? Turning apples into swans, gourds into vases, and jicama into bunnies? Ice carving? That's what I'm assuming, since I doubt you would have any trouble with the cooking part of a regular restaurant GM station (plating salads, cold apps, and desserts; making vinaigrettes and other cold sauces; etc.)

    To me, the key to doing that, umm, artsy-fartsy stuff is simply HAVING PATIENCE. It's the one area where you have to take the work slowly. The funny this is, when I started school I thought maybe that was the kind of work I wanted to go into (in spite of the fact that I can't draw to save my life ;) ). But once we got to that unit, I realized: NO WAY. I just don't have the patience. Sure, I produced a lovely cold salmon with radish scales and olive eyes. But OMG, waiting in between all those coatings of aspic, and frilling scallions to artfully arrange around it? :mad:

    So, if that's what's troubling you -- don't let it get to you. As always, do the best you can. Use your analytical skills to break the job down. Take it one step at a time. Try to visualize the stuff you're making, and fix the image in your mind.

    Okay, sweetie?

    Love, Mom

    PS: if you really DO mean the salad- and mayonnaise-making bit -- then you're no son of mine! :mad: :lol:
     
  5. culinarian247

    culinarian247

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    I DO mean the artsy-fartsy foo-foo stuff, mom. I'm still your kid (fingers need not be crossed). :D The part I don't "get". In sauce class I'm a totally different student. I nail 99.9999999% of the sauces assigned. Pobody's Nerfect. As with sauces, I respect Garde Manger. Mostly because my instructor is phenomenal. Any would-be chef worth their weight in foie gras will be knowledgeable of all aspects of the kitchen. I think it would be total irony to find me as the GM chef somewhere soon. It always seems to go that the most difficult class ends up a top subject for you. We shall soon see.


    Mom, I can plate a salad......................I think :D

    Sonny Boy
     
  6. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    Culinarian, I wouldn't worry too much about it. Sure it is important to know all aspects of a kitchen, and be able to ''hold your own'' in any station, but you don't need to be perfect at every one of them. I know many chefs that are not as talented as they would like to be in one area or another of the kitchen. I am definately a ''hot line'' kind of chef. I love sauces, grilling, roasting, sauting, etc. but when it comes to pastry and GM I am just not that great. That doesn't mean that I can't do it, but I accept that others are better at it than I am and so I find those people to work for me. To me that is part of being a chef-realizing your own downfalls, and finding people that you trust to take on those areas. Don't get me wrong, I am not advocating that one should just give up or not worry about certain aspects of the kitchen. As a chef, you should know all areas in a kitchen, and should be able to perform quite well in each. But again, realize (except for very few chefs) you cannot be a master of all of them, especially in such a short amount of time such as school.
     
  7. panini

    panini

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    Sonny,
    I got in touch with my GM side probably well before you were born. I apprenticed with a gentleman who I would say had surgeon like qualities. Like someone said in a responding post, you must understand the products you are working with. My mentor taught me that understanding how to make terrines, curring and smoking salmon, knowing where the fish comes from and what it eats etc. Studying and understanding the charactaristics of the items you are working with is the basis of GM. The decorating and garnishing comes after that.
    Like a surgeon, you really need to understand the body before working on it.
    Just some thoughts.
     
  8. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    GM takes from all skills, and I really mean all. You have to know how to handle a knife, you need to know you hot sauces before you can make a chaud froid, you need to know how to bone a chicken the right way for a galantine, make stock, etc. You gotta know how eggs work and how to make pate brise. You gotta know the "salad" stuff like vinaigrettes, the proper way to clean lettuce, zest an orange.... The "salad" stuff can be a whole semester in itself already.

    It's a tough class but very important in understanding how your raw ingredients work and how to make them work for you. Makes you more creative.

    Kuan