Sunday, April 25, 2010
a Whalesbone of a time!
I found myself at the Whalesbone restaurant last Friday night. Here's what happened:
Chef Charlotte "so tonight I'd like you to bread 60 lbs of haddock, individually wrap them and then freeze them."
Charlotte "plus you'll be responsible for plating all the desserts. Half the staff is sick... so tonight is the perfect night for you to come in."
Me "is someone going to show me how to plate them?"
You might be wondering why we were having this conversation... You see, Charlotte is the head chef at the Whalesbone restaurant here in Ottawa. She rocks it. Charlotte and I have been friends now for 8 years... and we both love food. So when Charlotte invited me to learn the business and help with prep and service, I jumped at the chance to work with her. This was my second attempt and this time I was completely on my own.
Are you wondering how long it takes to bread 60 lbs of haddock? Well it took me almost 4 hours... In my defense I did plate desserts while I was breading ... so maybe that accounts for the length of time?
But I really didn't mind, you know why? Because I got to plate some heavenly desserts... a combination of Jenna's (Whalesbone pastry chef) genius and Pascale's (another friend, another chef goddess) world's best ice cream (seriously).
Mint Chocolate Chip Cheesecake... dollops of mint anglaise and chocolate sauce, the mint chocolate chip cheesecake is then topped with some mini peppermint patties, which are then topped with a cookies and cream ice cream (sigh... you should have seen the chunks of cookies in this one. amazing)
WBOH Snickers... A layer of perfectly dense moist brownie, filled with a dulce and peanut mixture, and then topped with chocolate ganache. Some sponge toffee for extra crunch and a scoop of salted caramel ice cream. A sprinkle of coarse salt on top of the brownie and bam! Party in your mouth.
Whiskey Sour... lemon curd spread on the plate, topped with light and fluffy lemon cake, which is then topped by frozen citrus mousses, whiskey ice cream (ice cream with a real punch), caramel sauce drizzled all over the ice cream and then a beautiful deep red Maraschino cherry to top the entire thing.
I had an awesome time... I've learned the following too; when you get an order of 6 desserts for the same table, plate everything EXCEPT the ice cream until you are just about ready to serve... otherwise, you'll be re-plating.
And although I'm excited to eat some breaded haddock... I don't think I'm be serving it that way in my kitchen for quite some time ;0)