This week’s restaurant service was a challenge for me and I’m glad it was. It was better experience than last time but there’s still room to make it better.  I was in the third course group, fish. There were three of us: Rob, Zeynel and me. First day of preparation went the worst out of the three days dedicated to this service. It was the preliminary preparation and I was super board, we could only do the chicken stock and court bouillon to cook the fish in it the next day, and peal onions. It’s not a lot of work for three people for a whole day and I was walking aimlessly around. It’s one of my least favorite things, just after carrying heavy stuff around for no reason. I also didn’t feel that good due to other reasons so it only made it harder. Then we were asked to help the other groups. First thing was helping the Scallop group open the shells and clean a huge amount of living scallops. It was exciting to see the scallop mussel moving like a beating heart when scooped out of his shell with a spoon. I also learned to clear the intestines of the scallop in seconds. Opening the shells I only had the chance to do 5 times so I’m still pretty bad at it. Next thing we could do is help the quail group clean and clear the insides of about 40 quails. This was my favorite part of the day. Pulling the insides out and finding un-mature eggs inside, it was disgusting but I loved it!

The next day we planned perfectly the timing of preparations of our dish for the dinner service. I was appointed the “chef de partie” of the group (chef of the station) so I had to divide the tasks, make sure everything’s going by the plan and later on be responsible to take the orders when they are coming, and communicate with the other chef de partie of the fish group to send our plates synchronicity. This was awesome task to do when we were doing the service itself. Such a rush and excitement.

The service: Everything was ready at 19:15, we were standing in position, waiting for an order as if waiting to put on a show. It was very much similar to that. When the orders came in there was a confusion at first because we have to wait for our time to plate but when we started getting into it, it was fabulous. I wish I could make a movie out of our service but I was obviously not able to. Anyway, the fish in the beginning  looked a little bit poor because we didn’t know if we have enough of the better pieces and this fish is so sticky and slimy it kept sticking to the non-stick pan. Finished our first day pretty exhusted but very happy with the outcome. We sent a total of 35 plates that dinner. There were some tables mixups and I made one mistake of sending 2 instead of 3 plates to a table so we had to do an emergency plate. Arrived home after 11:30 PM, and woke up at 6:15 AM to make it by 7:45 back to the kitchen to start prepping for our lunch service. It’s so hard to wake up so early, and start working right away! The good thing is that we had more time to do less things. We could put more effort of making it perfect. The sauce came out so much better, the fish set up after cooking the previous day and was easier to deal with, the quinoa salad was more moist and the plating looked a lot better. We sent something like 27 dishes that afternoon and they all looked delicious. The synchronization with the other group was so good, we practically put the plates on the pass the exact same second at times. Now I’ll let you enjoy the pictures.

Amuse bouche #1: Oeufs Toques, Mini cress. Soft egg cooked in its shell, savory whipped cream, cress and herb butter crouton

Amuse bouche #2: Espuma de tartiflete en coques de pommes de terre, Lardons croustillants. Potato cylinder filled with bacon, cheese and cream foam and onions rings

Entrée #1: Noix de Saint Jacques Marinées, Saveurs Marines, Aigre Douces. Fresh scallops, mango sauce and vinegar sauce, with turnip, Nori and edible flowers

Entrée #2: cromesquies with pork terrine

Poisson #1: Aile de Raie, Quinoa en Tajine aux Herbs Harissa. Hake over Quinoa with onions, safaran and ginger sauce, salted lemon and herbs.

Poisson #2: Œufs Poches aux Coquillages, Compotée de Tomate, émulsion Moules. Soft Boiled Egg, clams emulsion

Viande #1: Caille Rôtie, Jus se Salmis, Pomme de Terre Confite, Puree d'Echalots et Chou Vert. Quail filled with mushrooms and foie gras baked and braised, ragout sauce, Potatoes cooked in butter, Shallots puree and green cabbage

Viande #2: Rable de lapin farci en porchetta, ziti en croute de parmesan, jus court a la sauge. Rabit stuffed with Pork, Pistachio and Pesto on top of Pasta with a Parmesan Cheese Crust and a Reduction of Stock, Port and Wine

Some of the steps along the way:

Oeufs Toques (Ihsuan and Olive):

All the water cress came inside their pots

After practicing a whole day, their eggs toques looks perfect!

Filling the crouton with herbs butter

Eggs cooked by the order! That's no easy

Cress arranged in small bouquets

The kitchen ready to start the service

While service, cooking 70 eggs in about 30 min

Weird how french love an egg as a starter in their dinner. It's very popular apparently

Noix de Saint Jacques Marinées (Shane, Adrian, Claire and Andreea):

Fresh Scallops, a lot of them!! About 500 euro worth

Friendly or mean? Probably mean but we treated them worse. Still alive that scallop.

First step is to crack open the shell, being careful not to damage the noix (the white mussel)

They had about 25 trays

Step two is to remove all the unwanted parts like guts and stuff

End of step two. It can be cleaned and cooked inside the shell and served like that. But not this time.

Step 3 is to scoop them out of their shell. They resisted.

Step 4 is to clean and dry them off

Factory work

In the end they counted more then 300 scallops

Every scallop sliced to three thin circles and cut to perfect circle, then emerged in citron-olive oil

Cleaning the edible flowers

So pretty!

Every flower serves a purpose

Plating

Looks beautiful

Cromesquies:

Pork terrine sliced

Anu putting his plates on the pass

Look from above

Nicely presented

 Aile de Raie (Rob, Zeynel and me):

Dried fennel

Fragranting the cooking water with dried fennel

Water with some fragrance to cook the fish in it

Raie came, it's like Manta ray fish

Cooked for few minutes

Skinned

After cooking, still sticky and slimy

Slicing finely a huge amount of onions

Result

Cooking the onions in butter and olive oil, with safaran and ginger.

When it's translucent add chicken stock

Cook with the chicken stock for 30 minutes

Strained from the onions and back to reduce the sauce

Adding more stock and leaving to reduce

Poured over the onions from before. The sauce is ready

Cooking the quinoa with chicken stock

Until they pop in your mouth

Slicing red chilies

With Mint, Coriander, parsley and raw garlic

Salted lemons

Mise in place ready for the service

The station in the middle of service

Plating

My order intake system, with a marker over the stoves itself 🙂

The final dish

View from above

Poisson station well communicated 🙂

The fish in the first day looked a bit poor :/

Œufs poches 

The group plating

The cooked eggs waiting for their time

Mushrooms

Served with foam and a caramel of some sort

 Caille Rôtie ( Barbara, Ericka, Daniel and Alissa):

Birds in their preliminary state

Burning feathers left on the bird

Cleaning the persistent ones with a knife

Gutting. With the eggs found inside the belly (yellow balls)

Wish bone is taken out to cut it easily

Boning

The ready carcass

Making potatoes pilers

Chopping the mushrooms

Potatoes cooked in butter

Quail stuffed with the mushrooms and foie gras and wrapped in plastic vacuum, cooked in a steam oven

Split in the middle

Yummy!

I think it was my favorite dish of the meal

Rable de lapin:

The pasta with the cheese before baking

After baking

Sage chips

Looks great, I only tasted a bit of the rabbit. I wonder how was it all put together

All the left overs waiting for us to finish cleanings and be taken home 🙂

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7 Responses to Restaurant service #2

  1. Ema Irit says:

    אני שוב המומה מכמות העבודה המטורפת על כל מנה ומנה ובודאי על כל ארוחה.(-: זה מסביר ומוכיח שבאמת ארוחה מסוג זה שווה הרבה ויקרה בהתאם מכיוון ומושקע בזה המון שעות,מאמץ,ובעיקר בעיקר המון אהבה

  2. Sharin says:

    wow, that’s a great collection of good plates!!
    I liked all – the colorful Entrée #1 is my favorite, the rabbit pasta is also cool.
    I was a little afraid from all the guts and the feathers..

  3. Alon says:

    We are definitely coming for dinner!

  4. Elisheva says:

    I loved the Pasta “Rafts”! I would float them on a sauce…. to never never land!

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