Last week was the Easter holiday and I thought I’m gonna have Monday off work because the restaurant was closing. Instead, I found out about another one of Le Squer’s restaurants in Bois de Boulogne called “La grande Verriere“. I was sent to work there Friday and Monday and the next Friday after that. It’s a rather new restaurant in the middle of this kids Park with little train and little amusement park. It’s a big (300 seats) family restaurant with a snacking menu, a gastro menu and a kids menu.
Entering the new and pretty kitchen, partly open to the dinning room, we found out we were only 6 people in the kitchen, 3 of whom are part of Ledoyen’s staff. I was put in charge of the lettuce. Washing, drying, cutting and storing 4 types of greens.
After lunch I had all kids of other things to do. I made a very large amount of Cessar salad dressing which contained to my surprise milk and chicken stock as well as the known ingredients.
Then I was cutting things like bread for the croutons and chorizo to branoise size. It was pretty calm and relaxed day. Not many people came to eat. They mainly had the kids chicken fingers and hamburger, and anyway we the stagieires were not part of the service, just prepped all day. Nonetheless, everyone was very nice and welcoming, it was a nice change of atmosphere. The downside of this kitchen is how big it was, having to clean the whole space with the dishwasher on vacation. Not fun.
Monday we were more people in the kitchen, and four of us stagieiers spent all day turning 5 huge boxes of baby artichokes. It took forever and had to be perfectly turned. As annoying as it was, and as black as my finger became by the end of the day, it was a good practice to a technique which is the reason I’m doing the stage. While in school we learn how to turn it, we only had 2 artichokes to turn and now I can proudly say I can turn the hell out of an artichoke.
Tuesday till Thursday I spent back in Ledoyen as usual. Friday we came back to help with a 250 people cocktail party. Turns out the artichokes were turned for this event.
We were practically busy the whole day sticking little things on skewers. For the cold entrees we made salmon escabeche (semi cooked marinated salmon with carrot flower and red onion), artichoke with seaweed powder, mango lollipop with dried black olive powder, raw bar with lemon and a champignon with cilantro. We had 6 of these sticks put inside a wooden platform and made dozens of them. It was a huge mess. The artichokes were too cooked and fell out of the sticks, the mango was too soft as well. The sticks were not matching the holes in the platform.. But it was fun to “plate” all this amount of little things, and mostly, funny. Then there were hot lollipops with the same principle. We made shrimp wrapped in filo, fried balls, nems… And then to finish the meal with some more skewers we served the desserts on sticks as well. There was a chocolate dipped strawberry, salted caramel with nuts, pâtes de fruits, chocolate crunch square and pineapple with coconut and lime shreds. I could only take picture when it was finished and everything went calm again. All these desserts were leftovers and we had the casual bite here and there (constantly). It was delicious.
Then we went back to prepping, peeling shrimps, chopping herbs, learning funny words in French and cleaning the big kitchen for two hours.
All in all I liked having few days with a different atmosphere, doing something a bit different. This restaurant is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year, which I understand now means they can always send me there whenever there’s a holiday, a day off or whatever. Stagieires don’t get holidays off!