This week we took part in an event that took place in school, called “Village des Chefs“. French chefs living and cooking abroad are coming to our school to cook with ingredients they brought from all over the world. We were told they will show some demos, there will be many workshops and we were all assigned to one. I was very excited, special event, us and world chefs, new ingrediants, I was assigned to the Vietnamese workshop in the sous-vide kitchen, sounds very good, I still didn’t learn to sous-vide and I love Vietnamese food. I had high expectations.

The problem was that no one knew what was going on. It took forever for our chefs to point us to the right place to go, then the chefs had to take a break before we even begun. We waited for a long time, in an unfamiliar kitchen, board. Then they came and we had to start moving stuff from one place to another without knowing what’s going on. The rest of the day still felt like that, not knowing what’s on plan and what are we doing and what’s the purpose of all this. For some people it’s fine to work like that but for me it’s annoying, I prefer knowing what we’re up to.

Also we were not alone there, the French 3 year cooking programs students were with us. They just finished one month in their program, same as we, but they were more in numbers and familiar with the kitchen so it felt like they’re a lot more dominant there. Many people in one small kitchen is hard, it’s hot and crowded, and things keep disappearing. Anyway, this is what was going on eventually in pictures. Hard to get it from the pictures, but I was board most of the time, looking for interesting things around other kitchens and practically tired of just standing for many hours without a purpose.

The event was sponsored by President and sweet potatoes. Many of President products were just placed at some places. Look at that: an instant sauce bechamel, just add milk and get 25 liters!! Dad that pic is for you.

Wear hat signs

This package for us, workshop 4. With the names of the chefs

The french students

Then came the chef and started taking out herbs he picked up the day before in Vietnam

Then opened a carry-on filled with spices, his own brand. He opened them, one by one.

He put everything on the table and then started explaining about each and every one of them, in French obviously

Not sure how he brought that with him on a plane

And more stuff

Some kind of citrus

When he explained about every product, he passed it between us and we all smelled/chewed/tasted it.

Many mixes for different things

It was before lunch, we were hungry, tasted all these spices, there was even a fish sauce aged for 25 years. Strong smell!

Some spices heat on the stove, to get their flavor out

A camera crew was taking pictures and video of the event

Me and some very orange-old ginger

The mango! very ripe and good

Then he took these rice paper

Buttered it

White sesame

Black sesame

5 spice mix and to the oven. Was pretty good

Green young rice in a banana leaf, you can eat it like that, uncooked

For lunch we were told there’s a buffet for us with the chefs on the school restaurant so we went there Claire Blaise and me, Noticed we’re the first ones to be there from our group. Saw these beautiful appetizers:

Started eating some but then the mistake was discovered, and we were sent to eat in the cafeteria! Bummer!

Came back and started working on the dishes the chef wanted to present. Not knowing what it was exactly, just started prepping vegetables.

Peeled asparagus

Then sliced 🙁

Then the chef plated the first dish of mango and a beef carpaccio spring roll:

Vietnamese leaves

Sauce made from: fish sauce, soy sauce, 5 spice and olive oil

Beef carpaccio

Roll and cut

I tasted it, the rice leaves were not soft enough but I like mango and beef. Very simple

Then, about 3 hours later, he plated his pho plate

All the garnishes

The soup

I tasted that as well and I wasn't that impressed, he brought all these spices with him but didn't use all that much, it was mild, and the Brussels sprouts were under cooked! Well, one girl cooked it from the french program, it's not his fault.

Most of the time in between I was walking around other kitchens and this is what I saw here and there: One Mexican female chef wanted to prove a 5 meals course could be made from avocado. Interesting.

Main course: grilled avocado

Avocado soup

Goat cheese and avocado salad

Avocado mousse for dessert

Other workshops stuff:

The square I tasted from the dessert section :))) The crumbs were delicious and the cheesecake on top as well!

Beef squares, the tastiest dish of the Cambodian chef

Other stuff:

5 trays of brownies

The fridge filled with goodness, not for us

Sometime in the middle of the day we figured that this day was only a demo for these dishes and what were doing is the prepping for 100 plates of each of these things (no sous-vide at all for me) for a special dinner we aren’t gonna take part in. Bummers. Well, different day but happy to be back to usual.

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4 Responses to Village des Chefs

  1. Nachman says:

    thanks for the instant bechamel sauce photo – but really – what is the point? no fun in that!
    I love making bechamel… I hear that for large amounts you use hot milk and cold roux, instead of the other way around… is that true?

  2. Ema Irit says:

    כן כן אני מודה אני סיפרתי לו
    חוץ מזה מלא מנות שלא ברור מה הם – זה יפה אבל לא ברור מה רואים

    • Mashav says:

      I didn’t know more than that, so I’m glad I could create the feeling of confusion I had.

  3. Sharin says:

    The confusion upsetted me too!
    There were many nice dishes, but it’s not nice of them not to tell you why are you cutting and preparing everything..

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