Tuesday, May 02, 2006
A Pirate's Life for me
Eyepatch = Sex Goddess
From the files of "Just How Clumsy CAN She Be," we have this little gem. Today for Dining Room, we met at the main Fine Technical College campus for a job fair. Not a lot of culinary stuff there, but it was something a little different. We go back to our campus to see a demo of the tableside cooking that we'll be doing in the coming weeks. Me and a couple of class mates were in the Cafe, and I was going to go and put my hair up in its pathetic little ponytail...someday, I'm going to write a children's book about the saddest, tiniest ponytail for all those girls out there with thin, baby fine hair. I get my little makeup bag out of my book bag and promptly drop it on the floor. I bent over to pick it up, and WHAM! I hit the corner of my eye on the edge of one of the dining room chairs. The pointy edge, I might add.
**** Here's where I insert the "not for the squeamish warning", even though it really wasn't that bad, but sometimes people squee out when it comes to eyes and blood. : )
*^#^&$%!!, I said, and realized that I was seeing red, literally. Not good. The other two chicks in class grab me and drag me to the bathroom so we can inspect the damage. It was looking pretty gross at first, but it finally stopped bleeding, and we slapped an ice pack on it to try and control the swelling. Chef offered to cut it out for me, but I assured him that kind of plastic surgery would not be necessary. Sheesh...do I ever feel like a dumbass? And my eye still hurts, to boot. Ah well, The Man always says I'm the kind of girl who could pull off an eye patch.
On to the tableside...
The good news is that we don't have to do the actual tableside cooking for at least the first week (NEXT WEEK!!!!) and possibly the second week; two of the chefs are going to be doing the actual cooking, thank heavens! Chef demoed the fresh guacamole we would be serving, a classical Caesar salad with the egg yolks (pasteurized of course) and anchovy in the dressing, Steak Diane, Soft Shell Crab Menuiere, and Strawberries Romanoff. Pretty fancy high-faultin' stuff, ain't it?
I was really looking forward to tasting some of this and so was the rest of the class. Alas, we were thwarted by a prospective student and her father who were touring the campus. They walked by the cafe with the campus tour guide and saw we were setting up for a demo and asked if they could watch. Of course they can, and wouldn't they be great guinea pigs to practice service on? Snort. They really were excited about this opportunity and quite enjoyed it, so it was really hard to hate them. We all told her that she really should enjoy it now, because she wouldn't get to eat like this in class for a loooooong time.
During the demo, Chef talks about the history of some of the food...the Caesar salad was made famous and named after a restaurant owner, Caesar Cardini, who invented it in Tijuana, Mexico in 1924. Someone asked about the "Diane" in Steak Diane, and he said it was in honor of Diana Rigg...the rest of the class sort of looked around with the "Diana who?" look. He looks at me, because he knows I'm the queen of pop culture and let's face it, the oldest one in the class, and I pipe up with "The Avengers?! Emma Peel? Catsuit?" ...crickets... He just shakes his head and goes on.
According to jamesbeard.org, "a mere 40 years ago, Steak Diane was the height of fashion in grand dining rooms across America. The highpoint of the meal came when a waiter in jacket and bowtie flamed a diner’s sirloin tableside before his very eyes! There are a number of variations on Steak Diane, but most call for butter, shallots, mustard, cream, Worcestershire, brandy, and a match. The dish is said to be named for Diane, the Roman Goddess of hunting; many game dishes also use her name. The origins of Steak Diane are shrouded in mystery. Food experts place its creation variously in Australia, Brazil, or New York. Those in the last camp argue that Steak Diane evolved from steak au poivre in the 1950s, a period in American culinary history when waiters loved to play with fire."
And, who doesn't love to play with fire? Especially when you can take a mere mediocre $19.95 dinner and jack it up to $29.95 or even $39.95 by adding a little "cook before your eyes" magic. Heck, I'm flaming everything from now on! Macaroni & Cheese Flambe, anyone? Oreos Diane? Cheerios Jubilee?
"The roof! The roof! The roof is on FIRE! We don't need no Bananas Foster, let the motherf*cker burn!" (with apologies to Rockmaster Scott And The Dynamic Three)