My Creations, Places I like

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Demo Mania

    One of the added advantages of going to one of the best culinary schools in the world, if not THE best (depending on whom you ask) is that you get the very best industry leaders to come and speak or do a demo right on campus. At any given time something might be going on in either Danny Kaye Theater or Anheuser Bush Theater. And it's not just culinary icons wowing CIA students (if its someone famous, get there super early); a lot of times its student-run clubs putting on a demo (you'll see pics later), or an instructor doing a chef demo. For instance, there is a Spanish wine tasting tomorrow night? I mean COME ON!! Your not going to get this stuff at your everyday community college culinary program (suck it J&W). After the jump I have a ton of pictures from the demos I have attended over these first few weeks.

 Half Hog Demo

The 1st day I was there I saw this flyer for a pig breakdown demo...why the hell not, right??

Gone hoggin'
Shoulda been more headstrong...                

Sorry for the low quality resolution, I had to snag a shot of the pigs head (my camera phone needs a sniper scope attachment)

Spherification Demo:

watermelon sphere with basil oil

    Spheres are a molecular gastronomy technique where you add drops of a liquid to a water + sodium alginate mixture. I don't know the exact science of it so here is a link if your interested in learning more. Its fascinating, I'm just too tired to read up on it right now.

 Chef Demos:

 Chef Eric Levine!
 1990 CIA alum
Chopped Champion
Executive Chef--Montammy Golf Club
Owner of EXQ Consulting
5 time cancer survivor
Cookbook Author

Chef Levine was a ROCKSTAR! I went to his demo to see plating techniques (do's and don'ts) and food photography (obviously none of my photos are making it to food and wine magazine...). After the demo, chef Levine stuck around to answer some questions before he headed back to NJ. I figured I would ask him a few catering questions since my former (maybe still current?) boss Kim Klopstock ran a highly successful catering company of her own. Seriously, if you live in the upstate New York area or anywhere for that matter, and need a caterer, call Kim Klopstock. She's an amazing woman, and a delight to work with (just don't let her catch you cutting green peppers incorrectly...your already dead). Anyway, I figured I would ask chef Levine one or two questions tops but the guy was so awesome I ended up talking to him for over an hour after the demo about everything from his catering business to chopped to his new lease on life (5 time survivor of cancer will do that to ya).

 Chef Graham Brown

Chef Brown travels the globe educating chefs, and young culinarians on the delicious cuisine of New Zealand. We ate New Zealand lamb and venison along with giant mussels topped with sriracha-mayo (Thai hot sauce taking the country by STORM) and caviar...I'd fight a homeless man naked in a hail storm to get those sriracha-mayo covered baked mussels again... 

Heat Transfer/mandatory/snooze-fest Demos:

    Occasionally our chef will require our entire kitchen class attend a lecture/demo Monday nights. We have had 2 of 5 different Heat Transfer Demos so far and they are horrible to the Nth degree (hmm I wonder what cooks faster, small dice potatoes or large dice potatoes?). The only bonus is that I volunteer to help set up the demo ahead of time with my group leader, Eric and others from our class. When we arrive we work directly with our chef so you can understand why its an added bonus (chefs talk to each other about you, so it better be because your a boss and not a goon. Word to the wise).

Quail Eggs babyyy!

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