My Creations, Places I like

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tourne Girl

    Ahh, where do you start when it comes to tourne girl...first off she has an actual name (Leah) so you don't think she's a weirdo just known as "tourne girl". One day a few of my comrads and I were sitting down to a nice dinner from K-16 (main production kitchen) in Farquharsen--the main dining hall on campus known simply as "farq". We all are sitting there, me still being in total awe of what I get to eat everyday even though it was a product of K-16 (you'll know what I mean when you read "the ex-girlfriend") when Leah comes and sits down at our table with us. It was only the 2nd week and up to that point I had only known her as my server in East Wing dining hall during orientation, but she knew some of the people at my table. The topic of "tourneing" came up and from there the legend of "tourne girl" was born.
    Many of you are probably asking yourselves, "but Pete, I do not even know what a tourne is? What does it all mean?!?" Well let me hit you with some knowledge. A tourne by definition is a 7 equally sided vegetable cut that yields a garnish looking very similar to a football, as shown below.

Mine don't look like this...
    These deceptively difficult little demons got introduced into our conversation (always animated and outlandishly inappropriate) and I made the best decision of my life; which was to inquire how the hell you cut one of these suckers. Leah (sitting next to me) wielding 2 potatoes says "anybody have a knife". Nobody had a paring knife with them (we usually have knives with us at all times...don't F with us), which is the ideal tool for the job. Jokingly, someone sitting at our table said "use a butter knife" and before I knew what was happening, Leah...I'm sorry, "tourne girl" was cutting and trimming part of the potato into what you see above; which is not the actual one she did...that would be creepy if I kept that (polishes off finger prints, returns potato to glass case).

"Call me the bus driver cause I'm takin' ya'll kids to school"
    Each side she slowly carves with the care and precision of a surgeon, and she's doing it with a dull ass butter knife. A few minutes and boom, a football-shaped tourne ("Laces outt") emerges from her crafty artisan hands. Mouths open and wide-eyed (except Eric, hes Asian) we all gawk at what we just witnessed: the birth of "tourne girl".
Me watching in awe...but with a shirt on

    For me, "tourne girl" represents the true magic and inspiration of this school. For me, tourne girl represents a new start. A step in the right direction at a place that pumps out more culinary gods than any other place in the world. A place where you can walk by people in the hallways everyday and say to yourself "they're probably going to be famous one day". "Tourne girl" is not a person, tourne girl is an idea. The idea that after 3 years of struggling to find my footing, my perseverance lead me to a place where people can tourne potatoes with dull butter knives, where culinary legends the likes of Grant Achatz, John Besh, Richard Blais, Anthony Bourdain, David Burke, Michael Chiarello, Michael Symon, Cat Cora, Rocco DiSpirito, Steve Ells, Todd English, Charlie Palmer, and Rick Moonen, all built their culinary foundations and refined their skills. I am walking the same path that giants have walked, and if you cannot get inspired by that then I have to question, what are you doing here?
    I know my posts (especially recently) can get a little lengthy and philosophical, and at times seem less about the actual food. It's important to understand that this blog is not just about food or pretty pictures of it, but everything that goes along with it. To me, food means something and this blog is a vehicle for me to express how I perceive the things around me; while also giving anyone who reads this a tiny glimpse into who I am. The name of this blog is "Food For Thought" after all. I didn't choose the title because I thought it was some clever pun to name a food oriented blog. On that note, don't worry, once I get some pots and pans up here and start progressing through the curriculum, you will see more fascinating photos, stories, recipes of my own, etc.

    Disclaimer: Leah, if you ever happen to read this post which is highly unlikely, I hope I didn't embarrass you, and I also hope you continue to kill it every single day.

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