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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Pleased to "Meat" You, Part VII--"Viva la Dream Team!"

"Come at me bro!"
    Ahh day 7, the half way mark, and the last day of swine. In class today Chef Elia broke down a primal pig loin into various parts--the tenderloin, and boneless centercut loin. Chef showed us how to remove the spine section of the loin (includes the chine bone, and feather bones...BUT YOU ALREADY KNEW THAT!!). After fabricating and denuting (removing the fat and silver skin), chef showed us how to remove the spine and ribs from the loin before tying a roast and slicing loin chops. Our production for the day was to do exactly that. We took a 15 question quiz (I only got 2 wrong), and before we begun fabricating chef came around and felt everyone's boning knives. He grabbed my friend Leah's (his favorite student by far) knife before grabbing mine. No one knew what that meant so I assumed it meant he wanted to show the class what a sharp boning knife looked like (I sharpened my knife the night before). He grabbed 5 knives in total, took a picture of them on his station and told the class to listen up. This was my moment to shine I thought. "These are 5 of the worst boning knives I have seen. If they're not sharpened properly tomorrow I am deducting points!" Well that sucks, because I JUST SHARPENED THEM 5 HOURS AGO!!! I talked to him after class and explained to him that I just sharpened my boning knife so I was unsure why he picked mine to include on his shit list. Turns out I wasn't sharpening the knife at the right angle on the stone which caused it to feel duller on one side. Being proactive, Leah and I took our knives back to the meat room after class and had Lena (the MIT for the class) demonstrate the proper technique on an oiled stone. We watched her do it, and duplicated her sharpening motion. The finished product was much superior to the knife chef looked at in class. Its crazy that I have to sharpen a factory sharpened knife after a week of use but that's the breaks.
    While Chef Elia lectured he brought up a slide of an absolutely butchered pig loin after the spine was removed. He looks at everyone and goes, "if anyone presents me a loin like this, just get out and don't come back again. If we are this far into the class and you cannot do what I show you then you don't deserve to be here, and you should reconsider your career choice all together..." Everyone was on high alert after that.
"Don't F it up, children!"
    My station partner, Zeth and I grab a centercut pork loin (the ends are removed which makes it different from the primal loin if you were wondering...hence "centercut"). We took turns breaking down the loin into the usable parts and setting aside. I removed the tenderloin, he worked the spine to free the chine bone, and I finished it by removing the feather bones before we pulled the whole spine free. Next we cut the boneless loin in half vertically to yield 2 equal pieces. Zeth's job was to fabricate and tie a roast, mine was to fabricate, denute and get the loin ready to be sliced into chops. Your station partner is crucial because you get graded as a team. If you have a slacker you are going to suffer big time. Luckily Zeth and I are a part of the "Dream Team" with Leah aka stonewall and Tim. Usually our group leader Eric makes the teams balanced with 1 or 2 strong students paired with 2 students who are not doing as well. In meat class, however, the teams were formed alphabetically so it was by accident that the "Dream Team" was formed. My team is stacked because we all work well together and can kick ass individually.

Were taking home Gold, Silver, and Bronze...if they made a diamond metal we'd take that too
2012 Dream Team: Leah aka "Stonewall Jackson", Zeth, Timothy aka "Mr. Bay Area" (yeah brahh), myself, MJ (he had a 5 day tryout to get on). If you ever wonder why they call Leah stonewall then your already dead...

     Zeth and I finish our production early and present for grading. Overall we did extremely well until he looked at our chops. The chops were supposed to be in the 3-4oz range and a few of are's were just under 3oz. I thought they were still fine but chef gave us a lecture on skimping the customer so he was hard on us. Its tough ya know? To slice off that many cutlets by hand and have them all weigh the same. We're new at this, naturally a few are gonna be a tad under (it could have been worse from what I saw in class). He seemed to be tough on everyone in that department so we were ok. In fact, I would go as far as to say we were one of the better teams in the class today. Zeth, we killed it today buddy! 

1 comment:

  1. Should I ask for a refund of your tuition? Haha