Lets rewind a little and start from the beginning. Every year there is an auction for the Boca Chamber and there is one item that is always bought out by the same man, J.C. Perrin, President of my schools CAAB (Community Academy Advisory Board). The item offers selected culinary students from West Boca High to come to your house and serve you and your guests a dinner. Chef Hall (Head of the culinary academy) asked me to participate and so I joined in. Everyone gathered at the school kitchen in the afternoon. The 4 ProStart team members came along with my friend Paige who just came back from her student of the year competition and Helcio who won the Top Chef competition at our school (read blog “ The Troy”), and a couple of other students were there from the academy as well. The menu for the dinner was as follows:
Tuscan stew with pan seared fish topped with spinach and cannelloni beans.
Mixed field greens with a white truffle vinaigrette wrapped in grilled zucchini served with marinated cherry tomatoes and baked brie with almonds.
Roast sirloin of beef with a shitake mushroom red wine demi glace, served with spaghetti squash and asparagus and roast fingerling potatoes.
A phyllo cup with vanilla bean ice cream topped with a banana foster.
It really was an out of this world menu! It started out with everyone prepping the ingredients. I seasoned and roasted the sirloin along with the potatoes. I also baked the smoked sausage in puff pastry for the appetizers. Paige seared the fish, Helcio made the spaghetti squash and asparagus with Carla (ProStart team), while Angelique (ProStart) prepped for the flambé (which would include an action station). When we got to the house we unloaded all of the food and equipment and set up in their kitchen. We then counted out the plates (eighteen people were expected to be there) and set them on the round kitchen table. I got to serve the appetizers, which consisted of smoked sausage in a puff pastry cup and a Capri sandwich made with portabella mushrooms, fresh mozzarella, cucumber, basil, and tomato. There were cucumber rounds with a crab and lobster salad as well. The night continued and more guests arrived it was time to start plating. One of the team members had begun to shift some plates around and the table turned over. I covered my eyes and turned away as 100 plates came crashing down. The sound of shattering plate’s caught the attention of every person in the house. We got lucky however and only the extra plates broke. Later I got to plate the salad with Angelique and announce the third course or entrée. The best part of the night was being on the action station and getting to flambé. Flambé is when you caramelize something such as bananas with brown sugar and cinnamon (banana foster), then you add rum and tilt the pan just enough to touch the flames of the stoves. The whole pan ignites and bursts into blue flames. I stood back to avoid getting burned. I actually touched my eyebrows to make sure they were still there. The night was a success with the exception of falling plates. I couldn’t provide pictures though because students aren’t allowed to use phone’s at events, so I apologize, but you can use your imagination to visualize it. Keep on Cooking.