From Guest Blogger Hannah Ziegler, Spring Intern
It was once said “It is the sauce that distinguishes a good chef. The saucier is a soloist in the orchestra of a great kitchen.”
Brainfood had no soloist saucier, but the students at Columbia Heights (Tuesday/Thursday class) did construct a fantastic orchestra composed of talented string, bass, woodwind and percussion sections. Working together to create a diverse array of sauces, they challenged pronunciation skills as well as cooking skills. The students made an herbed Béchamel sauce to top tender turkey cutlets, homemade marinara sauce to dip in delicious garlic bread, hollandaise sauce to cover freshly steamed broccoli, and a Crème Anglaise to smother decadent molten chocolate cake.
These sauces are by no means simple to create. Skill is required to adequately chop the numerous fresh herbs included in Béchamel, diligence is necessary to ensure that Crème Anglaise does not turn into sweetened scrambled eggs, and patience is integral to creating the perfect Hollandaise sauce (along with the desire for an arm workout). Brainfood students succeeded in these tasks, following directions, asking for each other’s help, and creating delicious food.
Students practiced how to make delicious sauces to compliment food, not mask the taste of an overcooked chicken breast (an occasion that each of us has experienced). They learned what a roux is and how to properly prepare one, as well as how to reduce a liquid. With the knowledge of the basic components required for every sauce out there, these students are distinguished marvelous chefs, not just good ones.
Hannah Ziegler, Spring 2011 Intern who volunteers at Chinatown on Tuesdays and Columbia Heights on Thursdays.
(Quote supplied by Fernand Point)