Pretty good way to end the day: crime fraiche, steelhead roe, chervil, leek pizza.
This is a brief account of my first day as Garde Manger at Chez Panisse. The shift is supposed to be 6 AM to 2 PM. I worked 5:40 AM to 2:15 PM. It was a Wednesday, meaning it’s supposed to be a little more easy than the other days but there is a lot of prepared food to inventory regardless.
- Arrive at 5:45 am
- Get an inventory sheet and mark stuff for downstairs
- Inventoried downstairs walk-ins, meat and vegetables
- Inventoried outside walk-in
- Inventoried prep food walk-in, which was packed with unlabeled stuff I had trouble identifying. It took me half an hour at least to get through it.
- Took out duck fat
- Met with Chef and went over to do items
- Explain list to interns
- Change into whites
- organize all the walk-ins
- Squeeze tomates and set softies to roast
- Set up for 9 o’clock meeting, put out some shell beans
- More inventory for ordering – dairy
- Go to storage next door to look for medium hotel pans
- Go to a different storage next door and finish ordering inventory and getting restock stuff
- Restock oils and dry goods like flour and sugar
- Go back and get more stuff from storage that I forgot
- Place orders
- Meeting @ 9 am
- Go over staff lunch with Chef: 20 meatballs, cucumbers, what I thought was yogurt but was actually onion rings in buttermilk, couscous, butternut squash ravioli, lentils, potatoes, cauliflower, aioli
- Put away orders
- Put fish away, which means set up an ice tray for each kind of fish, separate for upstairs and downstairs and then label and cover each type
- Bring stuff to the office for them to do: shell beans
- Put stuff away for downstairs to use according to their list
- Make staff lunch starting @ 11 to serve @ noon
- clean up station
- clean all the walk-ins and reorganize
- clean up lunch
- Inventory and restock from storage
- Meet with downstairs chef about their list
- Top fennel and beets
- clean up
- clock out at 2:15
And I’m spent.
I made this entire dinner that I found in Tablet… which I won’t even describe. It’s a recipe for Salmon a la Nage and lemon verbena honey ice cream, all adapted by David Tanis. I copied and pasted it all below but you should also go read the article about Chef Tanis because it’s pretty interesting.
Salmon à la Nage With Ginger-Cilantro Butter
(PLEASE VISIT THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE BY CLICKING HERE)
Adapted by David Tanis from Chez Panisse Cooking by Paul Bertolli with Alice Waters
4 ½ tablespoons very thinly sliced carrot rounds (1 ½ ounces)
3 tablespoons very thinly sliced celery from the heart (1 ounce)
½ cup very thinly sliced yellow onion rounds (2 ounces)
3 sprigs fresh lemon thyme
2 stems lemon grass, pounded
1 large sprig Italian parsley
½ cup Sauvignon Blanc
1 ½ teaspoons salt
For the herb butter:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 small shallot (½ ounce), finely diced
1 inch of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 handful cilantro
Zest of ¼ lemon
Pinch of salt and pepper
½ tablespoon thinly sliced chives
Four 4-ounce pieces of salmon, cut 1 inch thick
handful of spinach
1. Prepare the court bouillon by putting the carrots, celery, onion, thyme, lemongrass, and parsley in a non-corrosive pot large enough to hold the salmon pieces side by side with room to spare. Add 3 cups of water, the Sauvignon Blanc, and salt to taste. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook very slowly for 20 minutes.
2. In the meantime, prepare the herb butter: Mix the butter together with the ginger, lemon, cilantro, salt, and pepper. Set the butter aside in a small bowl and keep it at room temperature.
3. Taste the court bouillon and correct it to your taste for salt. Bring the court bouillon to a bare simmer and add the salmon. If you are using a small pot, the salmon will be submerged and will require about 3 to 4 minutes cooking time. (It should be removed when lightly undercooked in the center. With a small knife, part the filet to check.) Otherwise, gently poach the salmon slices, cut side down, in the hot liquid for about 2 ½ minutes on each side. Do not raise the heat during this time. Transfer the salmon to warm soup bowls and put a dollop of herb butter on each slice. Add the spinach to the hot court bouillon and ladle the liquid with the spinach over the butter and salmon, add some of the vegetables from the pot to each bowl, and serve, sprinkled with the chives.
Yield: 4 servings
Lemon Verbena Honey Ice Cream
Adapted from A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes by David Tanis
2 cups whole milk
1 cup loosely packed lemon verbena leaves
1 cup heavy cream or crème fraîche
¾ to 1 cup honey
6 large organic egg yolks
½ teaspoon salt
1. In a medium stainless steel pan, warm the milk until it comes to a low simmer. Turn off the heat and add the lemon verbena. Let steep, covered, for 15 minutes or so, until the milk has a faint lemon flavor.
2. Strain the milk, discard the verbena, and return the milk to the pan. Add the cream and honey and warm gently.
3 . Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks with the salt in a small bowl. Gradually whisk 1 cup of the warm milk mixture into the yolks to temper them, then add the contents of the bowl to the milk, cream, and honey mixture. Cook gently for 5 minutes or so, stirring diligently, until the mixture thickens slightly, enough to coat the back of a spoon.
4. Strain this thin custard into a large bowl and set aside to cool. Once cool, chill in the refrigerator overnight.
5. Freeze the custard in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. After churning, transfer the ice cream to the freezer for an hour, then serve (or store it in the freezer and leave it out to temper for 15 minutes before serving).
Yield: about 1 quart
Clinton made an appearance at Cal last week and we figured he might go to Chez Panisse for dinner afterwards, so we went. Just in case. He didn’t go but the meal was still incredible. It was my first visit to the cafe in over 3 years and it was better than I remember.