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March 2006 Issue
On children growing up and moving on . . .
by Rossana S. Tarantini
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The Thursday before Valentine’s Day, I had the pleasure, and honour, to be invited to a Chef's Table Dinner at the School of Hospitality at Humber College. Those of you who read this column regularly will know that my eldest son, Matthew, is in his final year of their Culinary Management course. This Chef’s Table Dinner was the culmination of studies for students who will graduate this spring. They will go on to begin their careers as chefs and more.

For those who aren’t familiar with the term, Chef’s Tables are customary in high end restaurants where the guest, usually a regular and well respected patron, pays a premium to sit at a table in the kitchen, allow the chef to choose the meal he will present, and oftentimes, the chef will also introduce and explain each course as it is served. Much the same thing is what happened in the Kitchen at Humber that night. The Chef’s Tables were done in teams of four graduating chefs per evening, Matthew’s night happened to fall on that Thursday, along with three of his colleagues. The only tangible difference between this and any other Chef’s Table, was that the price for the meal was a reasonable $28.00 per person. There were approximately sixteen of us, all of us related in some way to one of the chefs. We were there to cheer on our children, and they in turn, needed only to cover their costs.

It was an excellent meal. They all worked together on putting together the meal and the presentation of each serving as it came from the galley area to the Chef’s Table. Before each course was brought out, the chef responsible for it explained briefly what they were trying to achieve.

For a glimpse at what they served us, I’m going to turn the column over to my son, Matt.

There were four chefs in my team that night. The Chef’s Table menu was designed completely by John-Vincent Troiano. I took charge of the appetizer. John Murphy had the task of putting together the beet and frisee salad, and Christine Morin was responsible for the dessert. When it came time to do the practice run, we each changed a few things here and there in our individual courses, and adjusted some others as a group. Mine was the first course served.

 

Lemon Maple Glazed Atlantic Salmon
(on a potato and parsnip puree with creamed spinach) Puree:
  • Potato
  • Parsnip (ratio of about 3 parsnip: 4 potato)
  • Lemon Zest
  • Cream
  • Butter (use more cream and butter than for regular mashed since it needs to be runnier)
  • Egg
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
Cook potato and parsnip in boiling water until mashable. Add warmed up cream and butter and mix, add one egg, lemon zest and seasoning.

Spinach:

  • Shallot
  • Garlic
  • Spinach
  • Cream
  • Butter
Sweat garlic and shallot in butter. Add spinach and cook down. Add cream and cook until it thickens. Season to taste.

Salmon:

  • Salmon
  • Lemon Juice
  • Maple Syrup
Mix maple syrup and lemon juice together and cook until it thickens a bit. Season salmon and sear in hot pan. Glaze the top of the salmon with the maple lemon glaze, brulee with a blowtorch. Finish in the oven.

 

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