I am a fourth year culinary student at the John Folse Culinary Institute. I am currently completing my second and final externship at Charley G’s Seafood and Grill in Lafayette, LA. I plan to work at Charley G’s for a little while to gain experience. I would like to try different jobs until I find the one that becomes my dream. One of the things I would be most excited to do is work as a private chef for a family, but to do this I believe I will need much more experience than I have.
To complete my externship I need to update this blog regularly (at least 27 posts), complete 360 hours in an approved restaurant, and writing a report answering questions provided by Chef Randy (the instructor).
I enjoy working different stations and learning as much as I can, and Charley G’s is a good place to start. Everyone is willing to help and teach me new techniques. We work mostly with fresh items. We also try to promote locally grown foods as much as possible, which I believe is great for our local economy.
Today was my last official day as an extern. It was not sad though because I had already talked to Chef about continuing to work after. It was really just a normal day. Being a Monday it was really slow; we did maybe 30 covers between the dining room and bar. Because it was a Monday and we were slow I prepped as much as I could to prepare for the week. The station was pretty much wipped out from the weekend so I made crab cake mix, compote, plated snails, and coconut shrimp.
I was very happy to hear I could continue working there. It is a great place to gain experience and their is still much to learn working there. I am excited for the new chapter in my life to start as a regular line cook. I will be graduating in a few months and this restaurant is a fabulous place to begin my career.
This is my last full week as an extern. The week progressed as usual, the only difference being a dishwasher was fired. This was the dishwasher that did not show on a day he was scheduled to work. We were all surprised to see him walk in his next scheduled shift. The managers tried to call him with no response. He also did not call in to say he was not coming or that he could not make it.
When he came in his next scheduled shift he was let go. He told Chef he did not know he was scheduled to work, but because the schedule is made and out where we can see it was not a good enough reason. He also had many other strikes against him for showing up late to work, not performing all his duties, etc.
Other than that incident the week progressed as usual. We were slow at the begining of the week and busy during the weekend. Their were no other problems with my coworkers.
My last few posts will be weekly post because I have reached my mandatory post for my report. In these posts I will touch on the important parts of the week.
This week I learned a valuable piece of information. I was making a vinaigrette in our blender. It was a small batch so their was no way it could have been made with our large immersion blender. Because the blender was rough the sauce broke. I learned that by using a tablespoon of mayonnaise it could be fixed. Chef had me add it to the blender and slowly pour in the sauce. It still did not help, so remembering the mini catastrophe making an aioli in a lab class I told Chef I would do it by hand. I added another tablespoon of mayonnaise to a bowl and mixed the vinaigrette by hand. It took much longer, but the vinaigrette came out perfect. And the most interesting thing about it was that the mayonnaise did not even affect the taste.
This bit of information is probably one of the best things I learned doing my externship.
The vinaigrette I was making was a balsamic vin for a salad special.
The Salad consists of mozzarella cheese, heirloom tomatoes, and basil layered in a rowo with balsamic vinaigrette and olive oil and garnished with micro basil.
The following picture is of Mark, one of our new co owners of Charley G’s. I enjoy working with him because he is always willing to help, no matter what it is. He is at the restaurant almost every night. It impresses me how he is willing to do anything to help. He is not the type of person who feels as though doing menial tasks are above him. When we are super busy and I need a back up of an item (roasted garlic, compote, cut chicken, etc) he will grab it for me with smile on his face.
He is always cooking new items to try for the restaurant he will be opening in Lafayette in December and he always lets me try them.
When his new restaurant opens he will be taking Amy with him and Chef Holly told me that I was not alowed to go, that if Mark to Amy he could not have me to. Her saying this made me feel good, made me feel like an important member of the team.
Mark has also made me feel like an important member of the team. I was telling him a story about how I joke with my parents about being a fry cook. He told me “Well you do make one of the most important menu items.” The item he was referring to was our flatbreads that I made the dough for and roll out and prebake.
In this picture Mark is taking a picture of the Grilled Fava Beans he made. One of the jokes around the restaurant is how we all have tons of pictures of other people taking pictures, so I could not resist having some of my own.
The following is a photo of the sous chef of Charley G’s, Pat Meador. Pat is fun to work with. He is funny and full of knowledge. Him and I always talk about his daughter and my neice because they are close to the same age. He is also very laid back and jokes around with us like Holly.
Pat does the majority of the inventory and ordering. He records the inventory of a quarter of dry storage, the items in the cooler, and the in-process inventory. He will preform the inventory Saturday nights (with the help of whoever is working prep) and Sunday mornings.
Yesterday and Today I made brioch and monkey bread. One of my favorite things about my job is the ability to experiement with breads to be used as potential menu items, specials, or for wine dinners. Chef had asked if I would make brioche to see if they wanted it for the next wine dinner. When I showed her the monkey bread recipe in my Bread Bible she told me that I could make it if I wanted to. She also told me if there was something I ever wanted to make to just let her know the ingredients I needed and she could get them for me.
I took two days to make the breads because I wanted them to have optimum flavor. I made the dough the first day, let it rest overnight, then baked it the next day. Mark and Holly told me the brioche was the best they have ever had and that they really enjoyed the monkey bread. We were all crowded around the breads practically shoving them down our throats in excitment. The following pictures are of my brioch ( in the muffin tins) and monkey bread (in the mini bunt pans)
The following is a photo of the executive chef of Charley G’s Holly Goetting. She is an amazing person to work for/with. She is always willing to answer my questions and teach me new things. She is not like that with just me, but everyone. she is laid back and jokes with all of us as long as all our work gets done and we do not slack off. She is also full of a lot of knowledge that she is willing to share.
I also like that she is a woman executive chef. I have not seen many women exec. chefs and its nice to be working with one of the few. Chef is also one of the three women that work in the kitchen. Other than chef and myself there is Amy. The rest of the kitchen workers are men.
I will enjoy working more with Chef Holly and learning all that she has to teach.
The following is a picture of our Angel’s Cream on my hand. Jacob was working pantry tonight and he knew how much I love the Angel’s Cream so he took the spoon and dragged it over my hand saying “oops, now you will have to lick it off!” which I proceeded to do. It is a caramel made from sweetened condensed milk and is DELICIOUS. Sue, our dessert person, places cans of condensed milk in boiling water for a predetermined time. Once taken out, the milk has turned to caramel. It is too rich to eat in a large quantity so I was more than satisfied with the amount he “gave” me.