So we were smoking stuff during the second week of class…now I know that doesn’t quite sound right, so let me clarify.
On January 18th we had the students de-bone a whole chicken. Some of you reading this may say, “Wait that’s only Day 6!!” I know! We decided to do things a little differently this term. Rather than wait until Day 16, Chefs Tony and Ian both had the brainstorm that we should de-bone a chicken before we even started thinking about making stocks and soups. BRILLIANT!
They spent the Sunday evening before class going over various techniques on Youtube. Even watching the legend, Jacques Pepin, who is so elegant and timeless in his approach to food.
What better way to inspire everyone on a Monday morning than providing an incredible challenge. The students accepted the challenge with all its expectations. It was a long day…longer than most. But at wrap-up, the students looked like they could go another three hours. They were pumped!
A lot of what we do here is teach technique…and it’s easy to lose sight of the value of inspiration. Day 6 was inspiring.
Not surprisingly this inspiration rubbed off on the instructors. Once all 27 chickens were de-boned, we had a lot of meat to deal with so Chef Tony decided that we would do some cold smoking. Smoked breasts for sandwiches. Smoked legs for canapés. What happened next was a stroke of genius. Chef Tony then put three pounds of butter in the smoker…VOILA! Smoked butter.
After that, I couldn’t get the thought of smoked butter out of my mind. All that night I was pondering the opportunities. Savoury applications…sure, easy enough to consider. But then it hit me…what about Smoked Butterscotch. I couldn’t wait to get into the kitchen to try it.
And the result? A subtle, sweet and smoky caramel sauce. So good and so simple.
What’s the next inspiration? We’ll have to wait and see.