In the third and final class of Anthony Bourdain’s Basic Techniques, we used the fish stock we prepared last week to cook a fish soup while the other students prepared a protein feast of steak, roast chicken, and beef bourguignon. As before, the class was divided in two halves. In the first half, we used our knife skills to dice, mince and chop the ingredients and arrange them in our mise en place. In the second half, we cooked all the dishes, plated them and enjoyed our final group meal.
It was great to see everyone working together smoother and more coordinated than in the first class. The only near mishaps occurred when one student almost lost their eyebrows while flambeing the cognac for the beef bourguignon and another student almost lost a few fingers while chopping leeks for the soup. Fortunately for the knife wielding student, I stopped them before any amputation could take place.
I felt a sense of pride and accomplishment while plating the soup with a fennel foliage garnish. We did this. From scratch. And it tasted great. After dinner, the students made a champagne toast to thank the chef for a putting together such a wonderful class. I was very happy that after all these years in the kitchen, I could still learn something new and be inspired to expand my repertoire. Look out recipes, I have new knife skills, and I am not afraid to use them.