COD Notebook is in!

One step closer, still a lot of work to do. I don’t quite understand yet how chefs can come up with menus at the drop of a hat that have a theme and flow between courses. It must get easier with experience, or they all steal someone else’s ideas. This COD (Chef of the Day, i.e. final project for culinary school) has been months of work, testing, seeking advice from chefs, peers and books. Obviously, being the only vegetarian in my school, I feel a bit of pressure for it to be above and beyond. Well, I tend to head in that direction anyways with details. (Which is a very employable trait). Anyways, my theme was a number of horrible ideas I wasn’t in love with and I was totally inspired by Hawaiian produce (note:NOT hawaiian food. no spam musubi for me, thank you).

So I now have a 5 course lunch loosely based around Hawaiian flavors and products mingling with Seattle springtime happiness. I have made some drastic changes but I feel that I am at the point where I have resarched enough complimentary flavors and have actually simplified my eclectic, almost overwhelming menu into something I am excited to make.

So, menu done. Recipes written for 34. Recipes costed out and met the required food cost percentage. (Our lunches are a deal–we get to use great product and it’s about 1/3 of what you’d pay for a prix fixe at a nice restaurant). My inventory sheet is set up for my purchasing meeting. My place settings and napkin folds have been decided (Cock’s comb, only the best fold. I would have gone with the rabbit, but I don’t have unlimited staff or time to fold that beauty).

Next step: make time to test all my recipes, make sure I like them, plate courses. And all of this has to fit within my normal rotations at school–which is a headache but it’s forcing me to multitask. Something I wouldn’t be very good at teaching myself.

My big test will be if I can make tempeh. I just ordered some culture from GEM Cultures in NoCal, so I’ll update when that experiment begins. That’s part of the above and beyond business. For now, enjoy my menu!

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