Today was my first day of cooking school at Le Cordon Bleu!! And it was fucking fantastic!! Hot, quick, tiring, fantastic fun!
I learned how to cut up a whole chicken into 10 pieces, how to fillet a flat fish, how to french trim a rack of lamb, how to make veal stock with veal knuckles (16 hours of gentle simmering people, 16 hours..), how to prepare mirepoix and what ration of vegetables to meat to use, what the french term for the oyster of a chicken is - Le sot l'y laisse - "the fool leaves it behind".
The whole day was fantastic. Absolutely 100% would love to do this forever fantastic!!
All except for when the chef put some cognac in my chicken casserole.... As soon as the cognac hit the hot pan and it's heady aromas hit my nose all sorts of memories of bad casinos and free champagne cognacs in St Maarten, drinking Armagnac by the unreserved bucketful at our favorite East End pub, and horrendous hangovers where I could barely hold on to the floor in the bathroom what with it spinning out of control all around me came flooding back. My face got this contorted "EEEK I'm not feeling so good" look to it but thankfully I pulled it together and managed to control my urge to gag out loud. Being sick on the kitchen floors of the prestigious Cordon Bleu cooking school simply would not do.....