15 March 2008

Chef Techniques 2 with Chef Bill Lohman.

Last week, G and I took a Knife Skills course at the Summerhill LCBO. The course was taught by Chef Bill Lohman, who I believe runs Tasting Catering here in Toronto.

It was quite the interesting evening!

We started by a brief discussion of the lovely Wustov knives we were being given as part of the course. Very cool. Then on to the fish.

Yep. I had to start sawing that bad boy up.


Now that may not seem like such a big feat for normal folk. But I am UNBELIEVABLY squeamish about meat. I hate hate hate to eat meat on the bone, I have aversions to touching raw meat, and really, it's just a generalized sense of ick to see "meat" so close to its natural state. But as so often happens, I have been faced increasingly with a bit of a challenge. I want to only buy organic meat. And it's expensive. MUCH more expensive. The organic farmer where we often buy our chicken has a whole chicken for around $15.00, but TWO skinless, boneless breasts clock in at $15. It's absurd. So if I want to buy the more expensive, but more happily reared meat, I have to get over the childish ick factor of not realizing that it is meat.

And I think that's a big part of it. Of course, it all starts with Michael Pollan, but it goes past that after a time. I have read so much about the farming of meat and am so unbelievably put-off by factory farmed meat, that it's really a put up or hut up situation. So I am putting up. I am learning to touch the meat, to handle the bones, and to quit whinging about it.



And here's the proof that the other three women at my table did it, too:

If we worked at a restaurant, we'd be fired for wasteage. But whatever. I DID IT!

The chicken was far less traumatic...

And the remnant bowl far less interesting...

But all in all, it was a good class!

We ate our handiwork... first with Goujonette with Quick Tartar Sauce.

It was half a fillet. I could have eaten another ten of them. (Really, it was a crazily small amount of food considering the class cost a $100.)

And with the chicken he made Chichen Saute Chasseur.

In the spirit of this new fangled skill, G and I bought some lovely Cumbrae's BONE-IN chicken breasts at the Big Carrot today (on speacil for $3.99 a pound!). I will sort it out. And my conscience will be happier for it.

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