Sunday, February 13, 2011

Bon Appetit

My last day of externship came as most days arrive here in Casperia, a little cold, partly cloudy and life going on as usual in this medieval town. Walled cities dot the Italian countryside. As you drive the country roads, you see them in the distance, half way up hillsides or on mountain tops. It was great to experience life in one, even if only for a short six weeks. People knew who you were, why you were here and where you lived. A bright, buongiorno… ciao, each morning greeted me as I made my way down the many steps to the Blue Café for my morning cappuccino. The ease at which these wonderful people go about their daily life is something Americans could learn from. Imagine everything closed from 12:30 to 4 for siesta in Los Angeles or 3 hour meals. But, I digress.

I concluded my last day by making a sponge cake. It is a very complicated recipe of 7 eggs, 180 grams of sugar and 170 grams of flour. Whip the eggs and sugar till very fluffy, sift and fold in cake flour and bake for 45 minutes at 375. That was it! For lunch Paola heated up some left over tomato sauce used for a fish dish we had made some days before, added some canned dice tomatoes and cooked spaghetti. She took out some frozen fish sticks, drizzled them with olive oil and baked them up as well. Dinner was a kebabs of liver wrapped in pork fat, sausage, bread and Bay leaf baked with a drizzle of olive oil and cooked in the same roasting pan she had roasted potatoes before. We finished up with some fresh cheese and Franco’s very good vino russo. Some workers Franco had employed to work in the new kitchen joined us for dinner. He showed them how the wine vinturi worked. It was great to see the expression on their faces as he poured the wine and the distinct noise it makes startled the workers. I never got to taste the cake.

Paola gives her students a Gusto al Borgo apron and a bottle of wine as well as a certificate of completion when they complete her program. We got two, one for me and one for Chris, and Franco gave me two more bottles of wine as a thank you for the vinturi. It was I who should have been thanking him.


So the adventure of Chef WannaB comes to a close. It was February of 2010 that I started, stopped and restarted again in May, my blog on learning about culinary “excellence” at Le Cordon Bleu. I requested that you join me on this ride by reading my silly blog. My hope is you enjoyed the ride as much as I did and maybe, just maybe learned a bit about cooking like the French.

Bon Appétit


Patty Zettel Purington said...

Tom, you have had what appears to be an amazing adventure and left the weights of corporate life behind! I look forward to seeing you soon! Patty Z

Patty Zettel Purington said...

Yippee and congrats on your adventure and accomplishments!