Sneaking Snapshots.

I bit the bullet and snuck my camera into class today – hurrah!  I tried to be subtle about it, and my teacher didn’t say anything, so hopefully I can continue from now on.  This morning we had a loooong lecture on wine and wine making, not something I know a TON about, so I have some studying to do this weekend.

We did do an interesting experiment to see what type of wine drinking palate we each had.  We were given cups of very strong hot tea, and at first we tasted it by itself.  Then we used simple syrup and lemons to add sugar and acid and find the balance that made it taste best to each of us.  According to my tea’s profile, I like dry red wines.  Sounds about right, from back in the drinking days.

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After lecture we got set up for today’s lunch service.  Here is a shot of our super fancy French dining room!

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The four-top tables are normal tables where the staff take order and plate food as in any restaurant.  We work in brigade teams of four – a chef, a suite, a rang, and a deb – and we all work together to do things like set silverware, refill drinks, deliver food, clear plates, serve bread, etc.

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The two-top tables are a lot more stressful.  We have these uber fancy carts called gueridons, that you use to plate the food in front of the guests.  Meals come out on whole platters, and depending on what your protein is, you have to carve, slice, or debone the meat – then plate the food.  Very stressful to do with a lot of people watching!  Next week we’ll be using these to actually cook the food in front of the guests – lord help me. 

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Here is a view from the backside of the dining room to the front.  It is very fancy, and actually really pretty and nice.  It feels like five star dining, except for the sometimes spotty service.  :)

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The back wall of our classroom is floor to ceiling windows facing Uptown Charlotte – so pretty!  We have to keep shades down during service or we get way too hot moving around in the sunlight.  These last few days have been painful, knowing we were in class while the sun was shining brightly outside!

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In the back, we have our service area called the "clubhouse."  I think it got this name because student hang out back here to avoid the dining room.

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And what is a restaurant without a dish pit.  Kelly rocked out as dishwasher today, and it will be my turn on Monday – how glamorous!  :)

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We spend an hour or so before service getting all set up, practicing our duties, and making sure we’re ready to go.  Everything gets lines up and ready to grab as soon as guests walk in. 

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We use this crazy chart on the board to figure out where we go and what we do.  I’ve never been a waitress before, and now I realize there is so much more to serving tables than you realize as a customer.  Each seat has a position number, and you have to write checks out very specifically.  There is a dance-like sequence to getting it all done in the right order, and giving the right food to the r
ight people.

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I’m not eating any of the food this segment because we’re eating in the Classical French kitchen.  It is all really heavy food, and mostly meat.  I’ve been waiting until I get home to eat, which usually means I am starving by the time I walk in the door.  Today I threw together a quick plate of whatever sounded good.  Peppers, hummus, and an open-faced jelly sandwich.

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This was my first run at the gluten free bread!  I took your advice and TOASTED the bread before eating.  I don’t know if it was the toasting, or the fact that I smothered it in Laughing Cow cheese and blackberry preserves, but I thought it was pretty good!  It was really dense – almost reminded me of a pound cake-like texture.  Not all nutty and grainy like Dave’s Killer Bread or Great Harvest, but it will do for this month.  I’m glad I’ll have something to eat before long runs. 

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I am plowing through these peppers at an alarming rate…

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I am much more aware of myself polishing off entire containers of things like hummus when Casey is out of town.  Perhaps the dogs got into the fridge while I was in class?

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On the side, I heated the rest of last night’s roasted eggplant.  Drizzled it in a little balsamic vinegar, my favorite…

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Tried another Sobe today too – cherimoya punch this time.  This one is good too!  Maybe I’m crazy, but I actually think they all taste kind of the same? 

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My weekend starts NOW, and I have no real plans other than yoga and running.  My plan for tonight is to RELAX after a long and stressful week of Dining Room class.  Another nice day, so I think I’ll grab the dogs and head outside while the sun is still out…