Day 4 of Class

Yesterday involved more knife skills – new shapes and practicing things from yesterday. Also, we were oriented to the kitchen tools and machines stocked in the kitchen.

We were shown how to sharpen our knives by Brian Henderson, who is a staff member at The Natural Epicurean and who also did an internship at Uchi, what I would consider the most highly regarded restaurant in Austin. That’s where he learned the technique of sharpening that he showed us. It was very similar to a method described not long ago in Edible Austin by local chef Todd Duplechan, but I never was sure if I was doing it right. Brian’s explanation was really helpful because I got to see it in action, and he made it seem a lot more straightforward than I thought it was. I performed the technique on my home chef’s knife and it worked very well in restoring the blade. So proud to know this new skill!

We did a brunoise of green pepper – tiny 1/8 inch cubes used for garnish. We also did losenge cuts, paysanne cuts, and rondelles. We also cuts supremes of citrus and chiffonade of spinach. Much of it was used for a salad that we ate for lunch. Yum!

It’s challenging making consistent cuts to specified dimensions, such as 1/2 inch cubes. Often, one side is a bit too long, or my cuts are a shade too large and my prep mates’ cuts are a shade too small and the result is inconsistent. Just imagine doing carpentry without a measuring tape, pencil, or T-square and you may get the idea.

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Below: Chef Rosa demonstrates use of a knife honing steel.

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Below: Chiffonade of spinach.

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Below: Brunoise of green peppers.

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Below: Supremes of orange. The grapefruits we worked with were amazing to smell.

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Below: My day four knife cuts.

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Below: Chef Alex discusses equipment in the kitchen.

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