Do you like bacon? That’s practically a rhetorical question. I had a fantastic opportunity to volunteer for the Bacon Lover’s Workshop at my school on Monday. As a part of an annual conference hosted by The International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP), chefs at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) offered a full day of classes at ICE. There were classes such as Perfecting Your Macaroon Skills, Vegetable Proteins: Seitan and Tofu and Fermentation for the 21st Century. All classes sounded very interesting, but I felt very lucky to be assigned to the bacon workshop!
Irish Bacon with Cabbage and Scallion Champ (Irish-style Mashed Potatoes with Green Onions)
Pork Buns in the style of Momofuku
Frisee aux Ladons
Oyster Stew (Chowder)
Bicatini all’Amatriciana (Pasta with pancetta and tomato sauce)
Maple-Bacon Donuts Breakfast Old-Fashion Cocktail with Bacon Bourbon
When I showed up, the kitchen was already filled with the sweet smell of bacon. I introduced myself to chef Daniel Stone and was assigned to work on the oyster chowder. First, I had to mise en place. Mise en place means “everything in place.” It’s a term used in the professional kitchen referring to the organizing and preparation of ingredients. It was for 12 servings, and cutting vegetables and a slab of bacon took more time than I thought. After all the cutting was done, I gathered all other ingredients and started cooking! The workshop was hands-on, but since the oyster chowder takes time to cook, it had to be prepared more than halfway through the recipe.
Participants arrived, and the workshop begun. Chef stone explained the menu, and the participants started cooking. My job here was to help the participants make sure that the chowder came out nicely, and I was glad it did. While I was at the station, I was able to talk to some of the participants. Most of the participants are culinary professionals, and it was so much fun listening to their stories. At the end, everyone, including volunteers, enjoyed eating the bacon feast. It was a great experience filled with awesome food and was certainly a good day!
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