hornet tew rest
04 October 2015 - 02:12Got back from the TCA thing a while ago. Turns out, it was a Beer Fest. First one in my area. I got there a bit after eight, and by the time I found the "gazebom," I was ten minutes late, about. Not that anyone noticed, I don't think. At first, I didn't recognize anybody, but then I spotted Chef Larry in the gazebo, handing out beers. I reported to him, and he had me be in charge of the section of the gazebo that handed out water, Coke and Sprite. The PG-section, I called it. Made people laugh. From there, I finally spotted Mayra and Nacho in the crowd. They were in one of the tents with Chef Dustin, furiously cooking something I couldn't make out, since there were so many people swarming their area. Later on, I found out they were making pork tacos and Mexican corn. I tried to wave at them a few times, but they never saw me.
Eventually, Chef Adam came over to me and released me to the taco tent to go help. I guess he and Chef Larry were under the impression that I really wanted to cook. Granted, I did, but I would've also been happy just standing there, handing out drinks. I just wanted to be of help, and I was still a bit miffed at Nacho for taking Mayra two hours earlier. The whole point thing was really getting under my nerves.
Over at the taco tent, I helped clean up, refill the pico de gallo and salsa containers, and assemble tacos. Nacho had Mayra start chopping the pork meat that he was cutting off the bones (they actually had two whole pigs on spits, roasting slowly over a fire pit, head and all. It was awesome.) while I made the tacos. But Mayra was having trouble chopping, so we switched places. Despite the fact I've never been taught knife skills at school (pastry student), I know enough about mincing meat from my mom, who likes things done right. Nacho told me I was doing a pretty good job, which made me proud. Later on, when he took over mincing the meat, I noticed how, despite the fact he's a little faster than me, my mincing's better. I tend to shred it into even slivers, whereas Nacho is a bit all over the place. Ah, well, maybe that's how it's supposed to be done. I've never been taught, officially.
The surprise of the night came at the end, once we were sold out of everything and were putting things away. Chef Larry came over and gave each of us volunteers a brand-new knife of our choice, either a chef's knife or bread knife. Being a pastry student, of course I took the bread knife. Mayra and Nacho both got chef's knives, and when there was a knife left over, Nacho was able to take a bread knife, too. He won it over Mayra in a Rock-Paper-Scissors face-off. (He got scissors over Mayra's paper.) On top of that, Chef Larry also gave us some of his own All-Spice, which he makes himself. Told us it goes great with everything, but especially with vegetables, fish and chicken. I took a whif of the stuff and my mouth started watering, swear to God.
All in all, it was a good experience. Chef Larry was a bit more explanatory with the points. Said I got double points for showing up, and Nacho, Mayra and the other Chris (I'm the original and best, dammmit!) got triple points. Meaning, I get 2, they get 3. Which makes more sense than the whole "they get three more than me for two hours more of work." Chef Dustin told us we need a total of 250 points for the cruise, but yeah, we gotta be members. I really wanna go. But more than even that, more than anything, really, I want to get ACF certified as a CPC. I'd be the first in the Valley to become a Certified Pastry Chef if I do so, and I'd get the connections I need to start down that path if I go to the cruise. Then maybe one day, I'll get to meet Chef Dominique Ansel, and thank him properly. He's probably my first real inspiration of the pastry world for me.
Ah, well, enough of that. It's almost 3 AM, and I need to go to sleep now. I still need to sand down, paint and shingle the dog house I went and picked up with Helen, so I can move Jarah over. Then I need to give that dog a bath, wash my car, and go to my sister's house to bake cupcakes for my mom's therapist and her crew. I know I wanted to bake something fancy for them, but I think I will stick with something simple until I have more time. Maybe once her therapy is complete, I can make them something with fondant toppers as a thank-you gift. For now, simple yellow cake with chocolate buttercream will do. 'Cause I also need to make red and white fondants for Leo's cake Friday. I'm gonna be so spent by the end of this coming week...!
It will be worth it, dammit!