Official Liaison College Blog

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spring Inspirations on the Menu

Last week at the Chef of the Day luncheon the students introduced a menu fit for spring (and the weather to go along with!).  We were joined at the table by Susanne & Georgia The Wine Ladies and Paul & Ross from Delft Blue Veal along with other foodies.  The menu of the day was a colourful and flavourful combination suitable to the season.  As Chef David Bakker explained, menus will change this time of year in favour of items that are more suitable to our lighter palates in the warmer days and building up to fresher and seasonal produce.

For an appetizer the Chef introduced a Rillette of Rabbit which was served with pickled beets and pistachio paste (both in its raw form and also dehydrated as a chip).  The sprigs of fresh sprouts finished the colourful presentation.

The Main Course features Veal wrapped in Napa Cabbage and served with Tomatoes simmered in Plum Sauce and a Pave of Potatoes

The Dessert featured a decadent chocolate mousse covered in tempered chocolate (giving it a shiny hard looking surface .... but it was soft and gooey ... perfection) with a beignet, raspberry jelly and icecream.

Canadian Chef Educators Conference Welcomes Chef Michael Smith

This year's Canadian Chef Educators Conference is being held in lovely PEI Canada at the Holland College Culinary Institute at Charlottetown.
While these conferences are always interesting (not to mention delicious!), this year promises to be even more exciting when you consider the guest speaker at the Gala Dinner will be Chef Michael Smith.

According to Wikipedia, Chef Michael Smith has an extensive background as a professional chef working around the world and finally settling into the east coast of Canada.  He's over 2m tall which makes him an imposing presence anywhere not just in the kitchen.

I wonder what will be on the menu at the dinner .... enough to impress Michael Smith!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Are you a Cooking Star?

So many people are in awe of the culinary talents regularly on display at shows both live and on TV.  Liaison College has a lot of ways for students and graduates to get in on the show.  There are many competitions and contests held every year; some are for bragging rights, some for recipe development and some for serious prizes like cash!

Competitions can be found in many different venues and for a wide variety of culinary skills.  Everything from the Iron  Chef ultimate cook off to the cooking stage at the local market.  Which brings me to the event happening at the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto on March 17.  Check out St. Lawrence Market Grads Market Competition to see the full details.

Liaison College Downtown will be entering two teams into the competition.

Here's an Article about competition and another Liaison College winner - Best Emerging Chef, Miles Suhaimi.

Are you a winner? or a shining star?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Campus Open House

A lot of times prospective students want to get a better feel for a training facility by seeing it in action; they also want  a chance to share the experience with their support team (family, friends) before making a decision about continuing education.  A school Open House is a great way for students to check out the happenings, see the kitchen in action, talk to instructors and current students and meet others who have a passion for cooking and food.

And it's funny who you can bump into at an Open House ..... Like The Mayor!  Indeed, at a recent Open House in Liaison College Durham (located in Whitby) the Mayor of Oshawa (John Henry) and wife were in attendance.  It seems they share a joy of cookery and attend some of the evening amateur classes.

And talk about creativity!  The LC logo is done entirely in chocolate and handmade at the school.  Check out this Video - Chocolate Symphony to see the chef in action.  If it looks good enough to eat, it's probably chocolate.

Liaison College campuses offer an Open House experience at regular intervals.  Make sure you check the websites regularly or contact the campus nearest to you for more details.  Feed your passion!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Chef of the Day - Advanced Level Students

From the minute that I read the menu, I knew I was in for something special.  Sometimes you just get a feeling that your food experience will be almost a lesson in science.  When science meets food there's a definite reaction - YUM!
Advanced Level culinary students and their instructor, David Bakker CCC, created a menu for a student luncheon - Chef of the Day. The menu featured a Pork Belly Dish, a Tomato Salad and a Sea Bass entree followed by a dessert trio.  At a first glance, it seemed "normal" enough, however, the kitchen equipment in use was a sign for me that I was in store for something unique and anything but "normal".
To start we were served with a tomato salad.  The small heritage tomatoes were peeled and marinated and served with a syringe dropper of tomato water (made from hanging seasoned tomatoes from a cheesecloth sac and draining the "water" into a bowl beneath) and a dollop of tomato water cloud (made from whipping the tomato water into a merengue and frozen - turning it into a "cloud").  Delicious.

The next course consisted of an array of pork belly - not only the slow cooked belly, but also the crisps made from the fried fat and a "bacon consomme" - the pork was complemented by a 1hr poached egg (an egg poached in the shell at a temp below boiling for an hour minimum to create a yolk with the creamy consistency of peanut butter) and a smear of squash puree - the result was a flavourful plate of taste sensations combining the fatty with the acid in a perfect synergy.

The main entree was an extraordinary combination of Chilean Sea Bass served with veal cheeks and a savoury gnocchi along with beets.  The flavour combination is hard to describe - wonderful.

Saving room for dessert was not easy.  The trio presented a carrot cake, custard flan and house-made creme fraiche ice cream was colourful and delicious.  Just the right level of sweetness and tartness to finish the meal.