This is the last of a 5 part series on my adventures at the CIA Boot Camp. You can see other posts here:
There was no lecture on Day 5. Instead, we played Culinary Jeopardy where we demonstrated what we had learned during the week. That was only the beginning of the test. There were also no prepared recipes for us to follow. Instead, each team received a market basket of food. We had to prepare a first course (appetizer, etc) and an entree. We were required to use some of each item in our basket. We could also draw from anything in the kitchen pantry to complete our dishes. Challenging? You bet. But it was also a time to show off what we had learned and to stretch our imaginations, creativity, and our newly-discovered culinary muscles.
My team’s market basket included: Shrimp, Frenched Chicken Breasts (aka Airline Chicken Breast), Dry White Beans, Sweet Potatoes, Wild Mushrooms, Green Beans, Red Onions, Cauliflower, Sage, Cheddar Cheese, Dried Apricots, and Puff pastry. Here’s what we prepared:
- Sauteed Shrimp & Puff Pastry on a White Bean Puree
- Broiled Frenched Chicken Breasts on a Sweet Potato Puree with a Brandy Apricot Glaze
- Stir Fry Vegetables
Team 2’s market basket included: Rack of Lamb, Anchovies, White Turnip, French Lentils, Plum Tomatoes, Eggplant, Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Mesclun Mix, Thyme, Nicoise Olives, Dijon Mustard. Here’s what they prepared:
- Rack of lamb on French Lentils
- Turnips & Squash
Team 3’s market basket included: Beef Strip Loin, Prosciutto, Durum Flour, Potatoes, Eggplant, Fennel, Cipollini Onions, Plum Tomatoes, Artichokes, Basil, Pecorino Romano Cheese, Capers. Here’s what they prepared:
- Amuse Bouche – Chef’s Surprise
- Balsamic-Glazed Cippolini Onions with Fresh Tomatoes
- Fennel & Orange Salad with Honey-Vinaigrette Dressing
- Steak Diane
- Garlic Roasted Potatoes
This was definitely our biggest day. The best part was that Chef Michael was impressed with the caliber of the food we produced. Definitely a proud moment for all of us. Quite a sense of accomplishment.
Overall, I had a great experience with Culinary Boot Camp. It was definitely a lot of work. BUT, we ate really, really well. And it has changed forever how I cook everything.
Got questions about my CIA Boot Camp experience? Leave a comment below or use my contact page.
This is the last in a series of 5 blog posts on my adventures at the CIA. Look for the series to continue for the next few Fridays. To view other posts: