Story by Ed Smith (aka Rocket and Squash)
Last week was half term. It felt a bit strange having the week off – partly because we've only been going for 5 weeks, but mostly because I haven't had a half term for 12 years or so! But you can rest assured that this school holiday was quite different from my ones as a teenager.
Rather than lie in bed until midday and then be generally unhelpful to my mother, I undertook work experience at a Michelin starred restaurant in London. The hours were long (8:00am to after midnight) and we had lots of work to do. Great to see the food coming out of this sort of kitchen though and what it takes to produce it. Quite an eye opener and definitely an experience.
Anyway, the occurrence of half term means that I can't report on a particular day, technique or recipe from the last week of chef's school. Instead, I thought I'd mention that one of the enjoyable parts of the course is that our chef often gets in some novel ingredients for us to see and use. These range from seasonal foraged items, like wild mushrooms or sea buckthorn, to exotic fruits, like the 'Buddha's hand' in the picture above.
A Buddha's hand originates from North Eastern India and China. It's a citrus fruit, but it doesn't have very much juicy flesh. The inner white pith is not as bitter as that in an orange or lemon, but it's peel is quite fragrant. It's often cut into lengths (along the fingers!) and candied. But we cut it up and stuffed it in a vodka bottle (with vodka, obvs). I look forward to seeing what the vodka tastes like soon!
Till next time
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About the author: Ed Smith (aka Rocket and Squash) is our featured blogging on the site. Read about his adventures as he learns the tricks of the trade to become a Chef.