I used a theme, "food of the gods," for my three courses. My first course was mushroom tortellini with walnut sauce. (An innkeeper shaped tortellini to resemble the navel of the goddess Venus, according to a myth.) Second course, pan roasted chicken and roasted root vegetables with chocolate vinegar. (Got the vinegar recipe from the book Real Chocolate by Chantal Coady.) Dessert was a banana pudding cream puff. Instead of a pudding, though -- the recipe I tried tasted too starchy to me -- I made a stirred creme brulee and put some bourbon in it. The 'legend' I found for bananas was that Hawaiian gods punished a boy for stealing bananas for their altar. I made a little "altar" out of sugar and put a slice of banana on it.
I did have a few mishaps along the way -- I ended up making the chocolate vinegar twice (I accidentally added salt when I meant to add sugar!), and I made the cream puffs twice because they didn't puff the first time. (Likely could have been the oven, according to the kitchen assistant.) I was really pleased with the feedback I got from the chefs, and to be honest, I'd do this again. I loved the experience.
It was so interesting to see how people used their $10 to come up with such creative and different dishes. Chris took my camera and got pics of just about everyone working in the kitchen.
At the end the chefs came into the kitchen, and said they thought everyone did a nice job. I was expecting more comment, and asked for even more feedback. "This will be the last time we'll get to pick your brains!" I said. Chef John smiled and shook his head -- "I'm just an e-mail away."
When I did my undergrad, I think I had senioritis the last semester of my sophomore year. But I really don't want to graduate this week. I have loved this experience and wish it didn't have to end.
But graduation is next for us. Tomorrow we start working on our graduation banquet, which will be Saturday afternoon.