Posts Tagged ‘school’

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Back to School with Cheesecake

Recently, I’ve been busy for a variety of reasons. The most significant reason? I’ve gone back to school! 😮

Shocking, I know. But it’s probably not what you expect. Since April 11th, I’ve been going to culinary school in downtown Vancouver. It’s an 11 block program (each block consists of 4 weeks, so… 44 weeks) – I should be done in February 2012. In addition, I just completed a 4-month stage (unpaid internship) at a hotel. I would go there after class (or before class, depending on the class) about 3 times a week. Lots of getting up early, and some getting home late. It can be tough work. I’ve been physically exhausted. Heck, I’m exhausted, right now. And you know what? I love it. There is something really satisfying about cooking. You produce something you can be proud of in relatively short period of time… and the kitchen can be an exhilarating place to be. I’ve always liked a bit of adrenaline in my life and I guess I didn’t find that in an office environment.

Anyway, I haven’t been taking photos at school. And I should be. So today I took some photos. I’m currently in block 7: baking and pastry. Here are some cheesecakes I decorated today. My partner and I had finished pretty much everything, so we had lots of time to play around. 🙂

whipped cream rosettes with orange segments and strawberry. Probably should have left the orange bits off the rosettes, but oh well.


rosettes on top of kiwi slices, with strawberry on top of orange segments.


The cheescakes turned out really well. No burning, no cracks (thanks to a sour cream topping), and quite level and smooth. Clean!


Spent way too much time on this, but had a lot of fun doing it. Marzipan pumpkin and chocolate "Booo" leaning on rosettes, Messy spider is 2 strawberries covered in chocolate with marzipan eyes and chocolate disc legs. All on chocolate webbing.

The cheesecakes go for $18. It’s a good deal considering how much cream cheese is in them… each about 750g? But whoever gets that halloween one will have a bunch of chocolate shrapnel when they attempt to cut it. Hah! 🙂

Graduation at UBC and Dinner in the Cove

On Monday, May 28th, 2007, I had the fortune of officially graduating UBC with a Bachelor of Science. The degree fails to mention both my major, Computer Science, and Co-op. Anyway, feels very good to be done! 😀

Graduated

You can’t tell, but that piece of paper has writing on it written in my blood (sweat, and tears – especially tears). I know, the hood isn’t on straight… it kept moving around… hard to pin those on by oneself!

Some of my family were nice enough to come out and take blurry pictures of me walking across a stage. 😛 Speaking of which, I should get the pictures from my dad’s camera… I don’t have that many in my own camera. I did, however, take quite a few pictures of our dinner, later in the evening. We went to the Arm’s Reach Bistro (dinehere), in Deep Cove. I’ve been there for breakfast, and enjoyed eggs benedict (probably my absolute favourite breakfast!) but never for dinner. During dinner, I received a couple cards of congratulations that were quite touching, and I very nearly shed a tear! (That’s saying quite a bit for me!) Thanks to everyone that came out. 🙂

Everyone

From left to right: my brother’s girlfriend, my brother, my mom, my younger sister, me, my dad’s fiancee’s daughter, my dad’s fiancee, my dad, my oldest sister. Unfortunately (for her! 😛 ) my other sister, who lives in Squamish, couldn’t make it.

Now for the food. Descriptions were taken from the site’s menu… cuz it’s easy that way. 😀 Added comments in parentheses.

Appies

Baked Brie

baked brie with basil pesto, sun-dried tomatoes and drizzled with aged balsamic reduction. served with grilled pita wedges. $9 (This was very good, and the picture was the only one I took without flash… got lazy.)

The calamari ($8) was also very good and not too oily. They could have been more generous with the marinara sauce, and they surprisingly did not have any tzatziki sauce, but the marinara sauce was excellent, anyway.

Main Dishes

Scallops

seared jumbo scallops wrapped in pancetta served with an asparagus cream sauce. $25 (This was awesome. It came with four scallops, a wedge of both roasted yellow and red bell peppers, a bit of asparagus and some risotto with an excellent asparagus cream sauce. Yummy. It was my favourite dish I tried – it was also the most expensive.)
Butter Chicken

CBC curried butter chicken with cashews, ginger, cilantro and madras in a tomato, yogurt sauce served with jasmine rice. $12 (I didn’t try this, but I’m told it’s good.)
Penne Chicken

penne chicken with asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese, extra virgin olive oil and basil chiffonade. $12 (My mom ordered this dish. It was very good.)

I also tried the seafood linguini ($14) and wasn’t very impressed. I found the “white wine and pesto” sauce lacking flavour. I only tried the noodles and sauce, however, so I may not be best to judge on it – but my brother also said it was just “alright.” My younger sister ordered the gorgonzola and prosciutto penne ($14) and said that there wasn’t enough prosciutto. I got to try a bit with some prosciutto and it was quite good, but without the prosciutto I’m sure it loses a lot. 🙂

Dessert

Creme Brulee

vanilla bean creme brulee. $6 (I took this picture after the fancy caramelized top had been consumed. Apparently, it was very good.)

So dinner was very good, overall. I’d recommend it and return myself. They have a varied menu with something that should please everyone and dishes within quite a large price range ($12-$32) catering to how rich you’re feeling. Appetizers didn’t take long and the main dishes came shortly after – the service was very prompt except for the long wait we had for the single creme brulee at the end. The service was good except for missing an order of salad. Also, there was an automatic gratuity of 15% added (because we were a large group, I presume). This seems to be the becoming norm, and I don’t really mind it (unless the service is bad, I suppose) but I don’t recall being informed of it prior to and it seems like the customer should have control over the tip. Anyway, I recommend it! If you’re going for breakfast, I recommend the excellent Timo’s Benny:

two poached eggs on english muffins with smoked salmon. spinach red onions and house-made hollandaise sauce. $10

And if you go, be sure to let me know! My house is a mere 10-15 minute walk away. 😉

Me and my dinner

Steve likes scallops. He does.