I have had the chance to preview and review some amazing movies in Los Angeles over the last few years. The 100 Foot Journey was one of them on my most recent trip.
One of the extra curricular activities on this trip, to give us all a greater feel for the process of being a professional cook (a major theme of the movie) was to spend an afternoon at the renowned cooking school, Le Cordon Bleu, LA branch.
When we arrived we were given a tour of the facilities:
We were then invited to taste a few delicious morsels of Beef Bourguignon, Quiche Lorraine, and some salad as the master chef chatted with us about the meal we were about to prepare for our own dinner! Here are the ingredients waiting for us:
We gathered arond the kitchen area to get ready to perform some magic!
You can see I take my role as chef very seriously:
It was great to share this experience with my blog mentor, Linda!
And I also like to have fun in the kitchen, just remember to be safe at all times!
My first goal in cooking is always to make the dish edible, the second goal is always to “plate” it as artfully as possible!
Of course it was delicious!
I had to be far more disciplined here in public. At home I like to test what I am cooking every step of the way. And by every step of the way, sometime there is very little finished product: this was truly a learning experience for me, especially in the area of self control!
But what about dessert? How about my favorite, Creme Brulee, this time with a flair, Chai Tea Creme Brulee! I cannot tell you how long I have waited to flame it up myself!
This was an amazing experience and it did indeed increase my appreciation for all that goes into being a chef. The most remarkable part of cooking will always remain the science that is involved. The idea of whisking in oil only a little bit at a time to get the right emulsification, the amount of heat and length of time it takes to make the perfect croissant, and the knowledge of what spices work together best to create a dance in your mouth: these things will always fascinate me!
Lastly, please let me know what is the “bite” that takes you home? That is a major theme in the 100 Foot Journey, the fact that a taste of the food from their homeland, takes them back to India. Every bite of a thick chicken cutlet takes me home to my moms where she made them big and juicy. Of course the above skinless breast is healthier, but give me one fried in oil to take me back to my old house in Spring Valley!
Disclosure: Disney invited me on this press trip and paid all of my expenses. No other compensation was received. All opinions are always 100% my own and honest. Note to self, buy cardomon!
Courtesy of the Le Cordon Bleu Cooking School, LA Branch, is the recipe for our Parisian Mumbai Salad, a mix of French and Indian flavors:
– 1 cup plain yogurt
– 1 teaspoon each of freshly grated ginger, minced garlic, ground cardomon
– 1 Tablespoon curry powder
– 2 (6 oz.) skinless, boneless chicken breasts (cut into 1/3 strips)
– 2 Tablespoons each of salt and pepper to taste
– 4 oz. mixed greens
– 1 julienned mango
– 1 apple with skin, julienned
– 2 T. salad oil
– 1 t. red wine vinegar
– 1/4 t. Dijon mustard
– Salt and Pepper to taste
– 1 piece cut into cubes
– 1/2 oz. salad oil
– Salt and pepper to taste
– 1 oz. grape seed oil
– 2 t. granulated sugar
– 1/2 t. curry powder
– 2 oz. walnuts
1. In a plastic bag, combine the yogurt, ginger, garlic, cardamon, curry powder, salt and pepper.
2. Add the sliced chicken pieces and marinate for 45 minutes, set aside.
3. Julienne (2″x1/4×1/4 in.) mango and apple, set aside.
4. Proceed making the vinaigrette, in a bowl mix Dijon mustard and red wine vinegar together, add salt and pepper.
5. Slowly incorporate the salad oil while continuously whisking. Set aside.
6. Take the bread and cut it into 3/4 in. cubes or bite size pieces, then drizzle with salad oil, then season with salt and pepper.
7. Bake the bread in the oven at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Halfway through the baking, check the bread, toss it around to give it even cooking, then place it back in the oven until golden brown.
8. While waiting for the bread, toss walnuts into the grape seed oil with sugar and curry powder, set aside.
9. Get the chicken, then grill it until the meat is white, not translucent. To create crisscross grill marks, grill the chicken following the 10 o’clock/2 o’clock pattern. Assemble onto plate and serve!