BPA 105 Day 1: Welcome to the Kitchen

BPA 105
Day 1, Thursday

Our first day in the kitchen. We are in the chocolate kitchen, where we will spend the majority of our “kitchen time.” Since today is just a chance to get to know the kitchen and our future workspace, we learn our way around and where our supplies are kept. Chef Mangalore teaches us how to properly wash our hands: scrubbing up to your wrists under hot water for 15 seconds, using the nail brush if necessary, rinsing, and drying with paper towel.

Since Kendall is attempting to be as green as possible, we use paper towels from recycled products and compost everything that we can. I think it’s a great program to implement in a culinary school where so much food does go to waste. With the vast amount of paper and food scrap composted, we are making an effort to create as little environmental impact as possible.

Duties of the Steward, Sanitarian, and Demo Assistant

-The Steward basically is in charge of handling the supplies for the class, i.e. butter, eggs, fruits, etc., for that day, and bringing them to the kitchen. The stockroom downstairs is responsible for collecting items from the Chef Mangalore’s requisition form and delivering them on a cart to our kitchen. They check to make sure what we need is received and return any extra items to the store room, properly labeled of course. Bar Stock is the minimum amount of supplies that are kept in the kitchen and the Steward keeps track of ingredients and refills ingredient bins as needed, such as flours and sugars found in dry storage.

-The Sanitarian is in charge of keeping the kitchen sanitary and clean. Mostly though one follows the checklist in the red binder on the wall which keeps track of the conditions of the kitchen as we enter and before we leave. The temperatures of the coolers and freezers must be taken, taking note if the counters or floors are dirty, and assigning people to the proper filling of the dish sinks. Hot soapy water goes in the first, hot rinse water in the second and cold water, with a tested level of 200 PPM of sanitary solution, in the third. As a group we take care of finishing cleaning duties, sweeping and mopping the floors, wiping down all sinks and sanitizing all countertops and surfaces.

Sanitizing surfaces

- The Demo Assistant serves as a prep aid for Chef Mangalore, scaling out all of the ingredients for the day’s recipes and demos. It saves time by having everything ready before hand and gives Chef Mangalore for a longer more thorough demo.

We take a tour of the kitchen, taking note of the two freezers and one large cooler, the multiple below counter chillers called low boys, induction burners, and mixers. Each day we come in we are to get out the necessary tools for that day and keep them on a parchment lined sheet tray on a rack below us, out of the way but still within reach. The stainless steel area above the counters serves as a great spot to keep recipes, small notepads and pens, as well as our cameras. We take pictures at just about every step of our recipes; it helps us to know what to look for the next time as well as a tool to look back upon in the future.

Lesson One: Measuring Ingredients

A seemingly easy task, yet if your measurements are off, so will be your final product. We are working to compare volume and weight, how much really fits in a cup versus a fluid ounce, playing with sugars and water and molasses. Some tips and facts come out along the way:

-To measure sugar, take a full cup and scrape the top with your offset spatula, ensuring a flat top.
-Water has the same volume as it does weight, i.e. 5 ml= 5g= 5fl oz
-Tare is the counterweight for a scale and hopper. When weighing something into a bowl place the bowl on the scale and tare it to zero, and then add your ingredient to be measured.
-Hopper is the container you use to weigh out the ingredients.
-1 cup of powdered sugar = 4 1/2 oz
1 T= 6g= 1/4 oz
-.25 cup molasses= 75 g= 2 5/8 oz
- 1 cup water= 225 g= 225 ml

After finishing our measuring activity we moved onto our tool kits. By going through each utensil and tool as a group we realized that some students, including me, were missing pieces that others had. Luckily I am not missing anything I need right now, and when it comes time for it I will just have to make a trip back to Northwest Cutlery.

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