Where its ATS*

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Last night we held the first class in our 8 week Foundations Series.  A dynamic and engaged group gathered together to learn Cooking Basics theory and the ever practical, Anatomy of a Soup. 

There are three distinguishing characteristics to a soup; 1) flavour, 2) body, and 3) texture.  We prepared four varieties to show the delicious differences.  We spoke about a variety of methods to achieve these results, as well as the subtle signature of the garnish.

Each participant was excited to put the lesson into practice.  But I think the seismic moment came when we began to discuss the practice of ‘mise en place’ (to put in place).  This was the second teaching I received at the Cordon Bleu after the mantra of “Clean up as you go along”.  The idea is that you don’t begin cooking until you have procured your ingredients, selected your equipment and produced your time plan.  The aim is efficient and resourceful preparedness.  If the kitchen is harried, so to the cook.

This teaching definitely has merit from a culinary perspective.  Yet when we realize that creating a kosher kitchen allows us to demonstrate treasured Jewish values, it takes this lesson to a whole new level.  Nothing is wasted in a kosher kitchen.  Relationships are strengthened and tradition transmitted in a kosher kitchen.  Respect and gratitude are fostered in a kosher kitchen. 

Appreciating this, we perceive a greater opportunity.  We want to develop the attitude of ATS; peaceful calm and confident execution yielding dependable and delicious results.

In the spirit of nothing wasted, I encourage you to develop a seamless practice for turning leftover Challa into crunchy croutes, a garnish that gives contrasting texture to Onion Bisque.

Looking forward to next week’s class where we study Nutritional ABC’s and Great Grains.

Have a great cooking week and wishing you Good Shabbos,

Nancy Weisbrod, Director of Culinary Education, Kashruth Council of Canada

*Assess (what is my time, space, energy and resources), Think (set my culinary goals) and Strategize (make a plan).

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