Monday, April 18, 2011

Joo's Feast


This entry will be short and I'm divagating a bit from my normal chronological order, but I did want to be sure to highlight the wondrous feast Joo prepared in her first ever major test of culinary leadership. While my winter quarter finals centered on a 40-page SPSS printout full of numbers and statistical analysis, Joo's main final was to organize a Sunday brunch buffet at The Hocking Inn. She was in charge of everything: designing several hot and cold dishes, running the food quantity/price calculations, training all her "employees" how to make the dishes (a real feat since several of the dishes were Oriental and the other students/chefs had had little experience with them), and then running the show on the day of the big event.

Even though the buffet didn't open until 11:00am, she was on her way out the door by 6:30am to get things ready. Some of her specialties were cranberry/sweet potato casserole, sushi rolls, lemon-cheddar chicken, bulgogi (Korean barbecued beef), and Asian lettuce wraps.
Everything went smoothly during the prep phase and the first hour or so of the buffet. Then, tragedy struck. On her way to refill some of the dishes, Joo set a large tray filled with sweet potato casserole down on the edge of the counter. Unfortunately, the center of mass was just beyond the edge of the counter (shameless plug for the importance of understanding math in our everyday lives) and the pan slid (in what I'm sure was probably slow-motion) off the counter and crashed on the floor. The amazing part, or so I've heard, was that everyone in the kitchen stood there in silence waiting for Joo to burst out in a stream of profanities (apparently the typical culinary reaction), but instead she calmly put another pan of casserole into the oven, cleaned up the mess and went out to refill a different dish instead. The head chef said he had never seen someone react so professionally (well done, Joo!)

Overall, she received very high marks on the food (both from her chefs and from those eating at the buffet, including myself) and it gave her a boost of confidence in her culinary abilities. It also gave me a bunch of delicious leftovers to nibble on :)

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