Yesterday was something of a milestone moment for me. As a student of hotel management,I routinely spend about 5 hours a week learning in the basic training kitchen in college preparing a set 3 course meal for 4 portions.
This week’s menu’s main was Pomfret avec mâitre d’hôtel butter. It’s basic,elementary even.
But I filleted a fish for the first time yesterday.
For me that’s big.
Growing up in a vegetarian household,I first started eating non-vegetarian food only last year. We’ve come a long way since then.
I had my doubts about being able to deal with raw meat or a carcass,basically because I would be going in blind and without a clue.
After breaking down a chicken last week and filleting pomfret yesterday,I’m happy to say my fears were unfounded.
Nothing compares to the immense satisfaction you feel when you get it right and have 4 perfect fillets to show for it. The glide of your knife when separating meat from the bone,ending with a swish and a cut. A sharp knife in your hands and an amazing chef to demonstrate the process just made my entire day.
Moreover,the satisfaction you feel when your end product is perfect and receives praise is exhilarating. Moist fillets,marinated with lime juice and then fried until a perfect golden brown,served hot,accompanied by tartare sauce and mâitre d’hôtel butter,along with french fries. I felt a sense of accomplishment as I watched it all disappear within a matter of minutes by friends who enjoyed every last bite.
I love the kitchen and especially the bakery. When you’re in there,it’s like nothing else matters,your world narrows down to the 4 walls within which you work. The clock on the wall and the voice of your head chef the only concern.
It’s dedicated hard work. It’s concentration in practise. It’s learning more than you ever thought possible in a very short span of time. It’s learning discipline,organization and punctuality. It’s amazing and exhausting all at once.
It’s what I love and it reinforces that after all the turmoil I went through before I joined the course,I did the right thing,I did what makes me happy.
It’s like Steve Jobs said-” Follow your gut and instincts,they somehow already know what you want to be”
I made the cut.( Pun intended) And it feels…Good. Really,really good.