November 26, 2012

Send-off lunch was a feast for the eyes

Meisha (left) and Siavash carefully layer the three-coloured soup.

It was the final day in the kitchen for our Advanced students; the last of ten Friday lunches they created together at the school. The tables groaned under a festive buffet – a gastronomic and visual feast, from the three-coloured soup to the yule log flanked by meringue snowmen.

Diners from pre-school to octogenarian packed the house, spilling over into the quieter-than-usual kitchen. Most of the action centered on the eye-popping spread that stretched the length of the hallway. As the sushi, pan de jamon, lamb kebab, paella, salt-covered sea bass, beef tenderloin and other savories disappeared, traffic shifted to the dining room, where a cascade of fruit and other sweet finishes took centre stage.

When the last coffee was served, and the few guests remaining were lost in conversation, Chef Dean called a huddle in the kitchen. His speech was short and congratulatory – passing on from diners their many compliments and requests for recipes. He added his own words of encouragement, as the students head out to apply their new skills in the culinary field. Chef Elaina, director of the school, also spoke as they leaned into the tête-à- tête. She seemed reluctant to let her fledglings go after nurturing them for thirty weeks, and assured them that the doors are always open here and their visits always welcome.
Andrew puts the finishing touches on the chicken, seafood and rabbit paella.

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