Our Superior cuisine class pulled off an opulent 5-course menu of foie, seared tuna, and lamb in their pop-up restaurant earlier this month. They delighted a full-house of diners with the skills they’ve learned in less than 6 months.
All Superior level students need to organize and run a culinary event as part of their graduation requirements. They handle everything, including menu conception, mise en place, and service on the day.
Through this one-night pop-up, students get an opportunity to experience the thrills (and challenges) of operating a restaurant. And it’s as much a chance to show their chefs they have the skills to graduate as it is to affirm they can make it in a professional kitchen.
Spiced Foie Gras Crème Brûlée, Caramel, Green Apple
« Charles Lafitte, Brut Prestige, Chardonnay blanc »
Seared Tuna, Avocado Mousseline, Saffron Tuile
« Jean-Claude Mas, Les Gres, Chardonnay Réserve, Pays d’Oc,
cépage Chardonnay 2016 »
Duo of Lamb, Roasted Loin, Pithivier of Shoulder
Textures of Onion, Lamb Jus
« Albert Bichot, Luberon La Bichette, Bichot Meilleur,
cépage Grenache, Syrah 2014 »
Camembert Panna Cotta, Cider Jelly, Pear Compote,
Dark Chocolate & Orange Mousse,
Mango & Passion Fruit
Almond Dacquoise, Matcha Ganache
Hear what the two team leaders of the night, Yuan-Ping (left) and Yu-Ti (right), learned from their experience:
Q: What were you in charge of?
YP: I was the dessert team leader, in charge of the two dessert courses. My main responsibilities were to lead the team to decide our recipes, organize prep and ingredient orders, and oversee everything on the event night.
YT: I was the same role for the two starters. I made sure my team communicated with each other and that everything was up to standard during service. On the night of the pop-up, this meant checking each plate for the right flavours, textures, and plating.
Q: What was one unexpected challenge?
YP: Both our teams had ingredient issues, so we had to improvise to deal with them. But what was unexpected was that while I had pastry experience, my team wasn’t familiar with it at all. This was a challenge because it meant it fell on me to make sure we delivered the best we could. I had to coach my teammates through certain techniques, which is something I’ve never done before.
YT: Developing our recipe was harder than I thought. We had a lot of ideas, but our chef didn’t agree to all of them. I had to get consensus on taste, on texture, and testing everything was something I didn’t think would take so much time and effort.
Q: What’s one lesson you learned from the event?
YP: I’ve never worked in a restaurant before. After getting a taste for it, I’ve decided I want to get into a top-level kitchen. I want to see how they handle high volumes of production and service while keeping everything so good. I also want to see how they coach teams to perform the way they need.
YT: For me, I learned a lot during recipe development. For example, for one sauce, we made many varieties and tasted them all until we agreed on one. This is something I’ll do when I open a restaurant and introduce a new dish. You never know what people like without hearing their opinions. It’s important to get feedback and refine your product until it’s the best, especially at the beginning.
Our quarterly pop-up restaurant events are open for anyone to attend. Come support our students and their culinary dreams and perhaps be inspired to pursue your own!