Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Fish, Fowl, and Fumet: A Study Guide

Study Materials

It’s that time of the season: the weather is getting a little warmer, the days a little longer, and even here in dark and damp London the skies are threatening to get a little brighter. Spring is upon us. Or so they tell me…

It’s exam time at Le Cordon Bleu, and this being my first introduction to tests without blue books or bubble sheets I am down right terrified. I am sure that I’m only one of many students round the world right now who feel this way. But while they’re hauled up in a library, I’m cooped up in my kitchen, nose in a stock-pot instead of a text book.

Fish Stock at Work

Although I’ve traded binders for bain-maries and reviews for recipes, the process is just as stressful, in fact it’s more so! So I’m mad at work practicing our possible examination recipes. The exam format: We’ll draw one of three recipes from a hat and have a few minutes to write the recipe and method, hand that in and get to it. On the menu:

Fillet of Lemon Sole braised in White Wine with a Pommes Duchesse Border

Supreme of Guinea Fowl stuffed with Provence Herbs, Tomato Beurre, and Courgette Spaghetti

The Roast Beef and it Traditional Turned Vegetable Accompaniments

So you can imagine that I am currently the picture of calm: as coiffed and camera-ready as any celebrity chef. Hardly. I’m drenched in fish stock, covered in feathers, and smell of fat drippings.

As glamorous as Giada, right? Except this hardly looks like the set of Everyday Italian: it’s more like an audition for Kitchen Criminal.

Homework tonight? SoleFood

Our Fallen Friend

Fragrant Fish Fumet

C’est Fini!

This kind of preparation is physically punishing and my patience is wearing thin.

Test day is tomorrow and I am just a bundle of nerves. Too bad there isn’t a recipe for removing mine like there is a Guinea Fowl’s.

Merde (in both senses of the word).

Darcy Jones


  1. Darcy I love your blog! So cute! I cant wait to follow it! Have a wonderful vacation with your husband.

  2. Darcy, Happy birthday a few days early! Have an excellent Spring break adventure with Nathaniel. We miss you, but love reading about your exciting adventures in London! xoxo, Amy Donnelly