I thought myself privileged enough to have enjoyed an appetizer from Flemings in San Diego’s “Gas Lamp District”, just before learning to make the same dish in school. I thought I was going to see “the standard” just before my attempt at a similar rendition. BTW (by the way), Flemings is one of my absolute favorite happy hours to attend. It’s called the 5 for 6 ’til 7. That’s five excellent bar drinks, five finely prepared appetizers for $6 each, until 7pm. And Flemings usually also has a Prime Angus burger ($6) and beer special to accompany that as well. Every time I’ve been to Flemings, I have enjoyed the happy hour with 3 or 4 friends. We have always got out of there with two drinks per person and ordering one of each “app”; and walked away full and only paying about $45-$60, including tip. The “apps” are plenty of food for us . . . walking away very pleased with the exquisite offerings. Very good! Flemings has not let me down yet.
I thought my privilege was to have eaten something the day before I was to prepare the same dish in Garde Manger (basically, the cold preparation of food) class in which I’m currently taking at school. Now I know why I’m in school . . . ’cause I’m still a culinary idiot. So today the Chef asks if anyone has had Tartare. Tartare is a preparation of finely chopped raw meat optionally with seasonings and sauces (Wikipedia, Baby, 2012 ). I raise my hand and say I had it last night. The Chef keys in on me and I answer almost all of his inquiry’s precisely as he hoped. I was even proud enough to tell him that I took a picture of the plating because I thought it to be exceptional. Later during the class I ask the Chef if he’d like to see my picture…of course he say’s ok. I whip out my Android and show him the picture and he asks, “is that Carpaccio?” I slump slightly and say, “yes”. Now feeling like a heel, I immediately identify the difference and realize my exuberance has been diminished to that of a floundering squirrel about to get his head chopped off by the hunter. The Chef calmly says, “that’s a nice plate . . . , big serving of Carpaccio” . . . and goes on like nothing ever happened. He knows I write, yet he also treats all of his students as students. I anticipated he would expect a bit more from me, though he never batted an eye . . ., he just kept going. Very professional when dealing with an egotistical jackass like my self. Yet I too, demand a lot from myself . . . I still felt as though I now needed to provide him the difference by writing about this, so I would learn my lesson. Without, going into history or some long explanations, I found simple adequate explanations on Wikipedia. After all, it IS the resource to be trusted . . .
Carpaccio is is a dish of raw meat or fish (such as beef, veal venison, salmon or tuna), thinly sliced or pounded thin and served as an appetizer (thanks again Wikipedia, 2012). Similar . . . I guess, but prepared differently with possible different accoutrements and garnishes. Sheesh!, I’m a student for God sake . . . give me a break. If I knew all of this stuff I wouldn’t be in school. Thank God for Chef’s like him . . . they just keep teaching and don’t make you feel like the idiot you really are.
Now you’ve learned my lesson for the day. Lesson: EAT AT FLEMINGS FOR HAPPY HOUR, in the bar, “5 for 6, til 7”!
I give them my ass swat for messing up my game! Only one, ’cause I know it’s going to hurt!
Bad student! Now shut-up and get back to class!