Monday, September 2, 2013

Hors d'Oeuvres Buffet at LAC

Most of you know that Kali is attending culinary school to become a professional pastry chef. She is almost done with phase one, which culminates in an hors d'oeuvres buffet and another eight hour exam. The buffet was yesterday and the three students remaining in the evening program did a fantastic job. They each had four items to make, and Chef Claude prepared a couple other items to round out the buffet.
It was a pretty impressive spread of hors d'oeuvres shared with family and a few friends. Everything was amazing! And everything you see was made from scratch, including all the breads and even the mayonnaise in the egg salad. 
Unofficially dubbed the Three Mousseketeers, these three students prepared some fantastic foods! Terry, Andy, and Kali. Evening Pastry Arts Program at L'Academie de Cuisine. 
And here you have the whole team - Andy, Terry, Kali, Instructor Chef Claude, and Teaching Assistant Karen. Chef Claude studied the art of pastries in France, and has worked in the most prestigious kitchens in the D.C. area for the past 30 years, including contract work for the White House. Kali is so blessed to have him as her instructor!
L'Academie de Cuisine was founded in 1976 by Chef Francois Dionot, culminating a culinary career from Switzerland, to France, to the United States. Here he is with Kali and Chef Claude.
An awesome spread.
These wonderful things are Cheese Lollipops. Kali made them with cheese and cayenne pepper. Some were filled with roasted red peppers, some with tapenade (olives and anchovies). They were crunchy and surprising. I liked them a lot!
On the bottom, those are Asparagus Vol-au-vant with Beurre Blanc. Kali made these with puff dough, asparagus, and beurre blanc. (She said that with a straight face, like I knew what beurre blanc is.)
Egg Salad Salambo: eggs, pickles, olives, capers, and homemade mayonnaise. Kali's dish. And don't you love her red bird she made to go with the egg salad?
Gougere, made with two types of cheese, cayenne pepper, thyme, salt, pepper, and dijon mustard. This was Kali's fourth item. Delicious!
This is the only shot I got of Kali with the spread of hors d-oeuvres. I wish I had noticed her eyes were closed. Sorry. This is normal attire for class.
Chef Claude made the Cheese Shortbread with cheese and worcestershire sauce. They had a real kick to them, I ate several.
Foie de Volaille en Brioche, made of brioche stuffed with chopped chicken livers. Really very tasty and good.
Another shot of Kali's Cheese Lollipops.
I'm not sure what this one was called, nor what was in it. Sorry.
This looked pretty incredible, almost too pretty to eat. Pissaladiere made with sweated onions, anchovies, and olives. 
Salmon Tartar on french bread.
Savory Palmiers.
I think Chef Claude made the Cheese Straws:  puff dough, cheese, and cayenne pepper. Everyone had one of these! (Or two, or three.)
Quail Egg Bouchee with Beurre Blanc.
Spanakopita, a Greek style hors d'oeuvres made with phyllo dough, spinach, and feta.
Terry made these Ham and Cheese Quiche. They were excellent!
Oh my word! These Blue Cheese Tarts were something to behold! When I ate the first one, I ate the candied walnut first only to discover that it had been candied with cayenne pepper. Quite spicy! The blue cheese/cream cheese mix was a good balance for the spiciness of the walnut. Great job, Terry!
This was not part of the buffet per se, but was on display in that area. Earlier in the phase, each student made a pastillage. Made of all edible materials, but they are not recommended for eating. The students' pieces are on display in the classroom. The tall one on the left was Andy's. It is the coat of arms from his hometown in Albania. Top right was Terry's, based on a photograph from Jamaica, her home. Bottom left is Kali's piece, inspired by conversations she and I had about her dream of studying at L'Academie de Cuisine. 

Wonderful job, students! I can't wait to see what you learn in phase two. Thanks to Chef Claude and Karen for sharing their knowledge and experience every day! You are amazing!
The Creator's Leaf


  1. Absolutely fascinating - oh it brings back memories Alice. Congratulations to Kali & everyone who had a part in that spread. There are so many different techniques represented by these dishes.......I had to look up Beurre Blanc too - I could not remember & the industry has changed SO much since I qualified in 1980: oh goodness - 30 years ago, I'm definitely feeling old!!!
    Paula (PEP)

    1. that's awesome, paula, so glad it brought back good memories for you! kali is loving the program, and she truly is blessed to have Chef Claude as her instructor, and Karen for her teaching assistant - they have so much knowledge!


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