Day 87: Squid Ink Gets Messy

Have you ever worked with squid ink? It’s like dealing with chocolate–it gets everywhere. And when you’re on a timeline to push out dishes for a restaurant, squid ink can be lethal for a white plate. Especially when I’m in charge of plating.

Part of the plating station

Part of the plating station

Like yesterday, service was crazy again today. Good for L’Ecole, bad for my gray hairs. My first mistake was grabbing medium-sized gloves. It’s impossible to plate a dish when you have droopy fingers. My saggy artificial skin just dragged squid ink and pickling liquid across my white plate like a Jackson Pollock painting. But I think my favorite moment during service was when I was running up a plate of scallops, which was already late, and I grabbed a piece of paper towel so I could swab off the rogue smidgen of ink on the edge of the plate. As I was walking, I tried to buff out this stain, but didn’t realize my paper towel had a bigger smudge of squid ink and I created a thick schmear of black, as if I took a mascara brush to my plate. This would’ve been so much easier to stomach if I actually had something in my stomach…

TIP OF THE DAY: To make risotto super creamy, finish it by mixing in a tablespoon of butter, off heat.

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4 responses to “Day 87: Squid Ink Gets Messy

  1. Hi! I’m so excited to see a blog from someone who goes to the ICC. What is your class schedule like? I’m curious as I’m a culinary student at Johnson & Wales University. How long do you spend in each course? I’ve been wondering these things for awhile and couldn’t remember back to when I’d taken the ICC tour a few years ago. If you reply, THANK YOU! -Ashleigh

    • Hey Ashleigh! I’m a day student so I go to school Monday to Friday, 8:30 to 3 pm. I LOVE it. I graduate next month and think I might cry. I’m excited Monday morning to return to class. I’ve never felt that way about a job. What’s Johnson & Wales like?

  2. Sounds awesome! I honestly don’t know that I am crazy about Johnson & Wales. I look at your blog and I’m in shock at all the beautiful things you get to make!! I’m so jealous! I’m glad I found your blog. I shared it with some of my classmates. I’m currently doing the Garnish Your Degree program so I’m in a class of people who have a degree but we get our Associates in 9 months. (Credits transferred in so I don’t have to do any academics.) Classes start at 6 a.m. and go until noon. Our classes are overcrowded and many times 2 or 3 people have to share making a single side dish! Disappointing. I wish we were in groups of 2 or even 4 instead of everyone choosing what they want to make. It’s hard to learn when you don’t ever get to make proteins etc! I’m halfway through so I’m going to finish the program, but I’m really disappointed in the program, as a lot of my classmates are. Keep on writing, your blog rocks! Thanks for giving me a glimpse into the life of a student at the glorious ICC! lol

    • I’m so sorry about your sub-par experience. It’s tough to learn when you don’t get the hands-on experience in the kitchen. I wish you the best of luck finishing out your degree. Perhaps one day I’ll be writing about your food! Good luck! Thanks again for reading.

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