For a high schooler, eating a whole trout, head on, with the little eyes staring back at you may seem like something out of a sci-fi movie. When Chef Aaron Bludorn, of Café Boulud, walked into the kitchen at partner C-CAP school, Food and Finance High School, armed with a dozen wiggly trout, the shivers radiated through the crowd of on looking teens. As Chef filled the room with the unbeatable smell of garlic and butter, mesmerized looks quickly replaced the grimaces. The eyes, Chef explained, are the key to determining the freshness of the fish. Heads looked down to meet the glance of their awaiting meal to inspect the globular organs. Very fresh, the students determined. These little guys had hitched a ride to the city just the day before with a friend of Chef. “He picks them up on his way into the city,” Chef explained. The dish of the day was Trout Almondine, an age-old French classic.
As soon as Chef had completed his masterful dish, the students got to work. These students aren’t your average teens, they’re C-CAP students after all, so they had no trouble perfectly slicing their potatoes, wilting their spinach until just done, and seasoning their head-on, pre-butterflied (thank you, Chef!) trout. Not 30 minutes later, each student was in awe of what they had just created, vowing to convert their chicken- and steak-loving parents to trout-devotees. The ultimate compliment to the chef came as a student scraped her plate clean, looked up at Chef and said “Thank you Chef! This was mad fun, for real!” Touched by the highest compliment there is in teen-speak, Chef promised to come back soon. Chef, we offer you a challenge for your next demonstration: frog’s legs.
By Guest Blogger Eliza Loehr, Operations Manager at C-CAP