Culinary School | WK #2


It was a jam-packed week to say the least. Full to the brim. And what I learned for sure – like really for sure – is the importance of sleeping for more than 5 hours a night. That and you cannot put a price on a high quality moisturizer for your hands. Man, did I wash a lot of dishes this week. Cutting boards, blenders, soup pots, Oh my!

The week started with the deboning of a chicken and then the shelling of a Dungeness crab. Further practice of different knife cuts produced a heap of mirepoix and with those chicken bones and crab shells now on hand, we had all the ingredients required to start studying the fundamentals of stocks and broths. 8 different types to be exact. And as many of you may have already guessed, we didn’t stop here. Where there is stock there is almost always soup and we would be exploring five different “families”: clear, consommé, cream, puree and lastly “regional”, a family of many, many variations in itself. Think bisque, chowder, gazpacho, hot and sour. The list goes on and on, as did the tastings on Monday and Tuesday. We were all drowning in soup by Wednesday afternoon but you’ll hear no complaints from me. In fact, I was back in the kitchen making soups by Saturday.

Our first field trip, destination: Terra Nova Rural Park Richmond, B.C., took place on Thursday and I think my classmates and I were all excited for the change of pace. And the beautiful fresh air of course! Chef Ian welcomed us with great enthusiasm – he too wanted us to spend some time thinking beyond the cutting board – and within minutes we were touring the 100 acre property. This sacred space has community gardens, school and foodbank gardens, a picnic area, a huge cob oven and a modern kitchen where we would later make cheese and sample Chef’s fortified apricot wine. We discussed the importance of compost, the intricate workings of the mason bee and were given time to harvest some of the winter vegetables. I came home with a bag full of purple and green Brussels sprouts, winter kale, delicious sunchocke, and a huge smile on my face. Open to the public, Terra Nova is a place definitely worth visiting. What great energy, what generosity.

To top off what felt like an already busy week, our first Menu Development assignment was due on Friday. Each student was required to prepare and serve 6 canapés and either a soup or a composed salad. Diagrams and task lists for our creations were also required. The day started at the normal time and we were given the first two hours for preparation; canapés, salad, soup were to be served in succession. I created a one-bite Caesar salad for my canapé (picture below) and then served a duck salad, two ways. The whole exercise was a great learning experience, albeit a little stressful, and the feedback I received from my instructors, as well as my peers, was tremendously helpful. My time management was on point, my station remained tidy and Chef Tony loved my canapé concept. Where I had room for improvement was on my salad: portion sizes and plating. Practice, practice, practice!

Week two was certainly a challenging one, I felt exhausted at times, but I’m so proud of the dishes that we all created throughout the week. Our time at Terra Nova was refreshing – a fun switch-up – and it gave me the energy boost I needed to finish the week off strong.

I’m looking forward to week three and I hope you are too. Thanks for reading and happy browsing. Until next time, Piggies…

chicken and crab

Shelling and deboning. Because it’s Monday morning.

Gypsy Soup

Chicken broth, paprika, cilantro and lime. What’s not to like about this soup?!


Yes, it is Borscht. How could you tell?!


Creamy, creamy, zucchini goodness. I mean, that colour is irresistible!


This consommé, a type of clear soup made from richly flavored broth, was unlike any soup I’ve ever had before. A spoonful of luxury, Piggies – I highly recommend it!


Welcome to Terra Nova! Located in Richmond, B.C. and open to the public, this sacred space is definitely worth visiting. Put it on the To-Do list and pack yourself a picnic!

one bite caesar

A good canapé should waken the palate and excite you for the meal ahead. And I think my one-bite Casear salad did just that. Well, at least Chef Tony thought so!

  • Homemade Croutons, tossed in herbs and olive oil
  • Caesar Salad Dressing
  • Bacon
  • Grilled Romaine pieces
  • Aged Cheddar matchsticks
  • Bacon Bits and Parsley (garnish)

Saturday Cauliflower

Saturday was a super duper rainy Vancouver day; perfect for studying and making soups. This here is a Cream of cauliflower and leek soup. So comforting, so delicious.




  1. Allison Birt
    January 28, 2015

    Wow Emily! Your soups look amazing! And that one bite Caesar salad looks delicious! Can’t wait to see more!

    • emily
      February 8, 2015

      Thanks, Allison – both were so fun to create. And pretty darn tasty if I do say so myself. Mmm… let’s have a soup date soon?!

  2. Graham
    February 4, 2015

    Wow! Sounds like a jam-packed week for sure. Incredible looking soups. So cool to learn that there are different families of them. Terra Nova seems like a place definitely worth visiting. Your one-bite Caesar salad canapé concept looks fantastic. I can see why Chef Tony loved it. Congrats! Keep up the great work and hope you’re getting some sleep and keeping those hands moisturized!

    • emily
      February 8, 2015

      Ha! How did I know you would comment on that first paragraph?! It was a great week but swamped yes, I’ll be excited to tell you all about it the next time we connect. I’ll bring the groceries and cook something up!

  3. Iris
    February 7, 2015

    Sounds like you’re really enjoying culinary school. Well written as always and good pics! Keep up the good work!!!

    • emily
      February 8, 2015

      Thanks for reading, Iris – it was so nice to hear from you. I miss you and the team so very much, hope to catch up soon! Sending hugs your way! …


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