Jefferson Rodriguez-Martinez Summer 2018 Blog

The Goodbye

by Jefferson Rodriguez-Martinez, September 19, 2018

This summer I completed my internship at Tied House located on the north side of Chicago. The Tied House kitchen is run by Chef Debbie Gold, a James Beard Award winner. The restaurant brings to the public a delightful menu in a beautiful location. My Internship at Tied House was not only incredible, but taught me more than I expected. The expectations I had about working in a real kitchen came true. I felt intimidated at the beginning of my internship because there were many things I needed to learn. I needed to become familiar with a new kitchen, as I was no longer walking into the pastry kitchen at Kendall College.

When I started my internship, I was taught how everything works around the kitchen. Eventually, after completing my projects in the prep room, I felt a little nervous when it came to service. During service, I kept my notebook close to me and wrote everything about the desserts that I needed to plate. I listened carefully to Maggie, the pastry assistant, and asked her everything about the desserts and service. I was feeling less nervous as service continued, but things could change in the next hour.

The upcoming order had only one dessert, and that was a chocolate mousse. Maggie went over the components of the dessert and how to plate it. Suddenly, Maggie took her spoon and made a quenelle out of the chocolate mousse and placed it onto the plate. I knew the technique because I had seen it earlier at my stages and at school. After Maggie finished plating the dessert, I asked her and Pedro, the Pastry Chef, about the technique. Both of them explained to me their methods and how I could practice it at home. The entire week went by fast, and the second week I was all by myself on the line.

Chocolate mousse: Brown Butter puree, chocolate streusel, chocolate gel dots, chocolate mousse quenelle, milk pearls
Sheep's milk: Cajeta (caramel), chiboust cream, white balsamic, Sheep's milk ice cream quenelle, yogurts crumble, and dehydrated flowers

Before the next week started, I practiced at home using shortening, hot water, and a kitchen spoon. The entire weekend I dedicated to practicing the technique over and over. My first trials were not the best, but through my practice, I started to see a difference. Mastering this technique was frustrating, but I kept practicing every day. The second week of my internship I felt more confident about my work when service started.

On the other hand, this quarter has come to an end, and it means the end of my internship too. As I prepare myself to say goodbye to my coworkers, I am also excited to welcome the new fall quarter.

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