We had a cooks’ class this morning at the Alan Wong’s Honolulu restaurant. Everyone needed to bring a bottle of ketchup and one English hothouse cucumber. The first half of the morning was spent plating ketchup as if it were a sauce or coulis. We also cut a cucumber into slices to practice how you lay food down, and it then culminated into cucumbers with some sauce work done with ketchup.
The second half of the morning was spent on fish butchery, costing, and lessons in how to utilize every part of the filet. I butchered every fish so the yields for the onaga and opakapaka are mine for everyone to measure against. I also timed myself, so everyone had a time of one minute to breakdown a fish into filets. That is the time to beat now. I don’t know how many fish I have cut up in my time, but I am glad I did that many as it was like riding a bike. I just had to get back on again. I told the crew that one of the expectations coming from Hawaii and being surrounded by the Pacific Ocean is a good handle on fish butchery.
All in all, I hope today was about training your eyes to see better what cooks plate and an appreciation for every ounce of fish and the cost or expense of accuracy in butchering as well as using all of the fish to its best potential.