Day Two in Germany
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Day two in Gotha started mid-morning for us, as we all slept in a little bit to get caught up from the trip. With less than 5 hours of sleep last night, Iâ€™m still dragging a little bit, but hope to catch up on sleep in the next day or so.
The weather in Gotha is â€œperfect for aspic workâ€, said Rick Potter, team manager. Itâ€™s clear and cold; not hot like when the team was here in 2000. Itâ€™s cool enough that you want a jacket when you leave to go outside, but any amount of walking makes you want to take the jacket off and enjoy the cool, crisp air.
After a good German breakfast at the hotel (the breakfast included roulades, pork, sausages, pickled onions, potatoes, a green salad, and more (believe it or not â€“ MORE!)), the competitors and team manager (thatâ€™s Alan, Greg, and Rick, respectively) got to work organizing our prep while Brian and I ran out to the local market for a variety of last-minute items â€“ roses & babyâ€™s breath, flour, ladles, saffron, a few electronic gadgets to make life easier â€“ and had a great time at the market trying to make these unusual requests understandable to non-English-speakers. Lots of pointing and gesturing. Believe it or not, the easiest thing to communicate was electronic equipment. We had a difficult time figuring out flour (mehl) and chives (schnittlauche) in German, but thanks to our PDAs, wireless connections, and BabelFish, were able to get nearly everything we needed.
After another run or two to the shops (as new items were discovered) â€“ thankfully the shops are within a couple minutes of our preparation area â€“ we got rolling. Brian chopped lots of vegetables and did assorted assistant duties (as assigned) while I managed the electronics including getting pictures from the cameras up on the gallery and writing articles.
Tasks for the chefs today included spending a lot of time poaching vegetables, making croquettes out of various proteins, making crackers for garnish, lots of precision knife-work, made and cut polenta cakes, preparing aspic, and fried off miniature â€œsausagesâ€ wrapped in caul fat.
To answer a question from email (remember that you can comment on any article in this category and weâ€™ll make sure the chefs see everything you send), we cannot reveal the menus weâ€™re using in the competition at this point. The full menus will be revealed after we compete and are judged.