Cook.Plate.Dine. | #104 — Cooking in the Real World

Cook.Plate.Dine. | #104 — Cooking in the Real World


(sizzling flames) (tense music) – [Woman] This is a
fast-paced career! – [Narrator] In the heart of
Milwaukee, students observe and practice the techniques
to transform themselves– – I did it! (cheers) – [Narrator] Into
professional chefs. – The cooking part of
it isn’t the challenge, it’s being ready
to be in school. – It’s stressful. Can you learn, can you
adjust as you’re going along, and that’s what you have to do. – [Narrator] Learning
the art of cooking… – [Man] It’s amazing that
they can go through it, I’m always impressed. – [Narrator] From food
preparation to presentation. (gentle chiming music) (sizzling) – Any time you learn something
new, it’s always a plus. You know, you feel
good about that. – [Narrator] For many students
attending Milwaukee Area Technical College’s
Culinary Arts Program, the desire to become a chef
or work in the food industry is a passionate pursuit. (flames sizzling) – You can’t just come in
here because you like food, you have to love to cook
it, love to learn about it. – If I can connect with
students and see a little light go on in their eyes or a little
bit more self-confidence, I think that helps students, that they can
learn from anybody. So if they go out
into the industry, they can learn from anybody. – I hope as they move on that
they realize this is lifelong. That it’s constantly
learning, and lifelong. – [Student] Check on me! – [Student] It’s perfect! – [Narrator] One important
aspect of learning for student chefs
at MATC goes beyond what they’re taught in class. During their course of study, they get to share their
culinary skills with the public in a very meaningful way. – I’m proud that I
got a chance to do a lot of volunteer work. – One of our core values at
MATC is community service, and nothing brings community
together better than food. Alright, come on
in, gather ’round! Come on in, everybody! – [Narrator] In a
unique partnership, the student chefs
mentor Milwaukee area
high school students and all help cook and serve a
community Thanksgiving dinner. – [Mary] The Milwaukee
Police Department has reached out to
us, and the community. And this year, Messmer
High School came on board with their Culinary Club. – I’d like to thank everybody
for coming real quick. Thank you to the staff here,
thanks to the students. This is our second
annual holiday dinner that’s been prepared by MATC, and in conjunction with
working with the Milwaukee Police Department and Messmer. Last year, the idea came up
to expand what we’ve always done before with the
holiday Thanksgiving. Our district has always
reached out to those in need. This year, we were able to
expand up to 400 people, and in order to do that, I
enlisted the help of the MATC Culinary staff, who have
been very wonderful. And again, these students here, they’re from the same community. – We’re doing turkey
breast with gravy. These two are gonna
carve with Officer Ciano. I heard he got really
good at it last year, so he wants to do
it again this year. So the whole idea when
you carve a turkey, is you wanna take the wing off, you wanna take the legs off, and then you wanna take
the breast off of the cage, off of that ribcage. Then you’ve got your pieces, and it’s so much
easier to carve! – Oh, is that… Do you wanna do this now? – Okay, alright!
(Officers laughing) – Alright!
– What was the win? – Wishes do come true! Did you make a wish?
– I did! – Alright!
– Let the knife do the work. – Oh my goodness. – [Mary] That sounds like a
chef right there! (laughs) – [Narrator] With so
many guests to feed, the MATC student chefs
get hands-on assistance from the volunteer
high school students. – Do you wanna use the slicer? Okay! (laughs) Go ahead. – This year, we added help
from Messmer High School. These are seniors who
expressed an interest in the culinary arts. It was an idea brought
up by the staff here at the culinary school. Students have been partnered
up with student chefs. And they’ve each
gotta take sections, making the mashed
potatoes, the gravy, the cranberries, stuffing, and
cooking, prepping the turkey. – Even if you think it’s the
dumbest question in the world, ask it, because it might
mean the difference between having hard potatoes and
having soft potatoes, right? – [Officer Ciano] What
a better way to explore a future career than
to spend the day here, and having that
first-hand experience. – [Narrator] After
two days of prep, the MATC student chefs,
along with their Messmer High mentees are ready to
serve up their feast at Messmer Preparatory
Catholic School. – I have 14 volunteers
here today that have helped with all the prep. Be patient, have a good time, talk to people, enjoy the day. You’re doing something
good for your community. Feel good about that. (mixed chatter) – Thank you. – So it’s a great way to bring
the whole community together. Bring different forces
from Messmer High School. – Would you like a dinner roll? – Sure. – [Girl] Would you
like some gravy? – [Juan] Our college – How are you
doing today, ma’am? – I’m good, thank you. – Happy Thanksgiving to you! – [Juan] The Police Station,
you know, all these people, they brought all these
different people together for a good cause. – I think it’s a great
thing that the school let us come out and be able
to show what we know, and just to help others. I think it’s great that
we’re able to do that, to get our name out there,
to get us out there, to get the program out there. – You want some potatoes? – As far as students to
actually get involved on the serving end of it, and actually seeing the
community come out for this, as an outreach, it’s phenomenal. – It’s something I enjoy
doing, and something that I’ll continue to do, even
when I’m out of school. – For them, it’s a really
good feeling to walk away knowing that what they
do and love to do, which is cooking, can
impact so many people. – Do you want some gravy?
– Happy Thanksgiving! – [Woman] Thank you! – You five years old right now? Ooh, I remember when I was five! – I’ve got to say, it’s one of the wonderfulest
feelings in the world. To have someone to thank
you and to say how good the food is, and you know,
just to get to talk to them, and I guess it’s a good feeling. They say love people,
cook them tasty food. (laughs) – Happy Thanksgiving!
– Thank you, same to you. (instrumental music) – [Narrator] Every spring,
the Culinary Arts students rise to the occasion, where
their skills in creating delectable dishes are
served to the public for a very special event. – Our Five Star Food & Wine
Event is a yearly event that we have, and it’s
really a capstone event for the public, that’s a
scholarship fundraiser. – The entire event is
geared towards showcasing what these students can do. – It’s our only fundraiser
in Culinary Arts, and also in the entire
Hospitality Program, so it’s not just
us that’s involved. – Yeah, pressure’s on, man! – We started this about 20
years, it’s kind of morphed. It started more
as a chef-driven, sit-down type of dinner. We’ve moved to
this grazing event, and we’ve found that this
really clicks with the guests. – Oh, the last scallop,
thank you very much! – Anywhere is fine, thank you! – [Man] Enjoy! – [Narrator] The event
only lasts three hours, but it takes the students days
to plan and prepare the food for an expected crowd of 500. – [Woman] It’s
really not that hard. – Every single class comes
up with a menu for the event. They come up with what it
is they wanna showcase. – This year, this class,
the Mise en Place class, is gonna be doing Scotch eggs! I figured I had to keep
it within the egg realm. – It’s a hard-boiled
egg, and then we wrap it in breakfast sausage, and then
we bread ’em and we fry ’em. – [Patricia] We have a
mustard sort of sauce on it. I’m gonna serve
it on some greens, and a little bit of
a vinaigrette with
raspberries, I think. – Scotch eggs was simple,
but it’s delicate. And I love the greens
that come with it. – We’re doing what we called
Southern Fried this year, doing a little
American regional food, some fried chicken,
some pulled pork, and a variety of
sides with that. – Do you like shrimp and grits? – [Man] Yes, absolutely. – And would you like
the red pepper sauce? It’s not spicy. – I’ll try a little bit, yeah.
– Okay. – It’s really a
big collaboration with our fellow instructors,
and we have to really communicate a lot
with each other on who’s doing what and
are we repeating something in a different area? (mixed chatter) We’re in good shape, we
just got done opening about 400 oysters, so I’m
very happy about that. – I don’t know if I
wanna shuck oysters. – [Man] Did you do one yet? – No, I’m afraid I’m gonna
stab myself! (laughs) – [Man] You wanna go for it with the crook of
the knife here, about a 30 degree angle, try
to give a little pressure, and you’ll feel it
immediately pop. Now you can just get
your knife around and just kinda work
your way across. – And once you get the hang
of it, it goes by fast. You’ve just gotta
stick, twist, and slice. – We have our Virginia
peanut salad over there for dishing up, she’s working
on the haricots verts salad, and we just finished up
with guacamole! (laughs) – So I made the dressings
and put everything together. Cut all the grapefruit, a
little bit of everything. Just waiting for people to
try all the food. (laughs) – I’m excited to see like, what kind of different
people are gonna show up, ’cause I’ve never done
a MATC event before. – I’m excited to see people and see them smile and have
fun and have a good time. So I’ve gotta get
these in there. – Oh my gosh, I’m so
nervous. 500 people? – It’s my first time
at a Five Star too, so I wanna enjoy it,
see what it looks like. – [Narrator] Finally,
all of the hard work in preparing and cooking the
vast array of dishes is done, and all that’s left to do
is set them out and serve. – It is fast and furious, we
get hit all at once usually. – Green beans and
prosciutto is this one, that’s a spinach,
balsamic vinaigrette. – Ooo. – Is it spicy?
– [Man] A little bit. – That means I’m
gonna have to try it! (both laugh) – There’s a mild lamb,
there’s a lamb merguez, which is the spicier
one, and then we have some duck sausage
which everybody ate, so I just brought some more out. – That’s a mango curry chutney with shrimp salad
in a wonton cup. – [Woman] Let me grab
the salmon. (laughs) – [Man] And some gravlax. – It’s actually
flowing pretty easily, I thought it’d be
more congested. – It’s a chance
to see the public, to actually interact with them, and it’s customer
service, of course, and they also are going
to be preparing food in front of the customers. – We’ve got a little of
this, a little of that, we split a lot so
that we don’t fill up before we can try everything. – It’s actually a really good
substitution meat as well, too, especially if you’re trying
to go too much off of beef, but you really don’t want fish. Octopus is the best place to go. – Grilled octopus! – Here we go. – I’m normally set in what I
like to eat when we go out, so I’m just opening my
eyes to different cultures and different foods. – Everything seems to have
love and presentation thought put into it, along with just
the quality of ingredients. – It’s good to see our
culinary students here that are putting
their sweat and tears in all these wonderful meals
they are serving us right now. – [Narrator] Many of the
faculty and staff at MATC also come to enjoy the food
and support the students. – The training that we do,
the services that we provide, the education that they have, really top-notch students here. We’re really proud
of our students, and I think this is
absolutely great. We need to make sure
that the public know a lot more about what
we do here at MATC. – Obviously they’ve been
working hard this year. The desserts are
especially impressive. – [Peter] Yeah,
they are beautiful. – [Chuck] Now we’re set to go
to be able to handle a party of 600 people. – There’s a whole
area of pastry arts that are made by the Baking
and Pastry Arts students. – You can see the
beautiful fruit tarts, you can see the wonderful
chocolate-covered strawberries, you’ve got some pretty
flowers up on there, and that’s all student-produced,
that’s really important, because we work hard, it’s
a win-win for everybody. – [Narrator] Served alongside
many of the food stations is a selection of wine pairings. – For the Five Star,
we have to open about 90 bottles of wine. So they really learn
how to use a corkscrew. – [Man] No, it’s
not the first one. – I enjoyed the food experience, but I also had the
opportunity to talk to one of the students
who’s in the program, and just having her
explain her experience in the program was
really encouraging. – And for the community
to see what a great job MATC is doing with their
students, you know what I mean? I think doing community
events like this, it gets the word out there. – Really really great work. I’m proud of you guys. (intriguing instrumental music) – They’re like, raspberry
strawberry things. – That’s excellent. – [Narrator] As the
semester winds down, the Advanced Culinary Arts
students creating dishes inside MATC’s
on-campus restaurant are up early to cook
for their final exam, which mimics what it’s like in a professional
restaurant kitchen. – This is the
Cuisine Restaurant, and it’s actually a working lab. Today we have practical exams, so students had to
prepare and present a four-course menu. They have to requisition
the food for the menu. Your fish is going
to be the black bass. – Okay. – Let us know when
you’re ready for it, we’ll pull it out of the cooler. And then they come in and
they have about five hours where they have to
actually prepare the food, plate it, and serve it. Get yourself organized, get things in the
cooler that you need to, and then just get rolling. – [Ivan] Perfect. – [John] Good luck.
– Thanks. – What we’re really
looking for in this menu is mastery of techniques. So it begins with a soup
course, a salad course, a fish course, and
then a main course, which could be meat, poultry,
or something like that. – I’m just searing
the ribs right now, and then I’m gonna
cook it in the oven, because it’s a braised item. – On my menu, I had a cheddar
cream of broccoli soup, a Cobb salad with a
Green Goddess dressing, poached fish with
eggplant roulade. And my braised entree, I have
red wine-braised short ribs. – [Chef Evans] Nice job, Curtis. – I had a chicken Thai consomme. I’m making my raft
for the consomme. Well, it helps flavor the soup, but it also like, takes
all the impurities out. It’ll start at the
bottom of the soup, and then it’ll rise to the top. I did a seaweed and
red cabbage salad, sauteed fish with
haricots verts, and the hanger steak with
garlic, broccoli, cauliflower. – With five minutes
to spare, Sarah! Once I got going and I
got used to everything and just focused on
what I was doing, it really all came together. – I didn’t even pay any
attention to the clock. I was anxious to start. – Okay Ivan, your
window is open. – Time goes fast, really fast. I’m like, I’m done already? It seems like it was like 10
minutes, no, like, 25 minutes. Ooh, those hot ones, alright. I learned that I’m
fast at cooking. Oh my god. – One minute, Sarah. – [Sarah] What I should have
done was something different, I don’t wanna say it now,
’cause it’s gonna jinx it. – We’re taking everything
they’ve been learning along the way, and not only
do we pull in the culinary techniques, but we also
bring in the food costing with the menu planning. Where they run into
trouble is organization, running out of time. When you have multiple
things going on, you have to be
conscious of well, I’m making this
dressing right now, but on the stove, I’ve
got a sauce simmering, that I have to
keep an eye on it. – My parsnips burned! (laughs) I was doing the other stuff,
and I forgot about it. – [Narrator] After
surviving nearly five hours of preparation,
cooking, and plating, the students are critiqued. – I always like getting
feedback on how to better myself on my food and my techniques. – One of the things I
noticed about the texture is, it’s a little gritty. Did you notice that? – Yeah, a little bit,
but I figured it was just ’cause I took a piece
of broccoli with my bite but I can see it
being in the soup. – Actually, what I think
it’s from is the cheese. – [Curtis] Really? – And getting a little too hot. – I was nervous with Chef
Reiss, he’s really tough, but he critiques really fairly. I agree with pretty
much everything he says. – You know, if you’re gonna
serve it with the skin, it should have
some texture to it. And it should be crisp, otherwise it’s
just not that good. – This is my last class for
Culinary Arts, it was fun. I really liked this practical. I wish we had to do more. – It’s important to
have a class like this, ’cause it’s very hands-on. It really opens your eyes
to what you’re going to be expecting in the industry. – If you go into a high position
job, they’ll require you to do something just like this, and so having it already
been done before, we’ll go in feeling
less nervous. (sizzling) It was a nerve-wracking
day overall, but it feels really
good to be done. (upbeat instrumental music) – When I entered school here, I was never the back
of the house cook, I was always in the
front waitressing, so this really helped me. – We can make you a better cook. You know, that’s really
what we’re trying to do. But also too that you
understand that there’s a bigger picture to all of this. – I’ve just really been
looking for inspiration within the program to
figure out what I wanna do with my career after this. You know, there are so many
different opportunities. – It’s kind of really helped
me verify what I wanted to do. – All of the chefs will,
here, they have experience, and they’re well-connected
throughout the city of Milwaukee or just the
Wisconsin in general, and they can help you get jobs. – A lot of people will think
of a small technical college, and they won’t give
it the type of credit that it really deserves,
but MATC’s Culinary Program is well-respected
throughout the country. – This is a great
resource, I think, for the community chefs to
know this is where you can get good-quality employees. – [Narrator] As a student,
Gary Morse thrived under the pressure of cooking
in the Cuisine Restaurant kitchen on-campus. As a recent alum of the program, he brings that same work ethic
to his job as a line cook with the Bartolotta
Restaurant group. – Well I’m starting off
with the garde manger, and now I’ve moved up to grill. After I conquer this,
I’m sure I’ll move on to the next station and
do well in those, also. Crab cake in the window! I appreciate MATC for
giving me the opportunity that they appointed
me by going to school. I have set my goals high,
and I reach for ’em, so I appreciate MATC very much. – [Narrator] Many of MATC’s
Culinary Arts Program alumni hire current students
and recent graduates for their kitchens. – We promote a
learning atmosphere, so bringing in students,
young culinarians, and giving them the
opportunity to learn, giving them the
opportunity to succeed. – What I got from MATC,
I wanted to bring back what I learned here. And I’ve given the instruction, and I come back
and follow through, and so that’s not
only helping them, it’s helping me, because
I’m working through them. So ultimately, it’s
to get the job done. – I have been fortunate
enough to have a couple of MATC students that
have been working with us for a number of years. Me hiring MATC students
is a plus for me, because I know I’m
getting quality chefs. – The goal for the future
will be that we continue to evolve as the
industry evolves, and make sure that
we meet the needs, not only of the tastes
of the consumers, but also the needs of
the local employers. – It’s a tough
business, and that’s why the MATC Culinary Program
is so important right now. – The culinary world is just
as hard as any other job, but it’s just as rewarding
as any other job, if you put the work in. If somebody is excited
and into cooking and wants to become a chef, I say absolutely go
to culinary school. – After going to
culinary school, I realized this is a
perfect fit for me. I would encourage anybody
to check out that program, because it was
definitely worthwhile. – There are things
that you do in school, and things that you
do in the real world, and it’s important
to learn both, but it’s important
to get that exposure to how real kitchens
actually run and operate. – And making Milwaukee
a better culinary place is super important as we
continue to evolve as a city. And I think MATC is a big
part of that, I really do. They’re graduating a
higher-quality employee. – What I’m most proud of,
being in this program, is the fact I can
say I will be an MATC Culinary Arts graduate. (upbeat music) – It’s kind of exciting,
to be after the two years of hard work, that
it’s coming to an end, and leading to a new future. – I hereby declare the
Spring 2017 Commencement from Milwaukee Area
Technical College open! (audience cheering) – We are proud of you,
and excited to see what the next chapter
holds for each of you. – I believe in you,
everyone here at MATC believes in you, and I
hope that you will always believe in yourselves! This I believe that you all are
the future of Culinary Arts. – Some days I wanna quit. – [Brian] We didn’t
let you though, did we? – No, you didn’t. I
appreciate you very much– – Stayed on you! – Yes you did, and they’re
still on me. (laughs) They’re still on me. – Congratulations.
– Thank you. – I’m proud of being able
to accomplish all this, and you know, it’s
definitely not easy. – Now I know, I go into a
kitchen, I’m not scared. It’s like, oh, this is
just a variation of this, or this is somehow a
little tweaked from this. – I came back after 25 years. It was real hard, but
I enjoy it, I love it. – Richard Brookshire! (audience cheers) – The more experience
you accumulate, the more knowledge and
wisdom you accumulate, the more it just opens the
doors to your entire future. – With Scholastic Honors,
Daniel Paul Zielski! (audience cheering) – By the authority vested
in me by the Milwaukee Area Technical College District
Board of Directors, graduates, you now may move
the tassels of your caps from the right to the left! (audience cheers) Congratulations! (upbeat instrumental music) – [Narrator] We’d love to hear
from you about this episode of Cook.Plate.Dine. Call us at 414-797-3760
with your feedback! Discover more about
Cook.Plate.Dine. online, at MilwaukeePBS.org. And follow us on the
Milwaukee PBS Facebook page. (mixed chatter) – I wanna thank my husband, because he’s put up with me
spending time by the books and not so much time
with him. (laughs) – I did it. – Thank you to, well, anybody who was around
when I needed support. Like my mom, other members
of my family and friends. – Mom and Dad and my
brother Brian, thanks! – I’m glad it’s over. (laughs) – I’d like to thank my parents
who paid for my college, they’ve like, always
stuck with me, and my girlfriend
for helping me out. – Thanks to my whole
family for supporting me along the whole way. – I’d also like to thank Thomas, ’cause he got me through it. – My parents, Mom and Dad, they
stuck with me the whole way. And I wanna say thank you. – Here’s my favorite student! (laughs)

One thought on “Cook.Plate.Dine. | #104 — Cooking in the Real World”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *