I was able to assemble my mise, acquire a burner, and make my sauces. And both were successful! We all set out our two cups of sauce, then went around the room putting sauces on bread, tasting and talking about the flavors and techniques. I was happy with both my sauces, especially the bigarde– I wish we’d had some duck to sauce it with. Only one other person made bigarade, and mine was a bit… richer, possibly due to the sherry vinegar I brought and used instead of regular white or cider vinegar, but even after discussing it we’re not sure.
As far as the test goes, I was prepared. For some reason, memorizing the recipes-for-a-gallon seemed easy– perhaps because there weren’t very many ingredients and the process is nearly obvious. Chef started the day by asking us to write down the tomato sauce recipe for use that day (although as the day turned out we didn’t get to it), and I was able to do it from memory. So I was confident for the test. Then when the test came, we were allowed to use our notes. I was actually disappointed, and didn’t use my notes except as a check when I was done (pride is all well and good, but no point being stupid about it).
Today I bought a pile of pork spareribs. I think I’ll try a pork demi from consommé. It should work out from a logistical standpoint: strip most of the meat off the rib bones, roast and make a brown stock from them, and use the reserved meat as clearmeat to enrich and clarify the stock into a consommé. Reduce the consommé, and there you are. From this I will make a bigarade sauce with mostly apple juice instead of orange, which should be excellent on a good pork chop.