Kitchen Ninjas

Training Kitchen Ninjas.  So says the Oregon Culinary Institute sign at 1701 SW Jefferson.

IMAG0793The day I stopped by a class of students was doing trial by fire in the OCI kitchen and dining room.  Jumping into the throes of cooking and serving in a real life professional setting for the very first time.  Courage was the order of the day.

I couldn’t have felt more welcome or well-served by staff and students.  First, a Hood River Cherry Salad with Arugula, Radicchio, Fennel, Almonds and Goat Cheese with Honey Vanilla Vinaigrette.  Bright and beautiful.

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Having no ability or desire to resist salmon, I chose Pan Roasted Salmon with Curried Couscous with Carrot, Jicama, Radish and Pineapple Relish.  No farmed salmon at OCI.

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Sometimes a respite from dessert is required.  Today was not that day.  Paradoxically, baking and pastry work was my entre into the culinary world many years ago; however, I’m not compelled to eat dessert.  To my delight, my birthday celebrations were unending last week, and when offered OCI’s Chocolate Dream Torte, I caved.  It was a very good decision.  A delicate, flourless chocolate cake with chocolate icing… not overly sweet, just intensely satisfying and a silky crumb.  Made all the more wonderful with a great cup of coffee.  Note to self.

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Creativity abounded.  Knives flew.  Kitchen ninjas, indeed.

Oregon Culinary Institute, 1701 SW Jefferson St, Portland, OR 97201, 888.OCI.CHEF

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