or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Professional Food Service › Professional Chefs › Mystery Box Challenge for a Sous Chef Position, What would you do?!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Mystery Box Challenge for a Sous Chef Position, What would you do?!

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hello Chefs,

 

So I recently had a mystery box challenge for a potential sous chef position or just a line cook position.  I have done the mystery box before for other jobs but this one was a little different and I am unsure on what to think of the establishment.  I'll start off with my box, it contained:

 

1 whole rabbit

2 carrots

2 roma tomatos

2 russet potatos

1 clove of garlic

1 cup AP flour

1 cup sea salt

pepper mill

2 baby egg plant

2 eggs

Butter (un-salted)

 

No other items were allowed to be used.  In other challenges i've been given options from the pantry or at least other herbs and spices.  Is this typical now-a-days? I made a brunch item egg, rabbit hash with potato, tomato, and carrots, with "rabbit bacon" and a dinner entry with Rabbit 4 ways, roasted rabbit loin, roasted rabbit rib rack, seared rabbit kidneys, with a butter enriched rabbit sauce, and egg plant coins.  I was told there was a lack of color and creativity with these dishes and was not given a sous chef position.  Should I be angry or am I just not as aware or good as I believe I am with my abilities? 

 

P.S. lots of items I thought of were already on the menu such as:  egg plant and potato puree, carrot puree, which was lame because I was trying to not do items they had already seen and was asked why I didn't do something more like that.

 

Please let me know what kind of things you would have done, or give input on how I approached the box.  Oh and there was a 60 minute time limit.

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 12

Knowing me I would take the rabbit and debone and braise it with the bones and all with a little bit of the carrots and tomatoes until it was tender enough to be edible and not chewy and set the meat aside while i finished getting all the flavor i could out of those bones. next i wouuld make my sauce out of the remaining liquid with the bones and puree it if need be to smooth it out as long as it doesnt look like baby shit.for the eggplant, tomatoes, and remaining potatoes i would do a non traditional ratatouille of sense with herbs and spices, with the rabbit i would bread it up and fry it with the eggs and flour and use my remaining liquid to finish. so in the end it would be a braised lightly fried rabbit with the stock and ratatouile in a sense. an entree soup more or less.

post #3 of 12

The position you were interviewing for was sous chef, with this in mind I would have prepared something very closely aligned with their current menu and presentation style.

 

Sous chef is a very key position and of immense importance in terms of support to the chef. However, odds are that the chef is not looking to be blown away by a culinary prodigy with awe inspiring prowess as much as someone who can jump in and hang with their prevailing style.

 

Chef is not looking to reinvent the wheel. Maverick is not high on his list of priorities. Chef wants someone who can hit the ground running and watch his back. If down the road the sous chef turns out to possess awe inspiring culinary prowess and creativity, okay that is a bonus, but it was not the original goal.

 

I can relate though. I know it is hard not to want to strut your stuff and blow them away; but a mystery basket interview is like designing a menu; you have to keep in mind what the guests might want, not what you want. In this case, the chef was your guest and your challenge was to try to tailor your culinary offering to suit his desires.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Reply
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Reply
post #4 of 12

Another way to look at it is that the mystery basket was an interview, not an episode of "Chopped", so the approach would be different. Not trying to bust your chops, just some insight from my side. chef.gif

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Reply
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Reply
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

remember there is a 60 minute time limit so I figured braising was out as for the veg, only salt and pepper were the useable spices, and cheflayne. thanks that makes me feel better, I guess my whole approach was just off when looking at this :/

post #6 of 12

This has been running around in my head ever since I first read it, what would I do with those ingredients on "Chopped"? Granted I have had the luxury of a few hours to think about it as opposed to here it is, do it, but I did have some immediate thoughts and the first was roasted rabbit with a cracked black pepper carrot syrup, that and an eggplant mousse and or puree. What I came up with was

 

Roasted Rabbit with a cracked Black Pepper and Carrot Syrup served with a Potato Pancake topped with an Egglant Puree, sauteed Rabbit Liver, a savory Sabayon Sauce, finely diced Roma Tomato Concasse, and topped a savory Meringue and Rabbit Cracklings

 

Don't know about doing it all in a hour, extremely doubtful, but it was fun playing around with the ideas. Thanks for the creative puzzle opportunity.


Edited by cheflayne - 7/28/13 at 2:57pm
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Reply
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Reply
post #7 of 12

Did you have to create 1 plate or 2?  I would've focused all my effort on doing one very good plate instead of trying to do too much.  That way you would've been able to incorporate colour into the entire composition.

"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
Reply
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
Reply
post #8 of 12

i will admit that i've never cooked rabbit before, i've eaten it but never prepared it myself

 

in this case i would have de-bone a large piece of it, tenderized the 3D out of it, then i'd stuff it with a peppery tomato carrot garlic salsa and rabbit kidneys roll it nice and tight,

i'd then fold together a quick shortcrust pastry using the butter and flour, wrap the rabbit in that and egg wash and oven bake with the potato's 

once cooked serve on top of lightly battered crisp egg plant with the roast potato

i'd then give you back cup of salt minus a few pinches and say "that's far to much salt for one dish''

 

not quite as fancy as most dishes, but easy to enjoy, easy to replicate and quick to plate

post #9 of 12

I don't understand the whole cup of sea salt. Why not more flour, or more eggs?

 

I would've done a rabbit eggplant ragu over fresh pasta or gnocchi. I would get the rabbit going as soon as possible, and while the rabbit was braising quickly do the pasta (parpadelle style) or gnocchi.

“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

Reply
“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

Reply
post #10 of 12
The whole cup of salt might've just been put in there to test your sensibilities.
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedBeerd Cantu View Post

The whole cup of salt might've just been put in there to test your sensibilities.
...or maybe they wanted to see a salt crusted rabbit tenderloin.
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Reply
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Reply
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheflayne View Post

...or maybe they wanted to see a salt crusted rabbit tenderloin.

Now I miss working with black Hawaiian sea salt. Thanks, Layne.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Professional Chefs
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Professional Food Service › Professional Chefs › Mystery Box Challenge for a Sous Chef Position, What would you do?!