Alison Yan, Culinary Week 14

This was our last production week together in culinary class.  I had a wonderful time cooking with everyone and learning more about each other.  I have met the goals that I set at the beginning of the semester.  My goal was to learn about different cooking techniques.  I have learned about French cuisine.  The semester went by so quickly and I will definitely miss everyone.  I hope everyone succeeds in the next semester and in the major.



Espagnole Sauce


Rice Pilaf


Chicken Chasseur


Marinated Beef


Grilling Beef


Grilled Beef


Marinated Grilled Beef


Marinated Grilled Beef with Espagnole Sauce


Chicken Chasseur with Rice Pilaf

Alison Yan, Homework #3 Robert Capa

Loyalist Militiaman at the Moment of Death, Cerro Muriano, September 5, 1936

Loyalist Militiaman at the Moment of Death, Cerro Muriano, September 5, 1936

Robert Capa’s photograph of a Falling Soldier raises questions to the authenticity of the photograph.  The photograph of a falling solider looks staged to me, because a lot of elements in this picture look too perfect, or not detailed enough.  The position when the solider fell does not appear to be a natural position, rather, it looks like he was in an ‘I’m ready to fall’ pose.  If the solider is getting shot at during this exact moment, the view does not hint at where the bullet hit, nor is there a detailed information about the picture.  There was talk about gathering soldiers to take a posed photograph.  Because taking pictures in open fire is dangerous, it is the reason why war photography is a really hard field to tackle.  I think Robert Capa’s works are very commendable, but whether or not his photographs are an accurate depiction of times of war.  Also, whether or not his photographs represent a wartime masterpiece or they are staged war photographs, only he would know the truth.

It is hard to know if what we are shown is authentic or not.  If we are not a primary witness, we don’t know what happened. It is the same as listening to an oral tale.  The photographer is a primary witness, that we know, because the photographer is at the scene to take the pictures.  So when seeing photographs, people tend to think it is real, that the event did happen without a doubt, as it is.  But because things are captured by one person, the photographer, they can easily fabricate the event, and tamper with their own work.  People would not know the truth unless they are told, or until they are proven right or wrong.  Having a camera is a powerful weapon and tool to capture the truth.  Now that I think back on the pictures, I realize that I question the authenticity of how much was the actual truth and how much was staged, like a photoshoot.

Alison Yan Culinary Week 10

Week 10 was soup week. We learned how to make consummé, French onion soup, Manhattan clam chowder, mushroom barley, potage créçy, purée dubarry and purée split pea

Week 10

Consummé Soup

Week 10

Simmer Onions in Stock

Week 10

French Onion Soup

Week 10

Manhattan Clam Chowder, Mushroom Barley, Potage Créçy, Purée Dubarry and Purée Split Pea

Alison Yan, Culinary Week 9

Week 9 was breakfast week. We learned how to make french omelet, hollandaise sauce, egg benedict. Individual teams made waffles, vegetable fitters or fruit fitters. Being a breakfast cook feels simple and easy but it is also fast paced because the customers will want their breakfast still hot and not cold when it is served to them.

Week 9

French Omelet

Week 9

Hollandaise Sauce

Week 9

Egg Benedict

Week 9

Waffles, Vegetable Fritter and Fruit Fritter

Alison Yan, The Counterman

The poem “Counterman” by Paul Violi is a relatable poem.  In this poem there is two parts, each part is a dialog between the counterman and the customer.  The first customer sounds like he/she is just trying to get a simple sandwich.  The second customer sounds like he/she is ordering a fancy sandwich; he/she is describing like a piece of artwork.  To me these two customers in the deli project the people in New York City.

This poem is related to me because this sounds like the lifestyle in New York City. The two faces of New York City one is the fancy and sophisticated lifestyle and another is the quick and busy lifestyle.  When I am rushing to get somewhere I will be like the first customer ordering fast, in and out.  And other days I will want a to be sophisticated with a pinch of salt, a dash of ketchup.

Alison Yan, Homework #2 Food and Coffee


If I had a choice, I rather give up coffee and have food for the rest of my life.  I grew up in Eastern China and the main starch of our day was rice.  Rice was the essential item in every meal to go along with other side dishes to flavor the rice.  When I was growing up, I had rice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  I lived on an island and the back of our house had our neighbor’s rice patty field.  I did not have cereal and milk for breakfast or coffee shops.  So consciously I do not yearn for coffee as people who grew up around coffee would. In addition, I do not enjoy the taste of coffee because it’s bitter. Coffee with milk taste good but I am lactose intolerant so I don’t drink latte a lot.

Reading the two articles I realized the importance of coffee to the Civil War soldiers.  As mentioned in the article by Grinspan the word “coffee” is mentioned in the soldiers’ journal entries more often than combat weapons.  To the soldier’s coffee, it was the start of their morning. Soldiers would have conversation about coffee like men about the morning newspaper. Returning to base to a cup of coffee was their way to keep on going and fighting.  The food the soldiers had did not sound very sanitary like the puddle water used to brew coffee. Later on there was the United States Sanitary Commission who started to provide healthier and nutritious meals for the men who never stepped into a kitchen.  Meals were not always tasty but the soldiers would eat the bread last to wipe the remains off their plate or wet the bread in coffee.  Overall, coffee was an essential item to the soldiers’ meals just like how rice is essential for my meals.

Alison Yan, Homework #1 Texture

Rutabaga, turnip and pearl onion.

This is a picture of a mise en place that I created during culinary class that consists of three different vegetables.  First the rutabaga and turnip are cut into tournés.  Then they are boiled with pearl onions in a pot.  By boiling it, it creates a soft texture throughout the whole vegetable.  When the vegetables were cooked, they were placed in iced water to shock the vegetables.  This makes the texture of the vegetable’s outer layer smooth.  Then in a small sauce pan with butter, the pearl onions, rutabaga and turnip gets sautéed together along with seasoning and herbs.  This browns the outer layer and the butter creates that glossy appearance.  Finally, after plating the vegetables I added garnish on the side to make the dish look more attractive.