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Brix Externship Blog Week Five– August 8, 2011

Long, long Wednesdays, those 14 hour days.
This week we want to talk about our Wednesdays. It is the first day of our week and all
the fresh product for this week arrives at our back door, or if we still need something we
walk a block over to the weekly farmers market, where we hope to find what we need
and if something strikes our eyes, Chef may come up with a use for it. This week for
example he found beautiful white oyster mushrooms from Botetort. The menu add-
on for this week: vegetarian mushroom pasta, which was such a hit that we fully sold out
on Saturday evening. Because of zucchini flowers we also had zucchini polenta. So back
to Wednesday prep days: besides making our daily bread and pasta, we need to have all
newly delivered vegetables and proteins cleaned, and prepped. The very tasty little
multicolor carrots look best on the diner’s plate with about a quarter inch stem left on
top. But right there on top is also most of the sandy dirt that needs to be brushed off. The
rabbit comes nicely cleaned and dressed but is not cut yet and we need to get at least 4
plates served from one rabbit, which means cutting front and back legs as well as
tenderloins, saving the rest for stock. We make stock from everything that is left over:
rabbit stock, pork stock, chicken stock, mushroom stock and vegetable stock. The carrot
leaves are sorted out for garnish. This is also the day to make marinades and sauces,
define the soup of the week (these last weeks were cold soups, because of the summer
weather).

In the backyard of the restaurant is an extensive herb garden, which is getting trimmed
each Wednesday as we define flavor profiles for the week. You get the general idea: brix°
is having a main menu, but always enhanced with the specials of the day/week as product
comes through our kitchen on Wednesdays. Chef also visits the Saturday farmers market
in another location, but most of the purchases there are to make up for product that has
sold out or has become low in availability. We do all this multi-tasking while serving
guests as they come into the house, because the customer experience is our livelihood.

This Friday and Saturday Chef left us the kitchen to run, as he went to neighboring
Staunton (Staunton Grocery) to help out a chef (Ian Boden) who lost most of his kitchen staff for those days. His
confidence that we can run the kitchen by ourselves is such that he does not hesitate to
help out a colleague in need on the busiest days of the week.

Sandee and I were also very proud of the fact that one guest at the end of Saturday
evening came to the pass (the counter where kitchen staff passes plates to the service
staff) and told us, that he had enough fine dining experience to be able to tell us, that
what we served that evening was: “fine dining” in the true sense of the word in looks,
aroma and taste experience. Those of you that live nearby and never have dined at brix°,
please do yourself the favor of coming in for an evening of fine dining in Lexington VA.
Till next week, Erik and Sandee