Sunday, February 15, 2009

Hudson's on the Bend-My Dream Externship!

I was very anxious to begin my search for an externship to fulfill my culinary school graduation requirements. Part of my worry was the fact that I have little restaurant experience other than working for my father in his steakhouse 25 years ago. Even though I have done well in school, I was still very apprehensive to begin my search. Of utmost importance to me was that I extern at a restaurant considered to be one of the best. I am building my resume and to fulfill my goals, I felt I needed an externship where I could not only learn the business but further develop my skills to carry me through to the next level of expertise.

I had a short list of restaurants where I felt I could get the knowledge I needed. My top choices were Hudson's on the Bend, Zoot, Wink, Chez Nous, Louie's 106 and Jeffrey's. I decided to go to the top first. Little did I know that I would be in the kitchen of Hudson's on the Bend less than 2 weeks later!

I worked a "stage" (pronounced stahj) which is a free shift where you work in the kitchen in order to learn. I had the time of my life! Hudson's on the Bend is considered to be one of the best restaurants in the country and I didn't expect them to let me NEAR the kitchen. But, Executive Chef Robert Rhodes and Chef de Cuisine Kelly Casey were warm, welcoming and willing instructors. I was responsible for the special appetizer which was a venison carpaccio with micro greens served on a salt lick (that's right...a block of salt!) and helped to prepare and plate the desserts and salads. I cannot wait to go back and continue to work beside some of the best chefs around.

If you are interested in one of the best meals this side of New York City, I suggest you give Hudson's on the Bend a try. Their fare is upscale in a downhome environment. The game will make any Texan feel at home and includes venison, quail, pheasant, duck, rabbit, wild boar, ostrich, and rattlesnake which are smoked in the rock smokehouse or grilled over pecan wood. Seafood is also regularly featured. Hudson's creative sauces accent the food and leave you begging for more.

I begin my externship in earnest May 18th. I am honored to be allowed to learn from the very best chefs around and will keep you posted on my progress!

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