Internship at the Casino! (3rd year nutrition)

I was interning in Food Services at the Casino of Lac Leamy in Gatineau, QC for 6 weeks in November 2012 and had such a great experience working with the executive chef and all the other fantastic chefs on the team. You might be wondering how this type of internship would be related to nutrition, but it was just the perfect culinary experience ever. As I mentioned before, cooking is the first step to a healthy lifestyle, therefore these are the basics and this is where you are exposed to food all day for 12 weeks, it's awesome! I was so close to opting out of nutrition to become a chef... just kidding!

My first week in, the exec chef invites me to participate in the the prep for the Cancer Society Gala of 500 guests. This was something I had never experienced before (and I have been working in the food industry now for 7 years).

There were over 20 chefs in the kitchen and multiple sous chefs. It was amazing how they were all working together to plate and decorate 500 plates to be served all at the same time. It was fascinating to watch and to take part in that process. I felt like there was so much stress and anxiety, but it's a different kind of stress, it's more like a race because you are so limited with time and have to plate everything with such precision, detail and perfection... it was really something else!

 This is could be on that show: The most amazing this I ever ate. It was a type of deep fried melted cheese ball with a drizzle of caramel. You had those sweet and salty flavours that just made a perfect combination. 

 These slushy type of cocktails are called "Granité" and are meant for a palate cleanser in between courses. 


In a nut shell, this is what I did for the next few weeks...

Learning how to make chocolate shavings... with "chocolat praliné" aka caramel chocolate. 

Preping christmas logs or "buche de noël"

christmas logs

This was on my to do list, learn how to make French Macarons (not macaroons, completely different)
They were perfect.

Tasted some fine dining food from the Bacarra (I highly recomend trying this restaurant, it's so amazing!)


For my big final project, I did a theme day for the cafeteria for the 800 staff at the casino. I chose to make it Armenian themed since it represents my culture and is ideal for a nutrition related menu. Armenian food tends to be very healthy, our cooking consists of a huge variety of vegetables, fresh herbs, grilled meats, grains and you will probably find garlic and onion in 99% of the meals. I also installed a nutrition booth for all the staff, giving them useful info, providing them with all the recipes and calories... and answering questions.  

 Baklava was probably the only "unhealthy" item on my menu... but I definitely got great feedback on these!

Armenian style Grilled Veggie Salad.. Also a huge hit!

My nutrition kiosk

 The pomegranate glazed salmon dish with green beans in a tomato sauce on my menu. 
A pomegranate glaze being prepared for the salmon dish!

And last but not least: Bulgur in a tomato sauce (cracked wheat), babaganoush (eggplant dip) and grilled veggie salad. 

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