Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pasty school, 2nd quarter, week 2!

January 17, 2011

Oh my goodness, friends!

In the last week, I have made cinnamon buns, apple pie, 4 genoise cakes (cakes made with whipped egg whites), Italian buttercream, pastry cream, chocolate puff pastries (stuffed with pastry cream and topped with chocolate – um – heaven!), more foccacia, and more croissants. I also taught my second ever yoga class – a new project that I am SO inspired by, and simply adore! More on that another time!

This is made out of sugar, my friends!!

Chef Paul working on some white chocolate to make a rose - brilliant!

And here it is!!

Chef Paul making the leaves out of chocolate for the rose!

Chef Paul with the ribbon he crafted out of sugar - yes - sugar. No big deal !!

I was also lucky enough to be able to apprentice under an amazing pastry chef at the private club where I am a server. In 2 shifts, I scooped 264 cookies, helped put the finishing touches on 170 raspberry tarts, cracked 70 eggs to make 70 egg whites for baked Alaska, and helped plate 180 individual desserts for one sitting! I also saw how a kitchen runs when there are 180 people to feed at one time. Essentially, the kitchen is deathly quiet, and each chef has a job: one hands the plates down the line, while the subsequent chefs plate one food item each (in last night’s case, it was asparagus, red peppers, broccoli, mashed potatoes and roast beef, for a grand total of 6 people, including the person who hands out plates). I handed the plates down the line –I can’t believe I didn’t drop any! The servers line up while an expeditor hands them finished plates, at which point they scoot out to deliver them. It’s brilliant – such a well oiled machine! I had so much fun, and will be volunteering again next weekend, so stay tuned for an update.

In addition to school and apprenticing, I worked 30 hours in 4 days, and have found that pushing my body and mind this much without getting enough sleep does not work for me! As I was contemplating this through tired eyes in an obvious haze, I found myself staring at my proofing bread rising on the table on Friday morning. I thought to myself, “I should really take a cue from this rising bread.” You see, if you try to bake off your bread before it has had enough time to rise, it will crack open in all the wrong places in the oven. It won’t be able to stand the heat. You can serve it, and it’s edible, but it’s not nearly as great as it could be. It simply hasn’t had enough time to develop. Proofing bread dough is a process that simply cannot be rushed, and time to rest is the only thing that will guarantee the best possible final product. The same is true for me: if I don’t give myself enough time to relax, to rest, to rejuvenate, I will no doubt crack under the pressure, and fail to put my best foot forward. So this week, as I head into a 48 hour work week, a 15 hour school schedule, and some other volunteering projects on the side, I will take the time to rest, to practice yoga, to sleep, and to nurture my down time so I can put forth the strongest possible version of myself. Oh, and I will be looking into decreasing my crazy schedule too!!

That said, I mentioned in an earlier post that I was going to be the pastry chef at a charity event called dish’ED. This event is for Imagine1Day, a local charity created by Chip Wilson of lululemon that raises money to build schools for children in Ethiopia. Well, we are one month away from this glorious event! It takes place on Saturday February 26, 2011 at Dockers. Check out the details below!

Have a lovely week, everyone!! 
Love always,


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