After a nice, quiet week of school for professionals there was only a short rest before the throngs of eager Summer Pastry participants would arrive. One by one they stepped off the bus Sunday night, each looking hopeful and anxious. There are people from Portugal, Spain, Greece, Turkey, UK, Japan, South Africa, Columbia, Mexico, Canada, and the good ol’ US of A.
Turns out, there is also quite a mix in expertise here. There are a few people like me who have no training or experience that just have a passion and have tried to teach themselves everything they can. Most everyone here is currently in pastry school. Then, there are a few who are established professionals and teachers who have been doing pastry for at least a decade. Let’s just say this has caused some problems. I understand their frustrations, too, because these folks could make a perfect genoise with their eyes closed. Hopefully there are other things they can learn. The French are so clean and precise in everything from filling the pastry bag, measuring every ingredient, wiping down equipment to the actual decorating. There is still much to learn for them, I hope.
I am learning TONS and loving every second in the kitchen… well, when I am able to ignore the bitching I enjoy every second.
The first week we made traditional and modern apple tarts, traditional and modern pear tarts, traditional and modern Ambassador, eclairs, and milk rolls (not sure what that is in French because “milk roll” doesn’t translate for me… it’s not brioche, but something different).
Traditional Apple Tart
Modern Apple Tart
Modern Pear Tart
Milk rolls. There is chocolate in there and those are giant sugar crystals on top. Cut the rolls to look like wheat.
(Sarah’s) Traditional Ambassador
Chef Jean-Marc Guillot telling us about the first week and what to expect for the second. Michel-Onge translating.
Several of the students listening. Christos the Greek, second from the right, looks so bored, poor guy. He’s one of the professionals.
Our first set of teachers. As you can see, it was a rough first week because these guys were so serious.
Chef Vincent and me. He was my chef for the week. We had too much fun. I’m not sure why but he and I got along really well even with a large language barrier. I can’t remember what he was doing in the picture, but it was funny as you can see.
A la prochaine!