Thursday, January 17, 2008

Best of Times, Worst of Times

It has been the longest week ever, and I still have one more day. Some fantastic moments were thrown in amongst the stress. Let's get the bad out of the way test was stressful, as you read about earlier. However, Chef told me today that I made an A on it...woohoo! I'll get the actual exam back tomorrow to look over, along with my Unit 1 evaluation. People are starting to get snippy in class, because we're all exhausted. Understandable, but frustrating. Today was a rough day...things kept going wrong on the production side, so Kathryn took me for a walk to buy a diet coke at lunch, just to get out of the building for a few minutes so I could have a good cry. Tomorrow is Friday, which means time with my girlfriends at our favorite hangout. I'm so thankful that God has brought them along. In a month I've made more friends here than I did in the year that I was in Austin.

Okay, enough complaining...I've done too much of that this week. Onto the fun and the good! Tuesday was the demo with Jacques Torres. Meaning...I assisted him, talked to him, tasted his amazing croissants. The FCI is fantastic about bringing great chefs in for demonstrations, plus Jacques is closely associated with the school on a regular basis anyways. I walked out of there on cloud nine - he was fantastic, and absolutely friendly and patient with us. And, around the holidays (Valentine's Day and Easter), I'll be able to go work for him for a few days in his chocolate factory! Here are some photos of the event:
Me and Jacques

That is LeAnn Wong next to Jacques - you might recognize her from Top Chef (season 1, I think)

The master at work

Finally, a picture of me in the uniform. You can't see the dashing checked pants here, but trust me, I'm a looker in this! Ha.

Also, we have started a new unit - pâte a choux. It's actually not as hard as I thought it would be and quite fun to make. Essentially, it's all variations of a basic cream puff pastry can do the most amazing things with it.

Paris-Brest (in honor of a bicycle race between the towns of Paris and Brest)
Puff pastry ring with praline cream in the middle. I missed the demo on how to pipe the cream, so that's why it looks crazy.

Isn't he cute? Yes, I made that incredible swan neck.

Eclairs - didn't like these until this day in class. They are amazing! From top to bottom...chocolate, vanilla, and coffee.

This is actually from our last unit - I just forgot to post a picture of it. Linzer torte - absolutely delicious.

From our last unit as well...lemon ginger sablée cookies representing the Lone Star State.

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