I'm three weeks deep into pastry school at SFCS! How the devil did that happen?! It's been whirlwindy, but in all the right ways. The first week felt like information overload, since everything was so new; my head was a bit spiny at times, but by the end of the second and even more the third week, I started feeling like I was starting to get the hang of things.
Lets start by answering some go-to questions people have asked me:
1. Do I like pastry school? Hell to the yes. It's tough and I feel in over my head sometimes, but I get to bake everyday and learn new things about one of my favorite subjects- constantly! Also, I get to work alongside fellow dessert fiends <my people!> How awesome is that?
2. How many people are in your class? 12 lovely ladies. They're bomb.com.
3. Who's the teacher? The brilliant badass Nicole Plue. She's the real deal.
4. Do you wear a chef's hat? Jah! I wear the whole getup, "chef's whites" if you will: hat, coat, pants, apron and kitchen shoes. I always carry a pen, sharpie and lil' notebook too. I look like the nerdiest nerd who every nerded...or maybe i look legit. Jury's out.
5. What do you want to do afterwards? Any end game? No idea! But I'm hoping I will know in 6 months. Wait for it...!
So far so good friends. Like I said, I'm learning SO. MUCH. It's insane how much I didn't know in the world of baking. My mind is being blown on the daily.
A couple valuable things I learned so far:
• Read through the entire recipe a few (or five) times before you begin. You could miss a step or a vital ingredient- gasp! You could be unprepared for the next direction and end up over-whipping your french meringue- double gasp!
• Setup is key! Before you start a recipe, setup all the equipment/tools/ingredients you'll need, including your "dismount." We're not talking an Olympic dismount, it's where you're going to place your dessert after it's done cooking/baking/cooling/mixing etc. This entire setup, in the culinary world, is called your "mise en place" a French culinary phrase meaning "everything in its place." It sets you up for success and will make you a more efficient chef!
• A baking scale is everything: I feel like such a buffoon because I used to rely on my measuring cups, heavily. Know what's faster and more accurate? Weighing shit! Do it. I'm a changed lady.
• Don't just watch your water boil, do something! Translation: make sure you're ready for the next step in your recipe (and the step after that, and the step after that); clean, put things away...anything but be a useless yammo while you wait.
• Listen to the teacher when she talks. Sounds simple enough, but I get distracted by shiny things sometimes. Listen intently and save it to your hard drive. That way you won't look like a dumb dumb when you ask a Q she already answered, 10 times. <insert awkward emoji face>
As an overview of pastry school thus far, week one was all about baking fundamentals, week two was all things eggs and week three was <dramatic pause> chocolate week. Yes friends, week three was as amazing as it sounds, and then some. What better way to recap these first three weeks than with a good old-fashioned photo-montage. <cue this song>
More updates to come! Looking forward to sharing my sweet <pun intended> journey with you.