Thursday, January 31, 2008

Student Diary: Advanced Pastry Arts, Day 1

Two weeks ago, I started my only class this semester, Advanced Pastry Arts. I can't promise I'll post my diary here every week, but I'll at least post the non-sensitive material. In other words, you won't, nor will you ever, catch me kvetching in this blog, since it's not in line with my ethics. ;D

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It’s going to be a fun class! Three of my friends are in it, as well as a few former classmates. The class is right after a class that my old French Cuisine chef-instructor teaches, so I'll get to see him once in awhile.

My chef-instructor, a C(ulinary) I(nstitute) of A(merica) graduate, is the pastry sous chef at one of the top resorts in the Valley, and the textbook, also a CIA textbook, is excellent!

My fellow students all either have a lot of professional experience baking, several with pastry emphasis, or took the chef-instructor’s Classical Desserts class this past fall. They’re also incredibly energetic and ambitious. And competitive!

In class, we’re going to build two wedding cakes, a chocolate showpiece, a sugar showpiece, some “spa desserts” (desserts with health considerations in mind, i.e., gluten-free, sugar-free, etc.), and a final showpiece or cake of our choosing.

Am I nervous. Hell yeah—at least a few of my classmates do pastry professionally, and I haven’t been in a commercial kitchen in 9 months. I expect to thoroughly get my ass kicked, so I don't intend to try to be competitive. Hell, I need to make sure I still remember how to use a baker’s scale. I just want to sponge up as much info and technique as I possible can. Oh man ... WOOT!

On another good note, it seemed I was the only one in class who went to Amazon.com to buy my textbook, and the only person who paid $35 for it instead of $70.

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