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Monday, January 27, 2014

Pâtisserie Vancée

Hey everyone! I'm really excited about this post. I know in my last one I said to give me an hour, but I do have a 3 year old, and as much as I wanted to post, Em's got the best of me.

For those who don't speak French, the title of this post is "Advanced Pastry". Since October of 2012, I have been waiting to take THIS class that I'm currently taking. Despite the amount of nerves I had walking into this class, I am glad I'm finally here. Right now, I am taking Advanced Patisserie and Display Cakes with Chef Annie, who in my opinion, is one of the most qualified to teach this course.

The way the class goes is like all the others, teams of four, prep one day, plate the next, except this class is divided. By the name of the course, one would think one would jump straight into cake display, but that's not the case. out of the 11 week course, the first 6 weeks is all about the art of plating. We aren't even touching cakes until the class is halfway over. I thought that this would frustrate me at first, my thoughts were something of the sort: "I've waited and waited to take this class, and I have to wait another six weeks to touch cake!" until I actually spent time doing some plating. Plating is such a complex, planned and scientific process, and you never even know it when you receive your food at a restaurant. It's an art in itself, and is just as stressful as preparing the food that's getting plated.

I learned very quickly how to let go a little bit and back away from a leader's standpoint, seeing as I am working on one plate, with 3 other just-as-eager teammates. It's hard at first, as we all have totally different visions in our heads, but were all learning each other's styles and work-habits, and by this past week, our styles began to merge.

Each week we have 3 menus, which translates into 3 separate plates, with 3 separate desserts. Each team has to work on each menu together, and plate them together, so there IS NO taking ownership of something. The teams also have full reign to plate however they want, just as long as all the elements are on the plates. After we plate, we take it over to the photo station, take our pictures for our portfolio, and break down our station. Simple. Prep, cook, group into menus, store, unpack, finish cooking, plate, pictures, clean up, go home. Simplicity; yeah...right.

Nonetheless, it is one of the most fun and interesting classes I've taken. Previous classes have been about making the food taste good, but now were past that. We know it's going to taste good, now its time to make it look good.

The recipes do taste good, don't get me wrong, but the presentation is insanely beautiful, and sometimes, we don't even know what our hands are capable of doing until were actually doing it. We just finished up week 2 right now, and with each of the 6 plated desserts, I was in awe of our work and what we were able to accomplish together as a team of artists.

Here's some pictures of each of the 6 desserts over the past 2 weeks, but make sure to follow my instagram and facebook for quicker updates on pictures and details, since I can't seem to upload any captions right now. -.-

Tomorrow, make sure to check out how my French Chocolate Macarons turn out, and I'll also be posting Emma's pictures from our trip to the March Air Field Base Museum this past Saturday!