It’s kinda crazy that I’m writing the last post in this series. I don’t think it’s quite sunk in that I’m done yet…. though it’s starting to, as it’s now Tuesday and I haven’t set my alarm in days. I find myself BORED during the day and looking for things to do to keep myself busy. This usually involves cleaning or baking, though I’m getting pretty good at avoiding the cleaning… that master bathroom, yikes.
Week 15 was a good one. I’d say the previous week was probably the most stressful in the program, and I was happy to end on a less stressful note. Though I suppose the stress level really depended on who your partner was for the last big menu development project… I was lucky enough to be with Lindsay again, so the week went pretty smoothly.
And pics of the dishes!
It was a delicious break to the day and much better than the crappy sandwich I would have had otherwise! The afternoon was spent practicing for our own menu development project on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.
The menu of our “restaurant” placed and ready to go.
I invited Ryan and a couple of old work friends to this tasting. Ryan was seated at our menu, and everyone else got to try menus from the other groups. They shared around, so got to sample everything. Good strategy!
Here are the pictures of our plated dessert creations!
Rum & Eggnog Mousse
Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cake
And the final showstopper… the Chocolate Pate.
We got such great feedback on this last dessert! It was honestly an afterthought and we were making changes almost until the last minute. We love how it came together though, and are glad we ended the menu tasting with it.
We had Chef William as our pastry chef judge. We’d first met him during sugar week where he spent the day with the class showing us gumpaste flowers. After the tasting, our family and friends left and the judges came back to give us some feedback. Chef William gave us some great tips about each dessert and told us what he liked and what we could have been done better. We agreed with most of his feedback and it was great to have someone from the industry critique our food.
We also had to create mini-versions of each of our desserts called mignardise. Some of these were served at the end of our dessert tasting and some would be used for the end of the culinary class’s tasting the next day.
A shot of a couple of our minis with some from the other teams as well.
Lindsay, Sophia, and I on our last day in the kitchen.
Then Sophia gave a speech that made everyone cry! I wish I had a good pic of her speaking. She was elected as valedictorian for pastry for being the hardest working person – maybe on the planet. I mean, I worked hard, but I’m still not convinced that Sophia actually sleeps. On top of school work (which she often stayed after class to practice), she also took on multiple baking jobs for friends, and did countless hours of research. She deserved this more than anyone in the class, for sure.
So now I’m barely composed from Sophia’s speech and it’s time for the diplomas to be handed out. I’m already a mess and then I find out I got the top marks in the class. It was all over then – major waterworks. I really put everything I had into the past 4 months, and I was so happy to be recognized for it. Ryan can attest to the meltdowns and craziness that he had to put up with (but also the delicious baked goodies that came with that). He was incredibly supportive through all of that and I couldn’t have done it without him.
After the speeches and diplomas, we got a chance to chat and say goodbye to the instructors that had been so helpful and influential during our time at the school.
Chatting with Chef Jonathan after the ceremony. Wish we’d had more time with him in the pastry kitchen!
With Chef Warren who we had about once a week in Pastry.
And Chef Stacy who was our main pastry instructor.
Lindsay and I. We were so happy to both get honours!
The girls (minus a couple).