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It’s All Over [Sniff]!!

After six months, pastry class is over. I already miss those big industrial kitchens, with their gleaming stainless-steel and marble-topped tables, those rows of brave white KitchenAid mixers, the endless supplies of bowls and wooden spoons and ladles, the amazingly powerful little Butane burners. 

But much more, I miss my fellow students, and Chef Claude Perdriolat and his assistants, who shepherded us through batters, doughs, mousses, meringues and chocolate with a tolerance and grace we very much needed.

I was lucky enough to get a fabulous pastry partner, the silver-haired Michael Edwards, and together we weathered the ups and downs of tempering chocolate, piping pâte à choux, and other challenges. We will forever share the sheer pleasure of the blanchir. (If you don’t know what this means, that’s ok. Here’s a link so you can find out. Michael and I took the blanchir to such a sublime level that all we need to do now is look at each other and say the word and we both smile.)

I learned so much (and ate so much) that I’m full, mentally and physically, of the best pastry experience I could imagine. Thank you, Chef Claude, who made everything look so easy and was patient with us when we made everything look so hard. Thank you to all the great assistants at L’Academie de Cuisine, who were there to prep every class, answer our endless questions, provide all our ingredients and equipment in a nanosecond, and clean up our big messes. Thank you to all my amazing classmates, an interesting and smart group who stayed merry and collegial even as the temperature in the kitchen rose.

For our farewell session, we created a savory feast using the batters and doughs we had learned on the sweet side of the kitchen. There were crepes filled with chive and tarragon cream cheese…

… hamburger sliders on brioche buns…

… little Palmiers filled with tapenade…

… mini Quiches Lorraine…

… cheese straws made from puff pastry…

… puff pastry squares with anchovies, onions and caramelized onions (Pissaladieres)

… Salamabos filled with mustard-tinged egg salad…

… and tiny wheels of brie enclosed and baked in brioche.

When everything was done and laid out for our farewell feast, Chef Claude broke out the wine and we dug in. As the completion certificates were handed out, we chose one of our fellow students, Yolanda, to thank Chef and his assistants for all they had taught us. What a great ride it’s been! I look forward to making Danish, mousse, quiche, and many of the other fabulous treats I learned for those I love. Thank you, Chef!

  1. Matthew Cibellis (@mcibellis)
    OMG that feast of savory foods looks amazing. I'd have loved that!

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