Saturday, 8 May 2010

Shannoncita à le Cordon Bleu

I can’t believe that it has taken me so long to publish this post but the dreary Spring we are having is causing a bit of a creative block. I will warn you before you get too far that this post does not contain any recipes, but I will try to keep it short and sweet... geeky pun intended!

It all started last Autumn. I had tried to sign up for classes at the Cordon Bleu last year but they apparently book up ages in advance, so I signed up to their mailing list for updates -just in case. The moments following the email announcement of new classes arriving in my mailbox are a bit of a blur, but the final result was a booking for two pastry classes, Patisserie a la carte and Viennoiserie... not to mention a substantial hole in my bank account.

As you can imagine, the months of waiting caused a bit of over-excitement and by the time I finally arrived for my class (far too early of course as I feared I’d be late) I was barely able to contain myself. Upon arriving I was given my course pack consisting of the course recipes, a Cordon Blue crested apron and a tea towel. Over the next three days, myself and eight other wannabe patissiers, would cream butter by hand(!), whisk vast amounts of pastry cream and fold various types of laminated doughs.

Our chef instructors were very friendly and patient, answering all of our questions as quickly as we could fire them at them, all the time explaining the importance of each step they were demonstrating. At the end of each day we took home box upon box of pastries not to mention a lot of new skills and experience, but before we knew it our Cordon Bleu experience had come to an end.

Though much of what we learned was not entirely new to me, there was something very fulfilling about recreating it all at the Cordon Bleu. I would highly recommend it to anyone with even the slightest interest in cooking. It was certainly hard work, but being up to my elbows in flour and eggs, not to mention talking to the chefs over those three days, was really a fantastic experience and has really fuelled my desire for career in pastry.


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