Sunday, 28 June 2009

Graduation and final thoughts

Having arrived back into Paris around midnight on Wednesday night, the last thing I fancied doing was going into school at the crack of dawn on Thursday morning......I managed reluctantly and was around an hour late. The reason for coming into school was to prepare food for our graduation on Friday afternoon. Bizarrely enough, our equivalent Anglo cuisine class were not doing any cooking for graduation at all so it was left to our Anglopat class to provide the food. We each had to prepare 1 savoury and 1 sweet dish, preferably in finger food form from our country. I plumped for making some HK favourites, barbecued pork puffs (aka. cha siu so) and egg custard tarts (aka. dan tat). The plan was to get all mise-en-place on Thursday so we would be ready on Friday to just cook the stuff. As expected, I hadn't realised that prep work would take longer than I thought - it didn't help that I had to rush off to Tang Gourmet at lunchtime to pick up some cha siu also (I had tried asking chef to get me some but got a bemused look and the question, "what is porc laqué?".

Friday was a bit of a nightmare, well, maybe not for me as I managed to get everything baked and ready before 2pm (chef's deadline had been 1pm) - there were still people cooking in the kitchen when the graduation ceremony started??!! The ceremony also started late so it was a bit crazy playing chef, commis, host, present buyer, waitress, dishwasher in the space of a couple of hours! I think everyone enjoyed the food - I was very happy with the way the cha siu so came out (JD reckoned that they looked better than any you would find in a dim sum restaurant!) - the dan tat tasted good but were not so successful cos I didn't have the right moulds to make them so a bit gutted about them. The graduation ceremony was quite brief and very French in that "random lost in translation" way? All the chefs were invited to say something about the classes, chef touched on the 10 different nationalities in the class (he never tires of this!) which sometimes meant some heated arguments! He was also very gracious in saying that we were the first class to push him to go further with the curriculum which is nice to know. Afterwards, we were all presented with our certificates, the director of the school seemed quite impressed when he was told where I would be going to do my stage! 

All the madness meant that I completely forgot to take pictures of the food I made (bummer!) so you will just have to take my word for it! Our pastillage paintings were also out on display, we were told by chef to take them if we wanted them after the ceremony - I forgot mine and they have now been thrown away which is a little sad :(  

So any final thoughts? It has been a really fun last 5 months and one of the best decisions I've made in life to come and do the course at Ferrandi. Its not been easy at times but even during these times, it was still heaps better than what I left behind in the banking industry. I have been very lucky to have trained under chefs who are experts in their field and have been more than generous with their time and knowledge, this is something that will always stay with me and will always bring back very happy memories. I've also had the opportunity to make some great friends and hopefully, we will stay in touch when we all go back to our respective countries - without these friendships, life in Paris over the last 5 months would certainly have been a lot duller (and also Pho Mui and Lao Lane Xang would have made a lot less money without our regular patronage!!). Now its back to the real world again to start my 3-month stage - a bit daunting as I am heading off to a top Parisian patisserie, fingers crossed that everything will go OK :)    


fenny said...

reading this makes me miss school T_T...don't forget we also promote carl marletti A LOT!!

little-chan said...

Oops - forgot about our favourite patisserie, lol! He's responsible for the piling on the kilos in our class ;)