Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sugar Rush

I don't know if I have reverse jet lag or if I'm overdosing on sugar....

I have slept less than usual (my usual is 6 hours and only if Ambienized) and have no appetite. That's not a good thing when you're in Paris and especially not good if you're making beaucoup pastry all day. I wish you were all here to eat for me. I think the heat is stir-frying my brain. July is the hottest month in Paris and the school is practically an oven (I know- terrible pun). We're required to taste the chef's demos before we go into the kitchen for the practical class where we make the recipe. I can't believe I just used the word "required." Me, who loves any and all sweets and usually has dessert with every meal. Surely this will pass...

I have posted some pics of my classmates, a very scary Frenchman who taught our first demo, and today's handiwork. My Tart Aux Pommes is the top one- Victoria's is the bottom. She's a very sweet and cool Canadian lady. She's the tall chick in the picture. Rayner is the guy and Diane is the other girl- they are both from Singapore. We all share one end of a long prep table. The alpha types are at the opposite end of the prep table. The folks at my end of the table are definitely more chill. Funny how people instinctively organize. That being said, for the most part, all of my classmates are pretty cool and we all try to help each other out. 

The chefs are intimidating but so far most have been kind as well. I'm hoping that Scary Chef (pictured) is really just a big teddy bear with a gruff exterior. I haven't gotten close enough to determine yet.  I'd tell you his name but I'd have to get out my syllabus to spell it correctly. It's a total Gallic tangle that is still unpronounceable to me. LCB is very serious about molding their students- I think I might have mentioned before that it's pretty intense. When Eric was a culinary student back in the early nineties, he trained with old school chefs who taught in the classical French style. He tried to prepare me for what to expect but hearing about it and experiencing it firsthand are two different things. There isn't a Kitchen Aid or Cuisinart to be found in the school. Everything is mixed by hand. Mon dieu! I feel like I've joined the Marines- they're going to break us down first and then re-create us in their image.

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