Workshop was cancelled this weekend.
I got a call a couple days ago from Kendall College. I had raised enough to pay for their Baking and Pastry boot-camp. It was to be all day today and tomorrow, described as an intensive workshop on the very essentials of baking. I thought, “how perfect!”, this seemed to be exactly the start I needed. The fundamentals and a base knowledge of the craft would have really given me the fuel to feed this fire….. but It was cancelled due to lack of interest for this weekend (Not enough people signed up). It was rescheduled for the last weekend of March, which is great since it’s only a month away… I’m not able to go however, as Doug and I are moving to our own place at that time. For the past few days I have gone through a lot of thoughts and emotions regarding this change in the course of events. It was discouraging to say the least, but I have gotten over that notion. I’ve begun to piece together all my prior work history and what I’ve done well at all of my previous jobs came down to one similarity. Bread.
I really began making sandwiches back in Ohio. When I was 19/20 I was living in downtown Toledo with a couple of friends and working as a manager at a Quizno’s right in the heart of the city. Back then, I had a nice assortment of things to play with and I started to discover more flavors. I enjoyed all the different breads we offered, and I was good and fast at putting together something tasty. That experience did help me in my move to Chicago, enabling me to come here with a job secured at another Quiznos. And although I didn’t continue working for the company much longer after my move, it kept me here long enough to get another job. That would be at a Jimmy Johns downtown. I worked at several different ones for years until I started working for the current company I’m with. I was originally hired at this company for the sandwich area based on my previous experience. In the time I actually worked as an MTO (made to order) I used my time trying to make the most of sandwich making. I often arranged the meats, the cheeses, the veggies, and sauces in such a way it was more of an art form than your standard bread and meat pile. I had more than a few customers remark to me that I was “meticulous” and that my creations were going to taste better. I often agreed, remarking that it was because of the care I was taking into making it for them. However, in my view it was easier for me to interact with the ingredients than it was the people.
Basically I enjoyed playing with their food instead of engaging them. Eventually due to the nature of the location I worked at, I didn’t get a full 8 hour shift at the sandwich bar. I had also worked several different stations besides that one by the end of my time there before becoming strictly a ‘baker’.
So this is where my thoughts have funneled into. I am going to gather up my ambition and move into some specialty of baking and perhaps that will lead me into bread baking, or turning bread and bread pastries into works of art. I made the decision to get the refund from the workshop that was rescheduled and now I’m using that toward a three day workshop at The French Pastry School. This was a really difficult decision for many reasons but the most basic is that this class is at night; exactly during the hours I need to sleep in order to participate in working overnight for a living. Now that I have thought this through, I feel better about what to do with my newly discovered passion for baking. The sacrifice I am going to make for this workshop is easily remedied by resting up the weekend after. I’m excited also because the chef instructor is the same Frenchman from when I first went to experience the school. He was engaging, funny, informative, and I just looooved his accent! I even went up to him after the demonstration that day and asked him how to pronounce the name of the company I work for.
Now to acquire my own chefs coat before March 11…. 🙂
INFO ABOUT THE CLASS:
Baking with yeast can be intimidating but your chef will guide you through the process – and teach you how to troubleshoot – while making a crusty French baguette. Your chef will teach you how to add a little more sweetness to your repertoire by making the two-bite desserts that the French call petits fours.
You’ll learn how to make the iconic French macaron and to achieve its perfect balance of crunchy, chewy meringue cookies filled with luxurious ganache – and you’ll get to take everything home at the end of class.
Whether you want to learn more for your home kitchen or are considering taking on of our full-time programs, this class is the perfect way to begin your pastry education.