Saturday, January 16, 2010

Turnabout is Fair Play

Uh oh. Chef D is back from vacation.  If you don't remember, Chef D is the one who expects perfection in the kitchen, and if you have ever seen a kitchen after I have been there, that is not exactly my style - Jeannie, feel free to comment here.  I really try to work cleanly in the kitchen, some of my classmates are able to make a complete cake without a dirty utensil nearby.  I have been trying to emulate them, but I just don't understand it.  If I am making a mousse, I need one bowl for stiffly beaten egg whites, with a whisk, I have a bowl with a spoon over a bain marie for the chocolate, a bowl of egg yolks and sugar with a whisk, and I also have a bowl of whipped cream with a rubber scraper and skimmer to fold it all together.  In addition, I need a pastry bag with a tip ready to load the mousse.    Once I incorporate the ingredients, I have four bowls and assorted utensils dirty at my station, but I also need to pipe the mousse immediately so it doesn't solidify in the pastry bag, so I can either work cleanly: take my stuff to the sink and wash it OR pipe the mousse onto the macaron before it sets.   I just pile all the bowls together, throw the spoons into them and hope it doesn't attract attention.  Maybe I will start hiding them in the fridge?  But Chef D is tricky, and he might start checking there as well.  I really thought I was doing well last night, I was about to pipe my mousse with my dishes stacked neatly, when he came by, and stroked his finger across my station, and showed me the small amount of egg white that had fallen on the marble, as if it was the grossest thing he had ever seen.  Now, it is not as if it is a safety issue, there are raw egg whites and egg yolks in a chocolate mousse, it just offends him that there might be a little mess anywhere in the kitchen. Click Read More to learn about Chef D's messes.

So imagine my glee when Chef D had a bad day in the demonstration kitchen!  Oh yes, mwah mwah wah (that is an evil laugh).  He let his cream boil over at the start of class, put the creme brulee in the wrong pastry bag, telling us to close our eyes as he squeezed it into the correct one and then let his chocolate glaze boil over.  My favorite part was when he held a pastry bag of pistachio (bright green!) cream upside down to cut the tip, and half of it plopped out of the bag onto the floor.  I wanted to laugh out loud, but that is not advisable in Chef D's kitchen, he would prefer silence, except for an occasional "Oui, Chef."  He forgot to make one cake, and didn't have enough pistachio mixture to complete it, but he played that one down, and said it was just going to be chocolate mousse.  At least he didn't throw anything.

Well, off to make some petits fours with Chef C this afternoon, then some classmates are coming over to cook Mexican food at chez moi.  

I will post some photos of the Chocolate Pistachio Surprise later, I left my camera in my locker at school.

PS  It takes me about an hour to write these posts, and it would help to get some feedback, write some comments, ask me some questions, give me some advice on how to get Chef D to ease up, or how to be a cleaner cook.


  1. I'm trying to guess which one is chef D? Sounds like LCB is as intense as ever! How many class mates do you have in the kitchen this time? I'm proud of you for finishing! Keep up the good work- it all looks scrumptious!

  2. Hello Sarah! Just found your blog. I have been wanting to attend Cordon Bleu for a few years now. I have so many questions to ask you!! If you can email me at, I would greatly appreciate it. I have enjoyed reading your blog!



  3. Shelley - there are 19 in the class, just Gaku, Dinesh and me from our session. My practical group has only girls, it is very quiet. We start chocolate next week, then sugar, so I am a little worried. So happy to hear from you! I check your blog too.

  4. Sarah - I showed my Mom (the avid baker) your blog and she is desperate to meet you. She is not great with the technology and even though I saved it as a favorite on her computer - i'm sure she will make me pull it up every time i am home. so here is my question (when your turn from your trip) what has been your favorite non chocolate dessert so far - cause ya know. I'm allergic :(



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