These are times of change. At 25 I'm now starting to follow the true path of my life and making my first real committment. This path is leading me away from many of my friends but I don't want to stop walking it. Working in the pastry field again fills me with a bizarre mixture of contentedness and hunger. I love working with food, but I hunger to be better, to learn more, to create as much as a can. Its a dissatisfaction thats oddly juxtaposed itself with a form of near peace. Maybe I'm masochistic? I love it at work when I start to get slightly backed up in my brain over the things I need to make, and which should be made first to allow for proper timing and to maximize the few hours in a day. Should I make the sponge for that bread and then apply the crumb coat to the cake, so that I can chill it and then apply the sponge to the dry ingredients and work on the formation of the dough while the frosting sets up? Yes! But at what point to I refresh the garnish station, cut the previous cakes, make a new batch of truffles, bake more cookies, and replenish the iSi whip cream? Oh, and I can't forget to make more caramel sauce, and damnit! Wouldn't you know, we're all out of icing for the rest of that cake... Its moments like these that I shut off the rest of the world and my thoughts focus on work. Even when the work is done its hard for me to turn back on.
As I said food is my life. Not becomming my life. IS my life. Currently I'm reading How to Be a Chef, which is excellent and highly recommended. Next I'll be studying Culinary Artistry and The Flavor Bible which is by the same pair of authors, Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. And I've just gotten Alice Water's The Art of Simple Food. Pair that with In the Sweet Kitchen by Regan Daly and I'm hoping to really up the ante on my ability to create recipes.
Also my choice in culinary schools is changing. The French Pastry School was recommended to me by Master Chocolatier Norman Love, above even the French Culinary Institute. And taking into consideration that I'm from Chicago, all my extended family is there, my friends have moved there, the tuition is HALF of my beloved FCI, and Christine-HOLY CRAP ARE YOU SERIOUS?! I LOVE HER WORK!-Ferber is a frequent guest chef, well, I'm heading up to check it out and take an extended education class in the beginning of December. The only thing bringing me pause is I did fall in love with the FCI, and NYC, and the internships available. Especially one with Chef David Arnold, a rising star in the scientific culinary scene. So only checking out the school will let me decide. The French Pastry School also has a working relationship with the Four Seasons, the Hyatt, and the Ritz, which was exactly the path I wanted to take my career. I think the choice is obvious, even though hard.