Friday, December 22, 2006

Day 15: More business. More tasting. More tests.

Our lecture continued this evening, and the prospect of taking the management course settled squarely into my mind, the wisdom of it having become apparent. Whether or not I will continue with that course when I have finished Pastry remains to be seen. One thing is certain: I’d write less. While the business management material is fascinating and tremendously important, writing about it would be far less stimulating, both, I would imagine, from my perspective and from yours.

After the lecture had concluded, we briefly tasted and identified a number of flours. Telling cake flour apart from rye is not a great stretch; however, identifying which of two flours is all-purpose flour and which is bread flour proves somewhat more difficult. Chef promised, however, that doing so will be second nature by the time that this very question comes up on our Module One practical exam, which, stunningly, is nearly upon us. He also mentioned that he will not be teaching us for Module Two (of four), which was enormously depressing to almost all of us. I’m certain our Module Two instructor will be excellent, but our current chef is the one who introduced us to the school, the business, and the craft. We’ve formed a familial bond with him, and, regardless of who follows, I’m sure his influence will be a strong hand throughout my career.

Chef went through each question that will appear on our second quiz, shortly after we return from the holiday week. He also went over certain details, such as the one I mentioned above, about our final exam, which will occur after just ten more lessons. My family will have the unadulterated pleasure of watching me practice cornet work over the coming week; I've taken several pounds of chocolate and a ream of parchment paper with which to practice, so that by the time this also appears on our exam, I will feel at least at the first-grade level.

It’s scary to think of our exam, perhaps, but it’s even more frightening to consider that after two more weeks of class and one exam, we will be a quarter of the way into the program. Time is moving startlingly quickly. Chef also mentioned that the time for chit-chat and early nights has passed, and that when we return, the workload will be redoubled.

To entertain you during this time of less-than-average material, I’ve added some photos, courtesy of my classmate Lana. Please enjoy them.

Happy Holidays!

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