I know it has been a really long time since my last post - I'm sorry! It just got so crazy studying for my final exams, packing, graduation, etc. that I was forced to take a bit of a break from blogging. But I wanted to do one final post to update you all on my final experiences/thoughts on culinary school and my experiences :)
The final dish we learned how to make was undoubtedly the most difficult we have made this semester: the St. Honoré. Basically, it is a cake made of eclairs stuffed with chiboust cream. The "eclairs" are also dipped in caramel >> YUM! But the process isn't easy, and some caramel burns were acquired along the way I'm sorry to say - but it was all for the good of the St. Honoré, so it's ok! ;)
Here are some pictures of my St. Honoré (with a caramel ball on top for extra decoration!):
Our last class was held on Friday the 16th, so after that we had the weekend to do some last minute studying before our final exam on Monday the 19th.
The final was quite nerve-racking for everyone I think. There were 2 parts: a written and practical. For the written part, we were given the name of a dish (at random) and from that name we had to write out all the ingredients and quantities of the ingredients in that dish. The practical was similar in that we were given a dish at random, except this time we actually had to make the dish. My dish for the written portion was the Miroir au Cassis and my dish for the practical was the Lemon Tart. I was a bit jittery at first, during the practical, but after I got cooking, I was able to relax and "get into the cooking groove" :) In the end, all my studying really paid off, and I was able to produce a dish of which I was very proud :) I didn't take my camera into the final exam, so I can't show you a picture of the dish, but it looked similar to the lemon tart I had made weeks ago in class, so that was a good sign!
After the final, I had about 48 hours to pack/recuperate from all the studying, and then it was time for graduation festivities! Graduation was a beautiful ceremony. It was held in the Hotel Chateau Laurier, which, apparently, is the nicest hotel in Ottawa. It truly was a beautiful hotel and it was such a lovely ceremony! It was similar to a university graduation - except a lot of it was in French! lol But the "head" Pastry and Cuisine chefs spoke and congratulated everyone, and there was even a valedictorian, one of the Superior Pastry Graduates. They called us all to the stage one by one (first the Basic Pastry and Cuisine students, then the Intermediate, and finally the Superior) and presented us with our diplomas. Attire was business casual, but instead of graduation robes (like in University), we wore our chef jackets :)
Here is a picture I found online of the Hotel Chateau Laurier:
Here are some pictures from Graduation:
Some students from my house and I (from left to right it's Robin (she actually didn't live in the house, she just jumped into the picture lol), Mulianti, Pranav, me, Sam, Jessica, and Derek)
Most of my Basic Pastry class :)
I had such a wonderful experience in Ottawa - as I sit here trying to come up with words to describe my time there, I am realizing that any words I come up with simply will not do my experience justice. I met so many incredible people and made so many wonderful friends. I learned so much and truly pushed myself outside my comfort zone. It feels strange to be back in the States now, in many ways. I'm not necessarily "homesick" for Canada, but I do miss it very much. I feel that I "grew up" in a lot of ways in Canada, and I feel so lucky to have all the experiences that I did there. It is hard to believe it is over, but I will never forget my time at Le Cordon Bleu or the Wilbrod House.
Thank you all for your encouragement and support during these past three months - keeping this blog was a wonderful way for me to contemplate my experiences and share them with my friends and family, and I hope you enjoyed reading it! :)
Until my next blog (perhaps about grad school?),