Friday, June 7, 2013

Catch My Breath (Not By Kelly Clarkson)

I wish today's pop singers wouldn't use cliché phrases in their songs, because it looks like I'm copying them when I use it as my blog post title!

A new school term began for me just after Memorial Day, and let me just say, the change of pace was desperately needed.

Much of the foodservice we do in line cooking, last-minute, á point preparation.  Much of that is reactive, as unexpected things (although they should be expected) are thrown at us often.  We have been involved in some events through the school that are proactive: catering, scheduled events and such, but more often that that, we're reacting to whatever our chefs want us to do.

Those of us who crave intellectual stimulation and academics in our workplaces have been hardly able to formulate coherent thought about food, much less have good conversations about it.

Until this new term.  The way the program is laid out, students in my track (roughly 15 of us) are taking a two-term break from the chef side (the high-profile, but breakneck, side) and moving into bakery.  Our baking classes (a lab and lecture) started about a week and a half ago.

What a different world.

We move slower in the bakery...and that is not a bad thing!  Our first two weeks was spent on bread-making, and we had the time whilst we waited for dough to mix and rest and proof to talk about the process, the results, etc.  The bakery is a great place to be for those who are self-motivated, but I'm beginning to see that there are both pros and cons to the chef side and bakery side...something I hope to discuss here at some point.

When I started this program, I really had no idea what I wanted to do.  I still don't (sort of, although the picture is coming together), but I thought I'd gravitate more towards bakery because of my experience with bread.  While I like the steady, sure pace of bakery, I find myself missing the frenetic, got-to-be-sharp-always pace of the hot kitchen.  I also suspect that as we move more into cake decorating and the "fancy" stuff...I might like bakery less!  (Not that I don't like it, but I'm not very good at it.)

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