Tuesday, July 27, 2010

can I get used to this?

The 3 week mark. What to say... some highlights since I've been there:

- since ADPA (Alain Ducasse à Plaza Athénée) and Relais Plaza are closed for about 5 weeks in August - along with the rest of Paris - we have less work, so we've gotten out around 18h or before each day! Out the door at 17h on Sunday and Monday... yes!

- the lab is a little under stress whenever Chef walks into the room and plays around with new recipes or designs... everyone is rushing around, trying to accomplish their respective tasks along with those that Chef has thrown at them on the spot. I guess it's kind of like a 'rushed' order that jumps the line, when you already have a long line of orders to fulfill. This is the time when I have to be really on guard and make sure to NOT mess up nor ask too many questions nor get in Chef's way...

- I've been able to make the appareil (batter) for the financiers multiple times now... yes that's a good thing in that I am getting more comfortable with the recipe, however making 5600 grams of beurre noisette while also weighing all the other ingredients is a little stressful, especially when the chef-de-partie is rushing me and I still have to sift over 10kg of powdered sugar...

- If I'm not too tired, walking home takes about 40 min, it beats waiting for the bus, and I get to walk by the Eiffel Tower (and all the American tourists on bike tours)!

- listening to the chefs-de-partie try and speak English... teaching them that steel doesn't mean "metal tray"

- running up and down 3 flights of stairs during our 30 min. lunch break to change our laundry

- walking into lab and knowing exactly what to do. Definitely a better feeling than the first couple of days...

- cleaning the lab at least 2x a day

- the anticipation of what tasks are given to me after lunch... make cremeux caramel, l'appareil financier, fold boxes and package hundreds of chocolate bars, clean the corners of mini-loaf pans with a toothpick (thank goodness Chef saw that and said it was a waste of time), or dip marshmallow gummy bears in pâte à glacer (like chocolate used for glazing)

- trying to sleep by around 22h30 so I can get up in time to catch the 2nd bus of the morning...

- speaking and hearing French all day long

- looking forward to Monday afternoon, when it's only Friday morning...

3 of the 6 stagiaires who are currently there are going to be leaving within 2 weeks... it'll be different without them, however, maybe that means no more weekends Tues-Thurs?

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