Thursday, July 22, 2010

it has begun!

(photo from Michalak's site)

I've finally started. 2 weeks in, I already feel much more comfortable than I did that horrible first day at Plaza.

Quick notes below:

- work 4 days/week (my current weekend is Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday)
- 12 hrs/day
- started with another anglo-Ferrandi pastry student at the same time... and am fortunately overlapping with a former anglo-Ferrandi student this first month before she leaves
- they provide us with uniforms, which we get to change everyday (no need to do our own laundry!)
- don't have to bring our own tools, except for a pen and a corne de pâtisserie (plastic scraper)
- since I'm working more than 3 months (6 months, actually), they provide me with a minor stipend, from which my daily lunch is taken out of... luckily lunch is only 2-3€, but only about 30 minutes long :(
- currently there are 5 stagiaires, 3 apprentis, and a bunch of different chef-de-parties or commis... makes for a busy lab in a tight space. We definitely have to make sure to keep our respective stations clean at all times!
- in the mornings, we prepare 6 different petits choux/mignardises (little puffs filled with cream) and petits gateaux.
- after lunch the chef-de-partie will assign each of us 1-3 different tasks which we get to do by ourselves! That's when it can get really ugly though, especially if we mess up and it's busy and crowded...
- while we get to wear a toque (tall chef hat), it can get quite in the way with the plastic drapes hanging in the doorway of the walk-in frigo... and somehow I don't think my head is suited to wear one - I keep having to readjust it!
- I've been able to make and churn ice cream moi-même... but then again, I've spent countless minutes (yes, only minutes, but they're looong minutes) in the walk-in freezer. I think I had frostnipped fingers for a few days. ouch!
- don't work much with Christophe Michalak, the main chef and 2005 Champion of the World Pastry Cup but get to work alongside the 2009 champion
- take the 1st or 2nd bus of the morning at 6.50am... at least it's direct and only takes about 20 minutes!
- "vas-y, vas-y, vas-y" ("go go go!") and "dépêche-toi" ("hurry up") are two of the main phrases I hear all day long... yup, definitely not a place for those who need to take their time...
- haven't dared to bring in my camera to take photos of the creations in lab... maybe one day?
- for some reason last Monday afternoon, we got to try some leftover petits gateaux, including a salted butter caramel religieuse to die for!

Although these are just a few tidbits of my stage, I hope to enlighten you all more in the details once I get into a rhythm! It'll be a long 6 months but well worth it. I hear what other people have been able/not been able to do in their stages, and I'm glad to know I am at a place that allows their stagiaires to do things themselves. More importantly however, I'm just so thankful that I came early last November to freshen up on my high school French... bon courage à tous!

1 comment:

  1. Yay, Ling! Good luck with your internship! I know that you can do it and will learn so much about the industry! I just love your blog and the pictures!