All posts tagged: Kitchen

Black Sesame Orange Tart

What better to do with a Saturday afternoon than to hole up in your kitchen for several hours experimenting? It all started with my relatively simple idea to actually practice some of what I learn in school on my own time and in my own kitchen, but then as all ideas I have tend to do, it quickly snowballed as it encountered the semi-jilted feeling I had of not having my recommendation to use black sesame in an entremets be well received. One thought led to another, and before I knew it I was dragging three bags of groceries home filled with more butter and eggs than any normal person would consume in an entire week, and I was ready to go. Even when I started baking though, I can’t say that I really knew what it was that I would be making. I knew the elements and I thought of ways I might combine and shape them into creating one dessert…but it wasn’t until about an hour into the process that I had an ‘ah …

Coconut Mango Entremets

Baking for my younger brother allows me the chance to reach into the crazy section of my creative side and try things and combinations that I usually wouldn’t try out on other people. I’m just going to come out and say it; he’s a complete weirdo. Since he is returning home from college this week, I decided to be a nice sister and bake something for him. This time my train of thought started out with a layer cake. Maybe I’ll make an exotic layer cake covered in coconut, I thought. Then I flipped to Miette’s Coconut Mousse Cake and thought maybe I would add in some coconut mousse layers… and then that led me to thinking about adding in some mango…and before I knew it, the idea had changed into an entremet with a never-before-seen liquid mango juice center. So I started in with my experimental creation–making a mango puree and simmering it with some simple syrup before straining it and putting the juice into some silicon molds. At the same time, I made …

Pep Talks and Adjustments: Week Nine in the Kitchen

“Salut Bébé!” cries Stan. “Bienvenue!” Chef looks me in the eye before staring me up and down as he shakes my hand, as if he will be able to see into my thoughts and know what I’ve been doing since he saw me last just by looking at me. And then the rounds of “Salut, ça va?” and bisous with Floriane and all the boys over in cuisine. I’m getting better at saying hello. It only took two months, and I know you were all on the edges of your seats wondering how I was fairing over here in a French kitchen—that you were more curious about my social skills than my pastry skills. So there you have it. I can almost-normally greet everyone in the kitchen, and I don’t get flustered by all the cheek kissing and pet names. “Chef! The Blog!” Seems to be the most frequent thing I hear out of Diego’s mouth. Sometimes I want to slap on a piece of duck tape so I have more juicy, uncensored stories to …

Ecosystems and Mise en Place: Week Six in the Kitchen

Clarisse has taken it upon herself to be my in-kitchen-language-tutor. Sometimes it freaks me out because I will say something and she will either respond with “no” or by repeating what I just said, leading me to think that my intentions were wrong. Most of the time it is just her beginning to correct my grammar. On Tuesday after a particularly intensive correction of something I said, she told me that it was her goal to help me be fluent in French by the time I left. And I am so thankful! The other day I was just moping to myself about how even though I speak French all the time I can’t really tell if I am improving or not–and I don’t have the time to reflect reflect on grammar when I am using French in the kitchen or the motivation to intensively study when I do have a spare moment. Wednesday was such a strange day in the kitchen. The morning was a storm of organized chaos as everyone used every ounce of space …

Pokémon, Evolution and Friendship: Week Five in the Kitchen

Chef turned to me and looked me in the eye. Normally if he did that I would be racking my brain, thinking of what I did wrong and mentally preparing myself for what was to come next. But this time, I knew what was coming. “Maddie….do you catch Pokemon?” Wednesday, in the middle of a service of 80 covers, Clarisse, Floriane, Chef and I took a pause during one of our quiet moments to have a serious conversation about Pokémon Go. Which Chef had previously known nothing about. And so we enlightened him. Apparently Hotel Belles Rives is a Poké-stop. (Also, I have to mention that all of my coworkers predicted that the pokemon conversation would make it into my blog. And they were all right. 😛 ) It is SO HARD to leave the American/Foreigner bubble when you are abroad. It is comfortable to stay in your safety zone with people who speak the same language as you and with people who are going through the same experiences—namely, living abroad. However, it is so …

In the Kitchen at Château de Bégude

Sometimes life throws you opportunities in ways you are not expecting. Last week I was invited by a friend to come watch the preparation of a wedding cake in her kitchen. Her chef was willing to have me, I had the day off—it seemed like all the stars were in alignment. A few days later, after a long week of working and returning home around midnight the night before, I woke up at 7:00am (after a maximum of 5 hours of sleep) in order to get myself together and be ready to spend another day in the kitchen. I woke up early enough to shower, and more importantly go find coffee, before Babette kindly picked me up—and soon we were pulling up at her hotel–Château de la Bégude. 9:30am and we are in the kitchen. I’m ready to get going, thinking that there will be a lot of mise en place and calculated running around as soon as we walk in the door. Wrong. To my surprise, after getting a tour of the kitchen and …