Thursday, December 31, 2009

Cheque Please

I'm done with 2009! Cheque puh-leez....although, I think I have already paid for this year, the bags under my eyes can attest to that. I'm done.

What a year it has been. I am thankful for it as 2009 was a challenging but great year for me but it wasn't a fab year for a lot of those close to me. I am happy it is over. I am feeling slight anxiety for the new year to come as I am sure it will be even more challenging and I haven't yet set out any concrete goals for myself. 2009 was clear to off debt, leave the corporate world, fully immerse myself in the industry, clear skin, be happy, some travel, move out. So much happened this year....I need to top it. Every year should get better, right? Hmmm....anxiety.

I have some ideas of the things I would like to happen and the things I would like to do. A lot of it mainly career driven and somewhat selfish but hey, it's about putting yourself first right? Being happy so that you can project happiness to others. I have a lot of thinking to do between now and midnight so I will bid you Adieu and check in with you in 2010.

Thanks for a good one....Cheers.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

petit four days off

I have four days off. So far I painted my nails, slept in, baked a little, did laundry and played with a puppy and my friends. Awww...the simple things in life are so nice sometimes. Two more days and then back to my reality.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Bitter Sweet

Today is the last day of my Chef. He resigned as Executive Pastry Chef to become a full time teacher at the college. He is and will continue to be a wonderful and inspiring chef. He will succeed as a teacher because other than being talented in the kitchen, he is also charismatic, charming and someone who genuinely cares about his students and the future of the pastry industry. I wish him the best of luck and will miss him dearly.

Dear Chef,

I am so very proud of you. What a difficult decision to make but I am confident that you made the right choice for yourself at this moment in your life. How lucky the college is to have a teacher and chef like you. Your students will benefit immensely from your skills and knowledge. You are a huge reason why I am doing what I love today. Thank you.

As a student of yours two and a half years ago I was inspired to take a passion to the next level. You didn’t have to, but you invited me to your workplace to see at what a professional kitchen looked like. I am greatful for that and the many conversations that we have had about the culinary industry, restaurants, food and pastries. Your mentoring and countless answers to all my questions helped me take a leap of faith. I owe that to you as well as giving me the opportunity to prove myself in your kitchen. I hope I make you proud.

Working under you has helped me to respect ingredients, simplicity and traditional methods while embracing new trends and techniques. I am happy that you have showed me a level of standard and consistency this early on in my career. These are things which I will take with me wherever I go and continuously work on to perfect.

I will miss your sudden outbursts into song (usually with your own lyrics), the pokes in the ribs and your macarons (I would still like a private lesson, thank you). I will also miss your frantic manner when you see inconsistencies or flaws in our department. As I rolled my eyes many times (sorry Chef), I also had a huge amount of respect for your need for us to continuously improve. We are a tight knit group because of you, a Pastry Family. I don’t think many exist in the industry.

I value our friendship and our professional relationship. I know we will be in touch and I hope to have the opportunity to work with you again. Maybe one day, many years down the road I can return the favour and you can work for me? LOL! :)

With that being said, je vous souhait le meilleur au monde, je vous aime beaucoup et je suis tres fiere de vous.

Vous me manquez déjà.

xoxo Sam

Friday, December 11, 2009


The last few weeks have been...well...hectic, crazy, fun, exhilarating, exhausting, exciting and...draining.

I've been working like mad. The holidays are a busy time, even more so if you work in the food industry. It's amazing how many parties and events I've been apart of yet have not attended. Work has seemed to monopolize all of my time and energy. I moved this week, apparently. I still have tons of things at my old place that are not even packed. I have no idea when I will be able to pack my shit. Oh man, not complaining....ok, maybe a little but this is the life that I have chosen and I DO love what I do.

Sixty plus hours a week and only one day off in over a month and a half is what's been going on. I think I've reached the point where I am not as productive. I find myself sometimes unfocused and slow. I do need to rest but how do I tell my employers that I cannot be there at their busiest time ever, when they really need me and I used to beg for hours during slow times? How? And come January, when it's slow I'll be scraping for nickels and dimes. - You just don't! Ten more days until a day off.

I've burnt out. That's done, but this is what keeps me going:
  • I love what I do
  • I adore a lot of the people I work with
  • the vibe in the kitchen
  • the madness and chaos that patrons do not see
  • hugs and kisses
  • the sense of pride when I create something delicious and beautiful
  • pride
  • being a part of a team that is going through the same intensity
  • the hope that I will learn something new
  • the hope that my effort and dedication will lead me to a better place
  • butter, sugar and chocolate - come on now!
  • useless yet amusing banter of cooks and chefs
I don't need to keep reminding myself of why I do what I do, I feel it in my heart every day that I wake up. No pain no gain, right? Well I definitely feel the pain.