Thursday, May 27, 2010


It's the end of May.  We're having a heat wave and I'm sick.  It's also my birthday on Sunday.

I need a doctor's note to say that I am well enough to go back to work.  The doc wouldn't give me one so now I'm stuck at home, bored out of my mind while my team picks up the slack at work for my sick ass.  Not cool. NOT COOL.  So I've painted my nails a Barbie pink seeing as I won't be working anytime soon.  Not working sucks now as I am an hourly paid employee and there are no such things as sick days or sick pay.

On the plus side....hmmm......

Anyhow, it's my birthday and I hope to be fully healthy by Saturday and everyday after that.  I'm turning 32.  It's a good age, huh?  I'm gonna have a party and make me a lemon birthday cake.  Mmmmm....

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Updates for now...

I finally have a moment to write a proper update to my blog.  It's been a while.

The last few months have been busy.  I have learned a lot not only about being in the kitchen but also about myself.  There are many challenges and obstacles that I am continuing to deal with and it's a struggle sometimes but it is also a blessing.  I have so much more to learn.

I think my last few entries have exhibited some of my frustrations thus far.  I will try to keep this entry as positive as I can as I feel positive about the way things will be in the future.  If it does not kill me, it'll only make me stronger and I'm not dead, therefore I think that means I am stronger.


I have basically been bumped off the pastry roster and am only being called in to work pastry when they are stuck.  At first it was like a huge slap in the face since I felt tons of loyalty to this team and all of a sudden there was no loyalty reciprocated.  Such is life, I tell you.  It sucked but I am now over it.  Aside from budget cuts and not being busy, my hours dwindled as the new pastry chef took on another pastry cook with slightly more experience than I.  I had felt strong frustrations with myself and harbored feelings of not being good enough for a while.  Today, I feel fine.  I am learning and improving.  I kind of feel that if my superior is not willing to teach me or give me the opportunity to learn, then perhaps I am in the wrong space.  I would like to be in an environment where my superior is also supportive of my professional growth.  I'm sure it'll be hard to find, but I am also sure that it exists.  It did before.  I know that it is not a question of me not being a good worker as the Banquet Chef and Cafe Chef have put me on their schedules on a pretty steady basis.

So, for the last few weeks I have mostly been working as a prep cook at the AGO.  I would prefer to be doing pastries however, I am taking the shifts as it still proves to be a valuable experience in the kitchen.  Plus, the money ain't so bad either.


My time here has been a roller coaster ride.  I like roller coasters though.  I have, in the last little bit, learned a lot being in this kitchen.  Yes it's a circus and yes it's a shit show sometimes but it's a constant push for me.  For the most part I love the peeps I work with.  Aside from all the lovin' and huggin' I get, I see these people all the time and they are my new found friends.  We are part of the same army.  I love them.  I love food.  We feed each other :)

A new pastry team has formed.  There are two pastry ladies with more experience than me that have just started in the last month or two.  I think we form a good team.  I like that I am working with pastry cooks who have more experience than I.  Whereas before, I had dishwashers and inexperienced cooks on my team.  (I want to mention, that I was still grateful for all their help.)  Together we form a super pastry alliance.  The challenge here is that there are strong personalities at bay.  Mine included, however I do not stroke my ego much.  Maybe I should.  Having the least experience can be good in a way as you get to learn from people who know how to do things and that will teach you.  It can be a challenge in some ways too as it is hard to work at the same pace, sometimes.  With this I struggle but with this struggle I will learn and excel.  I'm trying to look at things from a different perspective and to be open and receptive to criticism.  I will say that although some may have more experience and more years under their belt, they are not always right.  That's it, that's all.

My favorite chef left last month.  I miss my Chef Billy, by far my favorite part of the day.  I also miss Dan, my Asian invasion partner in crime, and I will miss Guillermo my Mexican teddy bear.  GMo, as he is referred to, is moving back to Mexico :( 


I've been on the hunt to do more stages at different places.  I did one at Pangaea and I have another one coming up at Scaramouche.  I'm really into networking and meeting other pastry people.

I have also participated in a show piece for the "Kings of Pastry" documentary launch party.  See my previous blog for further details.

....anyhow, this is my update.  I still love what I do.  I really do :)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Kings of Pastry

I participated in a showpiece for the launch party of a Hot Doc Documentary called Kings of Pastry.  Chef Christophe Measson along with Chef Christian, students and former students of GB (including myself) worked on a 'Paris' scene made out of sugar, gingerbread, marzipan and royal icing.

I made a cheese boutique, complete with some wine, preserves, grapes, lavender, and even a mouse!

Here are more photos:

Le Tour Eiffel and L'Arc de Triomphe made out of sugar


MY Fromagerie, Le Fruiterie de Muriel, Cafe, Chanel Boutique, Gallerie, Jimmy Choo Boutique, Boutique de Marriage, Fleuriste and Boulangerie.

At the event we were making marzipan flowers and pulling sugar for demos.  Here are some pics before and during the event.

Me and Ma Fromagerie 

Here are some close ups of my work.  It was all very tiny.  To get an idea of the size, look at the picture above with me behind it.  All the detailing was made purely out of coloured marzipan and the only places I used food colouring to paint was on the signs and the centres of the daisies.  The structure was made of gingerbread and the window panes were made from a gelatin leaf. 

Can you recognize some of the cheese?  Some I just made up, others mimic my favorite cheese and some are cheese that we use in the workplace.  I really love my Brie that's cut open and melting :)

This took over 20 hours, but I loved every minute of it!  Hope you enjoyed the photos.