Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Pastry Block

I've gotten an offer from my boyfriend on the last day of my job last week. His pastry chef gave his notice and he's offered me the position. I said yes of course. But I will be working with my boyfriend. Him as the Chef, and me, Lisa, Pastry Chef.

Me?!? How on earth did this happen? This is the best freaking offer of my career to date. But what I make of it will be a totally different story. This is the time to pull out all the tricks from my sleeve. Learn new recipes, come up with quirky flavour pairings, and finally discover what my style is and what sets me apart from the rest of the pack. So far minimalism and doing very little to fresh ingredients is my philosophy. I could play on that.

Well since then I have been taking out all my professional pastry books and trying to get some inspiration for the upcoming summer menu. I've never been challenged creatively, so I need a bit of juice to get things going. Things to expect this summer: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries, rhubarb, peaches, apricots, and the list goes on! And they all come around the same time too! So much to choose from and so many things you can do to play up the fruit's personality it's mind boggling! Should I gently poach it in a light syrup and infuse it with a herb? Or better yet roast it and caramelize the flavours, or turn it into a sorbet so you get that intensely true flavour of the fruit. Or, even simpler, don't do anything with it? Let the guest taste what it's really supposed to taste like, delivered by the farmer himself who just picked it earlier that day?

I could do simple play on a fruit tart with a sable cookie that just literally crumbles like sand in your mouth leaving behind its buttery aroma. Or test out this thick chocolate cream recipe I've been wanting to try, infusing it with a bit of smokey ancho chilli and the tiniest bit of sea salt to play on the Mexican mole.

Who says a cake has to be soft? It can't be pressed and dried to resemble a cracker? And why does the classic cherries jubilee have to be sauteed cherries over vanilla ice cream? It can't be the other way around? Or how about poaching a pineapple in orange juice, so you get the perception of eating an orange, but you're actually chewing a pineapple?

I'd like to discover new ways of presenting food to the guest, keeping with my base philosophy. There's so many ideas running through my head but I just can't seem to focus on a few key ones. But I can't get too excited. Simple done well. I have to remember that. Build up my base and get my head in the game.

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