Friday, August 20, 2010

The Blog of the Future (dodoododoodooooo)

Some of you may be wondering what will happen to this blog now that I am done with the program at OCI.  Well, I intend to keep it, though the content will change a bit over time.

I still have the 2-month externship at the Brasserie Montmartre (more on that in a few) and I fully intend to keep you all updated with that!  After that, I am planning a trip to Europe and then back home to VA for a bit before coming back here (right now the plan is to be back around the first of the year) and starting *nom*.  Now, while I originally created this site so that my friends and family could follow my journey through OCI, I named it The Rise of *nom* for a reason.  I am pretty much considering everything from the day I started school as contributing to starting this restaurant, so I intend to keep the blog going throughout.  There probably won't be as many pictures but I will post as often as I can. externship.  I met with Sarah, the kitchen manager/sous chef at the Brasserie today.  She gave me a run down of what they need and what I will be doing, etc.  I have to say, I am exceedingly excited and more than a little intimidated.  They just lost their pastry chef and they don't have any other dedicated pastry people which  They want me to help them re-vamp their dessert menu and come up with new items and platings.  OMG!  Saturday will be my first official day and they want me to come in and just make stuff, try out recipes, etc.  While I am confident I can do it, I am definitely a little nervous about it.  This is an amazing opportunity to prove myself and improve my talents and it's HUGE!  *SQUEE*

Day 80--Last Day

(Actually Tuesday, August 17)
Well, today was the last day of the school part of school!  We had a luncheon to celebrate, give out scholarships, etc.  

Most of the school turned out to say goodbye

The other half of the room

People from my class, L to R Mary, Adam, Dana

Nicole, Erica, Celeste

Our 3 chefs in the back ground, Chef Wild, Chef Hammer and Chef Hall

The man in charge of all things sharp, edible and orderable, Woody

One of the school's founders, the esteemed Chef Wilkie

Celeste and Jessica being adorable

Most of our class L to R, Back to Front
Jennifer, Jessica, Erica, Me, Adam, Dana, Mary
Nicole, Celeste; Not pictured, Amber & Ellen
(sorry the picture is dark)

When it was over, we gave our chefs a gift from the class

It's our own motivational poster about Time Management featuring the blackest carre EVER (courtesy of Jennifer)

Love blossoms at OCI between culinary and baking & pastry
Good luck Erica and Cassidy! :-)

Jessica made us all these wonderful key chains featuring the class motto, Celeste's "Oh Dear" <3

I had a wonderful time working with everyone and I wish you all luck in future endeavors.  Keep in touch!

Check out the next post for my plans for the future of this blog and everything else!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Day 79

Today wasn't terribly exciting.  I made olive rolls and cheese rolls for tomorrow's luncheon with the other classes that are leaving and we cleaned. Yay.  Also, it was like 8000millionbajillion degrees in the kitchen.  Yeah, no big deal, just died from heat stroke.

Anyway, I go back tomorrow to bake off the rolls in the morning and have lunch.  Then I'm done! YAY!  I can't believe I made it through.  It was hard and exhausting but fun and wonderful.

Thank you, again, to Vince, who was there for me every night that I came home frustrated or upset and let me vent at him or just hugged me when I needed it. I don't know if I would have made it without your support and friendship.  <3

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Day 78--Buffet Day

Well, today was it.  It was the last real day of class and I am so very done!!!  I finished most everything in time and I'm happy with the score I got (140 out of 150).  Monday we clean and get ready for Tuesday and then Tuesday is the luncheon and it's over by 2pm.  I am looking forward to a few days off!

Anyway, to the good stuff.  There were some really excellent displays today

This was Amber's.  Unfortunately I got a picture before her set up was complete. Sorry Amber!

Ellen chose to honor Portland with a bike theme

Erica duplicated her furniture in chocolate :-)

Dana's Italian theme was awesome!

Viva Las Vegas from Jennifer
(yeah, unfortunately I didn't get a shot of the side of the house of cards.  She hand-painted them and they looked wonderful!)

Jessica danced through her buffet, just as she does with everything else. :-)

Mary went all-out and brought real china from home!

Adam honored the love of his life, Dolly Parton

Nicole showed her passion for baking

Celeste's Disney theme was great, right down to the Mickey Mouse cookies and the Pate a Choux mice! Love it!

I started off the day by going in a couple of hours early to try and get my sugar showpiece done.  If you remember, it has three components; cast, pulled and blown.  They all had to be put together to make one piece so I was going to do a ? cube from Super Mario with a mushroom coming out of it.

I did 3 cast pieces to make the shell of the cube since I didn't have time for the full thing

I started with a nice lump of melted sugar for the pulled and blown piece

Managed to make it into this (the pulled piece)...

...and this (the top of the mushroom and blown piece)

Now, unfortunately, sugar hates me apparently and decided to break two of my cast there went the cube.  But it was alright.  Through the burned fingers (melted sugar is HOT...also, when your latex gloves catch fire and melt...that's bad) and the dropping stuff, I still had enough to get everything checked off, all I had to do was put it together....then I reached for something, brushed the ball you see above and it shattered. Yep.  I was out of time for the sugar piece, I needed to get my actual buffet I finished what I was doing with the cast and pulled and gave up on it.  It means my sugar piece didn't get checked off's one point. Oh well.  Onto the food.

Here we have Key Lime-Tequila Parfait, raspberry rum truffles, puff dough cups with Irish Cream creme Chantilly and mini bourbon-pecan pies

Below the pies are apple turnovers (apples caramelized in Apple Jack Brandy) and next to them are chocolate covered brandied cherries

Candied orange slices (in the brandied cherry juice), chocolate fudge cookies with creme de menthe icing and coconut rum macaroons top it off.

After it was all graded I was able to put all of my pieces together (we were only allowed to have one of our showpieces up for grading) and here's how it all came together...


Well, that's it for projects!  Thank goodness it's all over and I can relax this weekend! I plan to have fun.  Yes. Me. Fun. Wow. ;-P

Friday, August 13, 2010

Day 77

I made good progress today and I feel like I'm pretty prepared for tomorrow.  The only thing is really that I haven't done my sugar piece yet.  The plan is to get up early tomorrow morning, run a couple of errands and go into school to finish it. Ideally, when class officially starts, I will be putting the finishing touches on everything and be DONE.

Today I finished up my cookies and pecan pies, made my puff dough cups, made my Key-Lime Tequila Cream, and just generally did better than usual. YAY!

Chocolate Fudge Sour Cream Cookies with Creme De Menthe icing

Mini pecan pies (made with bourbon, of course)

My puff cups pre-baking

I also used puff dough to make apple turnover things which came out really well.  I have some finishing touches to put on them so I'll post pictures tomorrow.

I stayed a little while after class and finished my pastillage piece.  Here's the back of it...

When the royal icing holding the pieces together is dry tomorrow, I will stand it up and see how it does.  Cross your fingers!

I got an email from Emilee over at the Brasserie and they decided that they'd rather I start next week since some things are changing there, so that's cool.  Just means I get more sleep. YAY!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Day 76

I am pretty well on track with the food aspect of the buffet, I made the shells for my mini pecan pies and I finished my cookies.  I didn't get either of my creamy custardy stuff done but it's ok, we have more time tomorrow than we originally thought we would.  I still have to put my pastillage piece together, probably tomorrow and I have yet to do my sugar piece so we'll see how that goes. ...yay!

I do have some awesome news.  I got an externship at Brasserie Montmartre ( which is totally exciting!  I start this Friday and Saturday to train with their pastry chef, who is that should be interesting.  I'm really stoked about it and I can't wait to start, but it will be a LONG couple of days.  After class tomorrow I will go home, hang out for a couple of hours, go to bed, be at the Brasserie at 7a, class at 2p, work at 11p then back at the Brasserie at 8a on Saturday.  In any case, it's exciting and I am really happy that it's working out!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Day 75

I again got everything on my checklist done for today...but I'm starting to think that my list for tomorrow might be a little over-ambitious...we'll see.  Maybe with a little more sleep I'll be ok.

Sorry for the blurry picture but here's what I did today

I made coconut macaroons (with coconut rum, of course) and raspberry-rum truffles and then dipped those and the last of my brandied cherries in tempered chocolate

My chocolate didn't temper as well as I was hoping, it bloomed :-/ (a layer of fat shows up as light brown streaks on the chocolate)  Oh well.  They were tasty anyway.