Saturday, July 29, 2006

Regular Summer Guests

Every summer I am very honored by the presence of unexpected but frequent guests. The yellow swallowtail, the monarch, and the hummingbird bee, the dragonfly. I haven't seen the hummingbird, but it comes and goes and we consider ourselves lucky when we chance by it

Friday, July 28, 2006

Midwest Imports Field Trip

It is not often that we have a free day in our classes. This term we had an extra 3 hours to spare, so after a short class on making parchment bags and piping skills, John Montanile and myself took the Intro to Baking Culinary Class to Midwest Imports. We met up with Todd Ostrowski, who not only gave a demo/lecture on the history, source, harvesting, processing of cacao but also showed us around the backroom where the students were introduced to their product lines from Haco(pronounced Hah-ko), Hero and Felchlin (pronounced Felk-lin) plus additional lines from other companies around the world. The school gets a lot of our chocolates from Midwest and Todd conducted a tasting of all the couvetures in their line. Couveture is fine quality chocolate containing at least 30% cocoa butter. Felchlin has a line of cacao blends, but also has a range of Grand Crus, from single bean or single country origin.

Some of my culinary students were more interested in the savory products, though, from the white truffle oil to Asian spesialties. I was surprised to see rtu gumpaste flowers from Sugar Petals and marzipan flowers from Holland, I think. They were pretty good quality workmanship.

All in all it was a great educational experience for our students to be introduced to suppliers.
Midwest also told them that they are indeed open to the public, and if you show your CHIC ID they will give you a student discount, but please call first.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Thursday, July 20, 2006

L' Atelier Du Patissier Meeting

These are photos from the Pastry Club's Hands on Workshop on Bon Bons and hand formed truffles. I had 30 students join, in the middle of a summer heat wave when the airconditioning and huge vents can't keep up with rising temperature and humidity. We were lucky though, because those candies look shiny and the students, who were mostly incoming freshmen, had a great time just being in the kitchen for the first time. Some culinary students also showed and we all had a fun time. I think our next project might be molding. I would like to invite somebody to talk about mold making for both sugar and chocolate or I can even show simple silicone mold making for cake decorating. I make plaster of paris molds for pastillage but I haven't done much for so long, it seems my art is obsolete.
I finally got a reply from and they gave a scientific name to my "obscene mushroom. Mutinus elegans or Mutinus caninus. There.

Friday, July 14, 2006

More garden pictures

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CHIC welcomes new students, celebrates Bastille Day and ends week 1

End of week 1 for Cul 1140. Some of the rolls were overproofed, overbaked, some baguettes turned out nice. Overall, great job.

some of the people responsible

a long line for food. Huge slabs of steaks, cornish hen, hamburgers, steak sandwiches, soda, popsicles, different kinds of salads, rolls

To welcome new students, Career and Student Services, along with all the Department Chairs, hosted a barbecue today, which also happens to be Fete Nationale or Bastille Day for the French.To give respect to our schoool's French roots, we celebrate in our own little way, despite the rain that moved the festivites indoors to the atrium.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


soft, moist, tender, flavorful, and well shaped brioche from the baking for culinary students' class. It is a little struggle to get the students to follow exactly the daily production schedule and work faster, but I think they will get used to it, and to me. After all, it is just Day 3 of their first baking class and they're great students.

Tomorrow, croissants. That nice French lady from the library said I have to call her as soon as the pain au chocolats are out of the oven, and if I can please put extra chocolat. Who does she think she is? Karyn? There goes my food cost. I'm in trouble now......

Thursday, July 06, 2006