Thursday, August 17, 2006

What's Going On At CHIC?

Summer is almost over and we haven't had a P&B barbecue. Today is Chef Karyn Hobfoll's birthday, there is a potluck in one of the kitchens. Chef Mike Skufca is getting ready for his LeCordonBleu Cross Training in Ottawa Canada next week, and I can't wait to see if gas prices will soon come down. I might have to follow Chef Mark Maasen's example of riding his bike to work....nooooooo. There is a CEC Leadership Conference going on in San Francisco and we are also in the process of organizing the First CHIC-PastryChicago Gingerbread Competition in Novemeber. More to come on that. I was also told that we are again donating to the Meals on Wheels Celebrity Chef Fundraiser, I believe that is is late October, so if interested, please volunteer.
My cake decorating students finished their fourth celebration cake and last night, they were so happy to se their cakes on display.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Friday, August 11, 2006

Cake Display

For students who want to see their cakes on display.


Some people thought that I misspelled Nancy on this cake. To clarify, Nanay is a Tagalog word meaning Mother. It is my mother's birthday on August 14, and because I can't ship a cake to her, I send her one electronically.

Poured Fondant Cake

Not a very popular cake with the students (nor instructors), this giant petit four deals with a lot of techniques, from the proper consistency of your poured fondant, the thickness of your marzipan, the size of your decorations, the direction of the wording, the movement of the flowers, the coloring techniques.....I consider it one of the hardest cakes to do, but very important from the education point of view.
Cake decorating is not an easy class to teach because it is all skill. I tell the students we can't hand them the skill, but we can certainly teach them the techniques, and it is up to them to practice. Our cake decorating class is pretty intensive because there are five cakes to finish in three weeks, and all of them will be the first time for the students. For the instructor, it is tough to expect the students to come up with a perfect cake, but at the same time, you hope that you've demoed enough to inspire them to replicate the techniques. My theory is that I show them as much of the trend and methods, that when they do these cakes out in the real world, they would at least know how to execute.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Chef's Thoughts on Institute Days

Today was our second in service of the year. Throughout the four years I have been in the school, we've had a variety of topics from destressing with Yoga, role playing, Generation Nexters, rubrics.....

Today, was all about business. The Graduate, and how we can make them succeed. Believe it or not, we've worked hard from being chefs or pastry chefs, to educators as well. My colleagues and I came from various disciplines, from Arts, Theater, Finance, Medicine, Religion, Fashion, but we all share a common passion for food and the desire to share our knowledge and experience with our students. But we have had to learn methodology, assessment, LeCordon Bleu techniques and everything else that go with trying to ensure success for our students.

You know how your parents always said we have your best interest at heart.... so do we, your instructors at CHIC, and it is also a neverending learning process for us.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006