Sunday, July 15, 2007

LCB Chef Jerome Druart and Plated Desserts

Visiting Chef Jerome Druart of Ottawa spent time with the Baking and Patisserie Department to play with plated desserts. Chef Jerome demoed a pastry cream based white chocolate mousse with a raspberry gellie insert on a pistachio dacquoise. He then glaced it with a white chocolate glacage. We practiced on garnishes and piping.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

2007 World Pastry Forum: Nashville Tennessee

Chef Nancy and I attended this year's World Pastry Forum at the Gaylord Opry Resort and Convention Center. It was great to see and rub elbows with the pastry world's best of the best. Giving demos this year were our very own Chef Christian Faure, Anil Rohira, Donald Wressel, Tony Liu of HongKong, John Kraus, Kegan Gerhard, Ciril Hitz, Chef kijima of Japan, Nicholas Lodge and Ewald Notter

It was great learning new techniques in sugar and chocolate. It was interesting to see the "war faces" of the competitors in this year's National Pastry Championship. The evening lecture series on anything you want to know about joining a competition was an eyeopener. If you see us around, ask us how to get started in competition. Most of all, I actually feel good that my students can do this competition. Seeing those bons bons and plated desserts, in my mind, my students do really well. Just imagine, some of these teams have been practicing for almost a year, some once a week, others more. Some have been practising for months everyday. All of them got sponsorship money to buy tools, equipment and miscellanoeus expenses. A team practised in a simulated kitchen.

What was the best part? Hanging out with the chefs. Chef Christian. Inbar. Chef Stephane Glacier. Chef Stephane Iten. Attending the sponsors dinner. Listening to Nashville musicians. All the bands in the area were pretty good. Seeing the gardens, the waterfalls.

What was the worst part. Sleazy forum attendees. Gaylord Reservations. When I booked the room reseravations, I specifically asked for 2 double beds. When we got there, we got one King bed. We called immediately and were told they do not guarantee room requests. Long story short, we finally got 2 double beds by Day 3, and they lost our bags. I waited til 2:00 am for them to deliver the bags to our room.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Flowers in my garden

CHIC Graduation May 2007

Bruno Stofella with CHIC Instructors

Hello summer

It's been a while since my last posting...spring has sprung and now summer comes...the garden is abloom and there is plenty of weeding, transplanting, deadheading and mowing....there's not enough time in a day.

There's still plenty of happenings around school....there was Bruno Stofella of Italy spending three weeks with us...what a lovely gentleman, hardly a word of English, but everything is communicated through his passion for food. If you happen to travel to Northern Italy, say hi to him.

Southern Wines and Spirits with Serafin and Bridgit Albert is still holding plenty of classes at school, in addition to Bill St. James and Sam's Wines and Liquors. Great way to learn about wines and food. It is a great summer pastime, sitting in the patio watching the flowers bloom and butterflies, dragonflies, birds flutter by....with a cool glass of riesling or ice wine.

Chef Nancy and myself are preparing for our trip to Nashville for the World Pastry Forum. Anybody who wants to bunk with us is welcome to do have to exchange the free board for something...what? think we'll let you stay for free.

Chef Karyn is ready to leave for Ottawa this weekend for the continuing cross training with Le Cordon Bleu International.
We've also been invited to several events in the Chicago area, including a reception for the 10 best pastry chefs in the US. Those honored included Gale Gand, Anil Rohira, Ciril Hiltz, Colette Peters, Stephan Treand.

Then there was the Chocolate Masters Competition that Vincent Pillon won. Our very own Joe Utera from Orlando Culinary joined. Sorry Joe, we couldn't watch you compete. CHIC graduation was on the same weekend.

At graduation May 20, we had several special guests, Michelle Peters from Le Cordon Bleu Australia , with us for a week, came to the event, guest speaker Ina Pinckley of Ina's on Randolph, breakfast queen of the stars gave an inspiring send off to our graduates.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

IACP and LeCordon Bleu

IACP 2007 Convention

Kathy Shaw, Patrick Martin, Christian Faure, Nicholas Bernarde and Yannick Anton
Chef Nicholas during his chocolate demo

The chefs with IACP attendees chocolate expert Elaine Gonzales, Author and Food Network star Shirley. Phyllis Simmons, the Cake Lady of Seattle. Chef John Montanile,myself, and one of our students
CHIC student volunteers with Andre Cointreau

Chefs from LeCordon Bleu Paris and LeCordon Bleu Ottawa converged in Chicago for the 2007 IACP Convention at the Conrad Hilton Hotel, Saturday, April 14. Chef Cristian Faure, MOF, of LCB Ottawa came with Kathy Shaw, Chef Armando Baisas, Yannick Anton, executive chef of Signatures, and Tony Garcia. Patrick Martin came with Nicholas Bernarde, MOF. CEC, our parent company, was very well represented at the Grand Ballroom of the Hilton as well. Lloyd Kirsch, Marshall Shafkowitz, Kirk Bachmann, Ken Rubin, and I thought I saw Paul Ryan in the crowd, too.

The surprise of the night was the appearance of Andre Cointreau, owner of Le Cordon Bleu and Cointreau liqeuer and Remy Martin. The instructors, nor the students did not know he was coming. Mr Cointreau came to the back kitchen were we were setting up all the desserts to greet everybody, shook hands with the students and graciously posed for pictures.

Before their demo at the convention on Saturday all the International Chefs spent a full week with our students. Chef Nicholas did a demo on chocolate showpiece and Chef Armando on ice carving and garde manger. Patrick Martin demoed Julia Child's final practical. These classes were also part of the IACP continuing education program. Also, all of close to 10000 pieces of petit fours were made at school. It was such a thrill for the Baking and Pastry students to work with the two MOFS and Yannick.

Thank you to all the students who helped produce the petit fours, and everybody who volunteered to help at the Conrad Hilton. Thanks to all the visiting chefs who were wonderful, accomodating and with such sense of humility shared their skill and expertise. We all had a great time.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The CHIC World of Petit Four

Cross Training with LCB International: Christian Faure

Two or three times a year, the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago , Baking and Patisserie, gets an official visit from LCB International. This week and next, we are happy to have Chef Christian Faure of Ottawa. Chef Christian is a Meuilleur Ouvier du France (MOF) from Lyon and has worked all over Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North America. Chef Christian has not only shared his expertise on sugar and petit four, but also his stories of his travels as pastry chef, his family and his lifelong experiences. He is an amazingly nice man, is all we can say.

with Chef Nancy Carey and myself
the Baking and Pastry Department minus the photographer, Tom Beckman and Karyn, who was sick
at the Osteria Via Stato for lunch
Chef Nancy and myself teamed up to do this showpiece

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

CHIC Welcomes FENI

With gracious hospitality, passion for culinary education and a chance and desire to show what the LeCordon Bleu North America is about, CHIC faculty and staff welcomed FENI attendees from all over the US. Several classes were held in both the South and North Campuses, some full hands- on Master classes, some demo only, and truthfully, quite a few more interesting than the others. Some classes were lacking in content and organization, but overall it was four days of learning, sharing, getting to know colleagues from every culinary school imaginable. Here are some pictures:

Friday, February 16, 2007

Cooking and Hospitality Istitute of Chicago SupportsFor the Love Of Chocolate-Chicago

CHIC faculty and students created a sweet table, participated in the fashion show and entered in the Student Chocolate Wedding Cake Competition in the French Pastry School sponsored "For the Love of Chocolate" to benefit C-CAP.
The students' wedding cakes were in strict adherence of rules that included specific height and girth measurements, and at least 50% chocolate. To top it all off, students used tempered chocolate for the entire chocolate with scratch-made chocolate rolled fondant. We think they all did a wonderful job, considering they are in an intensive cohort requiring them to be at school most of the day for their regular classes.