Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Great Finds at the Green City Market: Lincoln Park, Chicago, IL

My class got done earlytoday with their cookie practical so I was granted permission to take them on a field trip to the Green City Farmer's Market. It was probably less than 2 miles from school but parking was hard to find...we probably should have taken the train.....

I was not impressed with the new varieties of melons that were quite bland and flavorless.  The colors were beautiful, but that was about it.  I found a great collection of cucumbers at one stall, which by the way, I have growing in our school garden, including the beautiful lemon cucumbers.  I am also proud to say, that we have most of those herbs in our small garden, from the lemon grass, to the sage, different varieties of basil and thyme, the different mints, lemon balm, bergamot, garlic chives, chives. I also enjoyed the assortment of grapes at one store, especially the jupiters. The local cheeses were also generally good, the tofu place was outrageous, and I am really not into raw grass with tofu.  I love tofu, just not  pureed into a nasty green. I probably expected to see more flowers, being an avid gardener myself...but aside from the annuals like cosmos and glads, the flowers also were not a show stealer.

The class, however, had a great was a beautiful day at the park...

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Wedding Cakes: Sarah Berridge

I owned a bakery for 10 years and I made wedding cakes every weekend...not that I am burnt out, I am just happy and contented with  sharing what I know about the business and production of wedding cakes....but, once in a while, I like to practice.  This is Sarah's cake.  Sarah is one of our Admissions Rep at school. Her reception is at one of the trendy loft-style reception sites in the downtown Chicago area.   Her cake is a 4 tiered traditional with assorted flavors for each tier.  The fondant is made from scratch, the flowers are hand molded gumpaste cymbidiums.  Simple, elegant.

ICES Convention San Diego California, Aug 12-15

Spent just a little over 2 days in beautiful San Diego to attend the ICES Convention at the Town & Country Resort. Received 2 pins and a Certificate for my Display and Demo.  I did a demonstration on pulled sugar flowers for wedding cakes. My class was completely sold out, and I personally tried to get tickets to my own demo for some friends I met at the convention.  They won't give me any, I was told, it was soldout to the maximum number of attendees, and they even had to change my room from Royal Palm 4 to California, the biggest demo room.  I was very happy with the turn out, and also how comfortable I was at the demo.  I showed fellow cake decorators from all over the world how to pull calla lilies, Japanese anemones, roses, peonies and also cymbidium orchids, in one hour.  I had an awesome response from the attendees.  I also am very appreciative of the help I got from some vendors including Caljava for the Fondx, Cake Play for the greatest new product at the convention, isomalt sticks for your glue gun, NY Cake and Baking Supplies for the silicone leaf molds, the Town and Country Chef and also their Exec Pastry Chef for loaning me a propane tank for my torch (can't fly with one).  Also,big thanks to my friend and CMSA Jing Palasigue who acted as my assistant and my former student Jaimee Park who helped me with my prep.