Blog: It's a Piece of Cake | The French Pastry School

Blog: It's a Piece of Cake

It's a Piece of Cake
The French Pastry School |
September 12, 2009

After two months of the program I’ve gotten used to the way the classes work.  We go from topic to topic, squeezing as much information out of the experience as we can in as little time as possible.  If we finish items on the syllabus early, we get to ask our chef instructors to show us recipes that aren’t in our textbooks.  Like everything else in this industry, learning at the French Pastry School is all about efficiency.

Despite this already exciting and challenging structure, I keep expecting the classes to get harder.  I realize, however, that I came to the FPS with preconceived notions: I always thought pastry was beautiful, indulgent, and intricate and, therefore, fussy, elaborate, and painfully complicated to compose.  Our chefs quickly stressed, however, that the professional techniques we learn here are, above all, meant to make our lives easier.

The last two months of class have consisted of a series of light bulb moments for me.  How many times have I resisted the urge to bop myself on the forehead in the middle of an ingenious demo asking myself why I hadn’t thought of it before?  Our chefs don’t try to baffle us with difficult techniques but they certainly don’t allow us to cut corners either.  Instead, they pass on tricks of efficiency that it’s taken them about a hundred collective years to learn.  With the right amount of organization and know-how, we’re able to whip up a five-star, competition-winning cake in the time it used to take me to bake brownies from a box.  Now that’s a learning curve.