Today was the grand finale for 10 students at the Saturday "Essentials of Pastry" session which began on January 28th at the French Culinary Institute in New York City. Each of us completed a final "Celebration Cake" and received our certificate of completion representing 100 hours of intensive training in the Essentials of Pastry.
In addition to designing an original pastry creation, the day was not without drama. We were evacuated not once, but twice when construction workers in the building tripped a fire alarm. Picture several dozen pastry and cooking students in white coats and chef hats cooling their heels on Grand Street in New York City while our two-tier cakes sat unfinished in the pastry kitchen. A serene Saturday afternoon of baking it was not.
The results of the day were as original as the members of the class. What motivates an individual to spend five hours a day over twenty Saturdays with a rolling pin in hand? Perhaps the urge to create. The celebration cakes literally leapt out of the imaginations of the students which include a teacher, a civil engineer, a healthcare worker and a member of the fashion industry. There was a Patriotic Cake, a Tiffany's box, a Harlequin Cake, a high-roller Las Vegas Cake, a Pin Cushion and a delicate Field of Daisies. Mine was a sunny yellow confection dotted with sunflowers inspired by summertime in Provence.
Congratulations to my Saturday pastry pals on completing twenty sweet weeks together. Happy baking!
© 2006 T.W. Barritt All Rights Reserved