Favorite desserts from the WA

Before I left, Chef Pelloie was working on new desserts for the restaurant. It was a real pleasure taking part in the creation process. I got to try a lot of the recipes. The pistachio soufflé especially……there is just so much one can eat, even for the job!!

I love the plating, the colors and tastes combination. Preparing theses desserts was simply great and inspiring!


White Rhum granité, rhubarb, pan-roasted pears with rosmary


Roasted peaches with verbene, rose water-peach ice cream, meringues


Apples tandoori, red fruits, sesame parfait, blond raisins and crumble


Caramelised nuts, Marc Gewürtztraminer iced cream, chocolate sorbet and ice cream


Omelette Norvegienne with Grand-Marnier flambée, raspberry-mango/passion fruit coulis, dragon fruits
in sirup and colonel sorbet


Chocolate tartlet, glazed with a chocolate water, caramelised nuts, chocolate sorbet and vanilla ice cream
in orange white rhum sauce, chocolate meringues


Napoléon, red wine parmesan suc, 3 sorbets: redcurrant, raspberry and apricot, raspberry coulis


Pistachio soufflé, meringue and raspberry parfait, peach-rose water bavaroise, in vanilla sirup infused
dragon fruit, aloe vera and melon

I’ve decided to go back to restaurant business after trying out a smaller and nice structure at “Minoofi”.
I’ll be starting at the Môle Passédat at the Mucem next week. For me, a larger structure allows to work on many different styles of pastries, from café pastry to dessert on the plate. I think it is a very good way to learn a lot, like at the Waldorf Astoria.

I am very fortunate and grateful for the opportunities I have here.

Changes……..from Berlin to Marseille

I know, I have not been very effective at writing since last time…..But I have good reasons for that! It’s been a very good year, and I can only hope that it carries on….So many things have been happening. In 1 word: We left Berlin to move to Marseille 2 months ago!

I had been looking for a new job in France. Paris, Marseille, Bordeaux, Valence..After sending a large number of applications, I ended up at le Petit Nice, a 3* restaurant and institution in Marseille. It didn’t quite go as I expected, especially after working at the Waldorf Astoria with Chef Pelloie, it was kind of a cultural choc. So I decided to stop.
But we fell in love with Marseille and tried to stay. Which we are now. These were intense, stressful months but hopefully worth it.

That’s how it all started: after spending some time back in Berlin following the pastry school Graduation, I delivered “Mogg&Melzer” where my friend Joey Passarella prepares Berlin’s  best pastrami sandwich. I delivered lemon meringue tarts and chocolate truffle cakes. We also took part in the Art Fair abc. That was crazy and a lot of fun, but also made me do calculations and food costs which is a good exercise.
Then I applied at the Waldorf Astoria in Berlin which was about to open. My interview was conducted by the French Pastry Chef Nicolas Pelloie, who has been working for Pierre Gagnaire for over 10 years. It was important for me to work with a French Chef to carry on applying what I had learned at school. And it worked out!
It was very lucky, because this was my first experience in the real world after school, in a 5* Hotel and a starred Chef’s Kitchen. You usually need a minimum of one year experience. Since I was super motivated and my age was no problem, as it is in many places, mainly in Paris, let’s be honest…..Nicolas gave me my chance.
I started in October 2012. It was an exciting experience to join this team, and the Pierre Gagnaire’s team for the gastronomic restaurant “Les Solistes“.

Even though the hotellerie business was not my thing at first, I soon realized that you can learn a lot in a short period of time there, given that you do interesting work are not only there to peel apples. But you should know what you want and always ask to be shown and do new things. You can learn every day.
We produced the pastries for the cake shop, the afternoon teas, for the banquets and made the mise en place for the fine dining restaurant. It was a very busy year. Do not count the hours. For a few months I barely slept nor had any rhythm at all. But the team was fantastic and made the hard times turn into fun days and nights.

I was very lucky to work with Chef Nicolas who taught me a LOT, who was my coach for a year, shared his passion and his great jokes…….MERCI!!
The first experience after school is very important as it should not put you off the business. I’m sure some expected something else than what it actually is. But I must say, my girls from our little group at school are all very successful and love what they do.

I’d like to share some of the great stuff we’ve made over the year at the restaurant, with Chef’s agreement…..I’ll put some more photos in a coming post. But for now…….


Our petits fours: dulcey crèmeux tartlet, rose marshmallow, lemon cream in opaline, chocolate martha with redcurrant jelly and apple pâte de fruit.


Chocolate soufflé with pistachio parfait, blackcurrant sorbet, chocolate sauce, tartlet with caramelia whipped cream.


Tandoori apple tartlet and pink opaline.


Some of my favorite desserts. The wild strawberries Mille-Feuille and the chocolate soup, yogurt mousseline, pear sorbet and roasted almonds.

Impressions from Le Chateaubriand – Paris

Le Chateaubriand is considered one of the world’s 50 best restaurants. Read here.
It is THE place to be and therefore, you should make sure to reserve a while in advance.

After a complicated reservation process from our part, being first 2 persons then 4, the friendly staff managed to find us a table by the kitchen at the last minute.

They might have regretted this later, considering that my lovely aunt, who introduced me to high gastronomie years ago, is addicted to her camera and doesn’t show any embarrassment when it comes to asking running waiters, submerged with orders, if they could take a picture of us. We had to apologize a couple of times and after another couple of funny situations this evening was a memorable great experience.

Chef Inaki Aizpitarte proposes a single menu for 60€ or 120€ with the drinks. We had a couple of them to try and they happened to be very interesting.

If you want to eat out in Paris I can only recommend this place.

Here some impressions of the evening

Address: 129 Avenue Parmentier, 75011
Tube station: Goncourt
Hours: Dinner only, closed Sunday&Monday
Reservations: Book a few weeks in advance
Telephone: +33 1 43 57 45 95

Kitchenette, a great idea from London

Starting a new career is an exciting thing. In my case it also means a lot of learning, a lot of working hours and commitment. It is great! However, I have not been blogging as much I would have liked to….

Of course, having a job doesn’t keep me from looking for what’s going on out there, the remote idea of owning my place one day is still there, but far away.

I bumped into this website ”Kitchenette“ while reading my daily blog feeds, one of them called Essen.
Kitchenette is a London based start up that helps you run your food business by providing a 12 weeks course in return for a 5-10% stake in your business.

 

 

A new French TV show for amateurs pâtissiers…………

The French TV channel M6 is presenting a show about pastry. Pastry amateurs come and bake on the show. The winner gets to have his baking book published.

Here, just a quick look from the blog “La cuisine de Mercotte” (in French I’m afraid, sorry…), she takes part in the show.
If anybody from the ENSP reads this, you might recognise someone!!!!!!!!!!

Click here to read the article.

 

Culinary Wednesday NeugrünsKöche – Berlin Prenzlauer Berg

Wednesday evenings have never been as pleasant than since the restaurant NeugrünsKöche organises the culinary wednesday, a lively evening where a mixed crowd enjoys a 7 course meal, all that for 26€.  The price is of course an extra appeal to dine at this cosy place in Prenzlauer Berg, but I find the evenings to be fun and a smart opportunity to enjoy fine food.
You attend the evening not only to discover flavours, you are there to take part in the event, to taste a meal prepared by 2 cooks while the waiters make you feel at home.

Since the plates start coming at around 20h00, get there at 19h30.
The atmosphere is relaxed and playful, you engage a conversation with your table neighbors you have never met before…All of a sudden it gets quieter, the food is coming. Small plates are being handed over, the waiters announce the dish, the guests “hmmm” or discuss after each fork, you feel like a child waiting to discover what’s going to be on the next plate.

While having the last drop of wine left in your glass or sipping a hazelnut snaps, the kitchen team comes out in the room. This is a great moment, full of gratefulness – with a large smile on their faces, the guests applaud and cheer.
You leave content and looking forward to the next culinary wednesday.

Cheers!


Breaded scallop with a melon salad.


Tomatoe filled with eggplant on a couscous salad. Vegetarian broth.


Safran pancake with goat’s cheese & walnuts, raspberry sauce. Lime-avocado sorbet with a crustacea foam.


Filet of cod, celery mash, mussels with mangold.

Of course, having dinner with social networkers/freelancers is a whole program, if you have something to say, you’d better say it fast and chose the right moment.


Elderberries sorbet with a lemon coulis, hazelnut cake.

I don’t eat much meat myself, so far I’ve been lucky, there was mainly fish. But I would suggest you ask before you book a table. Also, the evening is often booked out, so book early….

Neugrüns Köche
Schönhauser Allee 135 A
D-10437 Berlin (Prenzlauer Berg)

Telefon: 030 44 01 20 92
E-mail: neugruens@t-online.de
Website: http://www.neugruenskoeche.de

Menue available online at 5pm
Opened: Tuesday to Saturday at 6pm
U2 – U-Bahnhof Eberswalder Straße

The rise of the choux….

There are pastry chefs who love to share their experience and who also find the time to work on their blog!

This is one of them, whose work I admire, Chris Ford from the Baltimore Four Seasons Hotel.
I find his blog very inspiring, check it out: “ButterLove&Hardwork“.
In the meantime, I will leave you with the video of the choux, enjoy………….

Last so good..magazine cover

The “so good” is there. Got mine already…….

A new beginning

Who said that 40′s are the new 30′s? well it is fantastic that one can change her/his life and start something new.

I chose to follow my passion and threw myself into French pastry. Even though it was not a given considering that I’m almost 40. You would usually start with 15 or so as an apprentice while going to school, then take the CAP exam, which is the basic exam you need in order to carry on.
There are not many schools in France which offer trainings for people who want to change career. Only two were on my list: Ferrandi in Paris and the ENSP in Yssingeaux. Both providing a more or less 6 months pastry training.
The interviews were completely different, where in Paris you get the attitude that goes together with the capital, the provincial friendliness and availability of the staff convinced me. There also were 100 more hours of teaching at the ENSP and the financial issues raised by living in Paris was not an option for me!

I have been very lucky to be accepted at the ENSP. Although I first thought: “Oh my god, how am I going to survive in the middle of the Auvergne, deep in the country side, on my own”. Well actually I had a wonderful time. The inhabitants of the beautiful Auvergne are extremely nice, helpful and welcoming.
Regarding the school, well, as always some things could get better, but as a whole I’m glad I studied there.
You have probably all been in a situation in which you speculate on things, how the people are gonna be like, how your life there is going to be like…..the  good thing about it is when it turns out completely different and to the best.

I met great people, our group at school was “top”.
Our teacher was Xavier Brun. Xavier (when he was there!) was available when you needed him, patient, fun to work with and he knows his craft; there were times when other personalities of the school would come and pay us a visit like “Manu”, who checked out or work, showed us his techniques and simply enjoyed our company; Damien gave us tips on viennoiseries, accepted my friend Marion and me in his class for a day and showed us how to make perfect brioches. It helped me make the best brioches I had ever made for the exam; the assistants, who came to give us more tips, also regarding the job search. In a word there was a wonderful team and they made it even easier to get up in the early morning with -18°c.

I did my internship at Bruno Montcoudiol‘s in Monistrol, who is MOF and World Champion of Pastry. Even though it only lasted a month, I had a good introduction to how a professional works. He is a great teacher and always there if you need help. His team is small, which was good for me, helpful, patient and fun to work with.

Then came the serious time to prepare for the exam including 7 hours of practice and 3 hours of theory. It’s done and I am proud to say that I passed with a very good mark!

After the Exams were over, I had the chance to take part in the recruitment day for the Four Seasons Hotels. They came to the school to introduce a management program and were looking for candidates. We were 11 selected by the school. The day was organised with 2 interviews: one with the Human Resources and the second with a Pastry Chef (here Chef Pannier from the Hampshire Hotel). Then we made a dessert and presented it under the supervision of Chef Lucien Gautier from the George V in Paris.
This was a very good opportunity to see how a recruitment process works in the Luxury Hotel business, to deal with the stress of showing what you can do within a short time, but most importantly, it showed me just how much I want to work in this field.
I worked in the restaurant business for a long time. But you should decide what you’d rather work as: a Pastry Chef or one day own your boutique.

I didn’t plan on coming back to Berlin, I thought I would stay in France and carry on learning from French Chefs in a boutique or travel abroad with a new job.
But there it is, it’s funny how life goes. I’m going to work in a Luxury Hotel here in Berlin with a French Pastry Chef.
My first job as a pastry commis! I couldn’t be happier and am very much looking forward to it.

But for now, I’m baking cakes to help out my friend Joey who works at Mogg&Melzer, a great place in Mitte.

So there you go, for the ones who are wondering about changing careers but do not dare for whatever reasons to take the step, I can only say, I’m happy I took this decision.

 

New Edition of SISTERMagazine

The second edition of the magazine is out.

I wrote an article on pâtisserie, my favorite chefs and also about the school.

The schedule is fairly busy!! we will be done with the training in 2 weeks, meanwhile I’ve had a trial shift in a lab in Münich and just got back from Bordeaux to meet up with a great chef.

But for now, have a look at the article: