Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the Society.

Photo

Pictures from Pastry School


  • Please log in to reply
104 replies to this topic

#61 nightscotsman

nightscotsman
  • participating member
  • 3,068 posts
  • Location:Las Vegas

Posted 30 January 2004 - 11:23 AM

okay--no recipe....i get that.
would you maybe be able to share a couple "how to get them this gorgeous" macaron tips?
obsessively yours,
cherie

Sorry I can't post the recipe, but I can tell you the secrets I learned:

- Use old egg whites. Leave egg whites in UNCOVERED container for about 24 hours at room temperature. Seriously. They will lose some moisture and make a more stable meringue. You can also add some powdered egg white for more stability

- The powdered sugar and almond flour must be dry, dry, dry. Try spreading it out on sheet pans and putting in a very low oven for a couple hours.

- Knowing how much to deflate the meringue when folding in the dry ingredients is crucial and hard to explain without seeing it in person. You want the mixture to be just fluid enough so the piped "kisses" flow and lose their points, but thick enough so they don't spread flat.

That said, try the recipe in Flo Braker's "Sweet Miniatures" for chocolate macarons. It's very easy to follow and gives very good results.

#62 nightscotsman

nightscotsman
  • participating member
  • 3,068 posts
  • Location:Las Vegas

Posted 30 January 2004 - 11:47 AM

I take my toque off to you sir - beautiful blown sugar pieces - those would get you serious respect in the best houses in Paris.

Did you follow models for your work? Monkey see, monkey do? That Black Forest Cake rocked my world.

Are you going to the Bellagio central patisserie - or one of the restaurants?

Felicitations et bonne chance.

:blush: :blush:

The instructors demoed everything before we made it in class, though for the showpiece and wedding cake work they demoed the basic components and we had some freedom to put together what we liked. All of the cakes were done following their recipes and construction diagrams, but we got a free hand with garnishing.

I just got back from Vegas last night! I had an interview with Jean Philippe Maury at the Bellagio pastry kitchen. He's an MOF who has been in the Pasry Art and Design top 10 list the past two years. They have 65 people working three shifts in the kitchen and produce everything in-house from scratch. They do all of the pastry (but not bread) for the hotel and most of the restaurants (except for Picasso and Le Cirque who have their own pastry chefs), and chef Maury is opening Jean Philippe Patisserie, a retail pastry shop, late this year.

Having spent the last four days wandering the Strip searching out all the pastry I could, I have to say the Bellagio is definitely the class act in Las Vegas. Easily some of the best pastry I've had anywhere. The style is mostly classic French, but lighter, less sweet with interesting flavors and textures. I was really amazed at the level of quality and consistency they are producing at such high volume.

So, am I moving to Vegas? Mmmmmmmaaaaaybeeee.... I have some hard thinking to do.

Edited by nightscotsman, 30 January 2004 - 12:15 PM.


#63 nightscotsman

nightscotsman
  • participating member
  • 3,068 posts
  • Location:Las Vegas

Posted 30 January 2004 - 11:53 AM

Neil, your work is really great. So nice to have a camera handy. Wish I had thought of that a few years back when I started! :cool: I love the fire and ice showpiece and the b & b dessert. Can you share how you got the funky clock to transfer onto the tuile? (or was that a chip, can't remember). I sure hope you find your nitch in this business as I can see you have the desire and drive to succeed :)

To get the clock face on the tuile we silkscreened the design in reverse onto silpats using melted unsweetened chocolate. After it set, we used a stencil to spread the tuile batter on top of the printed design and baked as usual. You just have to make sure you don't overbake the cookies and they stay nice and light so you can see the chocolate printing.

#64 birder53

birder53
  • participating member
  • 751 posts
  • Location:Santa Fe, NM

Posted 30 January 2004 - 11:59 AM

And I thought you were only famous for your cocktails! :wink: Those desserts are amazing. Now that I see what a pastry chef can do ( can they all turn out a portfolio like yours?) I can better understand the dissatisfaction so many of them have with their jobs. I know for sure I have been dessert deprived for most of my life! :shock: How about a law to require all restaurants to provide such wonderful desserts? Congratulations on your accomplishments and best of luck in your chosen profession. You're passion is showing. :smile:
KathyM

#65 tan319

tan319
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 3,074 posts
  • Location:southwest usa

Posted 30 January 2004 - 01:23 PM

I just got back from Vegas last night! I had an interview with Jean Philippe Maury at the Bellagio pastry kitchen. He's an MOF who has been in the Pasry Art and Design top 10 list the past two years. They have 65 people working three shifts in the kitchen and produce everything in-house from scratch. They do all of the pastry (but not bread) for the hotel and most of the restaurants (except for Picasso and Le Cirque who have their own pastry chefs), and chef Maury is opening Jean Philippe Patisserie, a retail pastry shop, late this year.

Having spent the last four days wandering the Strip searching out all the pastry I could, I have to say the Bellagio is definitely the class act in Las Vegas. Easily some of the best pastry I've had anywhere. The style is mostly classic French, but lighter, less sweet with interesting flavors and textures. I was really amazed at the level of quality and consistency they are producing at such high volume.

So, am I moving to Vegas? Mmmmmmmaaaaaybeeee.... I have some hard thinking to do.

That's pretty amazing about the Bellagio's output, especially considering the scratch aspect of the preparations.
But I wouldn't really consider less from someone like Phillipe.
You've got some hard thinking to do there, Neil.
If you're into the production aspects of the field, can't think of much better place to do it.
Do they have great equipment?
I can't imagine them being shorted on anything with that kind of an operation.
All the best to you and best of luck, too!
2317/5000

#66 Wendy DeBord

Wendy DeBord
  • legacy participant
  • 3,653 posts

Posted 30 January 2004 - 04:02 PM

Wow nightscotman, I think that would be an outstanding first pro. position. Even if you didn't like what you were doing (being low man on the totem pole)....just the chance to observe and learn there, would a great opportunity. Networking with the rest of his staff has ALOT of future potential also!

I'd bet that you've thought out what you ulimately want to do with your new career...does this fit into your path?

......I'm excited for you!

#67 Ye-Ye Girl

Ye-Ye Girl
  • participating member
  • 165 posts
  • Location:Seattle

Posted 31 January 2004 - 03:33 PM

Fabulous, amazing, gorgeous stuff, Neil. And I'll be able to say I drove you to the Vashon ferry back in the day. :smile:

#68 chromedome

chromedome
  • participating member
  • 989 posts

Posted 31 January 2004 - 03:33 PM

Well done, Neil!

I'm in the midst of my <sigh> four weeks in pastry lab, part of my final semester of Culinary Arts. In fact, right now I'm nursing a handful of pretty good blisters from a momentary lapse of caution while prepping for some pulled sugar.

We're required to do one centrepiece each of chocolate and sugar work (our choice; pulled/blown/gum paste/pastillage/marzipan/whatever). Although patisserie is a small part of our curriculum, we're fortunate in having a program head who wants us all to have a strong grasp of the basics. A lot of our graduates get employment at resort hotels in the nearby Rockies, and shortages of skilled hands are endemic, so the ability to jump in at the bakeshop and be productive immediately is a Very Good Thing.

Although all of your work was impressive, I particularly appreciated the plated desserts. So often, those are way, waaayyyy too fussy...garnished from here to hell, and showing an obvious determination to put every technique the chef knows onto each plate. Yours were visually appealing and not overdone, obviously the product of good training and an innately gifted eye.

Although I'm new here and a stranger to most of the community, I am impressed by your talent and will follow your career with interest.
Fat=flavor

#69 chezcherie

chezcherie
  • participating member
  • 1,288 posts

Posted 31 January 2004 - 05:12 PM

nightscotsman--
thank you for the tips. i will try them out--i appreciate the generosity of your tips, and also the pictoral sharing of your talents. good luck with your search for the perfect pastry position---obviously, your next employeer will be very lucky to have you.
"Laughter is brightest where food is best."
www.chezcherie.com
Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

#70 nightscotsman

nightscotsman
  • participating member
  • 3,068 posts
  • Location:Las Vegas

Posted 27 February 2004 - 03:10 PM

So I just got the official job offer from the Bellagio today and I've decided to accept. Las Vegas here I come! :cool: I'll be starting at the bottom as a pastry baker, but I'm very excited about getting started. Gotta get used to the 4:00 am to noon working hours. :wink:

Thanks again to everyone here for their help and encouragement!

#71 Rhea_S

Rhea_S
  • participating member
  • 648 posts
  • Location:Coquitlam, BC

Posted 27 February 2004 - 03:17 PM

Congratulations!I think an eGullet gathering in Vegas would be fun. Anyone up for a road/plane trip somewhere down the line?

Edited by Rhea_S, 27 February 2004 - 03:17 PM.


#72 Cynthia G

Cynthia G
  • participating member
  • 239 posts
  • Location:New Mexico

Posted 27 February 2004 - 03:31 PM

Outstanding and obviously well-deserved, Neil! Much challenge, success and joy to you!!!

When do you head out?
"Portion control" implies you are actually going to have portions! ~ Susan G

#73 pattyc

pattyc
  • participating member
  • 38 posts
  • Location:Michigan

Posted 27 February 2004 - 03:38 PM

That's wonderful news, and at one of the top rated hotels in Las Vegas too! Enjoyed looking at all of your website photos, thanks for sharing your work with all of us.

#74 bcnchef

bcnchef
  • participating member
  • 60 posts
  • Location:Barcelona

Posted 27 February 2004 - 04:03 PM

Very impressive stuff Neil. I can't believe that you managed to produce all of this stuff after just 6-months of classes. You've clearly got natural talent.

Good luck at the Bellagio!

J.

#75 ronnie_suburban

ronnie_suburban
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 5,977 posts
  • Location:Suburbs of Chicago

Posted 27 February 2004 - 04:46 PM

So I just got the official job offer from the Bellagio today and I've decided to accept. Las Vegas here I come!  :cool: I'll be starting at the bottom as a pastry baker, but I'm very excited about getting started. Gotta get used to the 4:00 am to noon working hours. :wink:

Thanks again to everyone here for their help and encouragement!

:smile: Congrats Neil! :smile:

Most exciting news!

When do you start?

=R=
"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

#76 maggiethecat

maggiethecat
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,053 posts
  • Location:Chicago Burbs -- West

Posted 27 February 2004 - 04:53 PM

Neil, how terrific! (Are you trying for a record -- how many cities can I live in within a year? :biggrin: )

Damn, you ruin us here for any other pastry or confectionary and then move on. When do you show up for work? I think you deserve a Heartland send-off.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."
Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com


#77 ronnie_suburban

ronnie_suburban
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 5,977 posts
  • Location:Suburbs of Chicago

Posted 27 February 2004 - 05:00 PM

When do you show up for work? I think you deserve a Heartland send-off.

I whole-heartedly agree :smile:

=R=
"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

#78 tan319

tan319
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 3,074 posts
  • Location:southwest usa

Posted 27 February 2004 - 05:31 PM

That's awesome, Neil!
I'm really, really happy for you.
Re: Hours: There is a certain solitude about 4 in the morning that can become addictive.
I haven't been doing it that much these days but I enjoyed it for a long time.
I hope you will too.
Best of luck to you, sir!
2317/5000

#79 LEdlund

LEdlund
  • participating member
  • 870 posts
  • Location:Seattle, WA

Posted 27 February 2004 - 05:35 PM

That's fantastic Neil. Let us know when you are all settled. I smell a road trip from Seattle coming.

Congratulations!
Practice Random Acts of Toasting

#80 hillvalley

hillvalley
  • participating member
  • 1,787 posts

Posted 27 February 2004 - 05:38 PM

Gotta get used to the 4:00 am to noon working hours. :wink:

3-5 am

The magical morning hours

Congratulations

Edited by hillvalley, 27 February 2004 - 05:39 PM.

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.
It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,
but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

#81 toni guy

toni guy
  • participating member
  • 10 posts

Posted 27 February 2004 - 05:57 PM

Re: Hours: There is a certain solitude about 4 in the morning that can become addictive.

are we talking about the same Las Vegas??? =]

#82 nightscotsman

nightscotsman
  • participating member
  • 3,068 posts
  • Location:Las Vegas

Posted 27 February 2004 - 06:59 PM

Thanks everyone. :smile:

I'm scheduled to show up for orientation on March 15th, but I'd like to get there a few days earlier to get started looking for an apartment, buying a car, etc. So about two weeks to pack everything up again for shipping, get my kitty to the vet, and make travel arrangements.

I've love to see if we can arrange a Heartland get together one last time before I go (and before I pack my baking equipment). I know it's short notice, but if anyone has any ideas, please feel free to post over in the Heartland board.

And how about a Seattle eGullet group reunion in Vegas?
Six words: "Best Thai Restaurant in North America". :biggrin:

#83 tan319

tan319
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 3,074 posts
  • Location:southwest usa

Posted 27 February 2004 - 07:26 PM

Re: Hours: There is a certain solitude about 4 in the morning that can become addictive.

are we talking about the same Las Vegas??? =]

well, you've got a point there...
But, 4 am is 4 am.
2317/5000

#84 Pan

Pan
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 15,544 posts
  • Location:East Village, Manhattan

Posted 27 February 2004 - 07:31 PM

Congratulations, Neil! I hope you enjoy your job.

#85 seawakim

seawakim
  • participating member
  • 286 posts

Posted 27 February 2004 - 07:32 PM

Congratulations! We're very happy for you. The Bellagio is very lucky to have you :smile:
"If we don't find anything pleasant at least we shall find something new." Voltaire

#86 nightscotsman

nightscotsman
  • participating member
  • 3,068 posts
  • Location:Las Vegas

Posted 27 February 2004 - 07:34 PM

I don't think I'll get too much solitude with 65 people in the pastry kitchen. :shock:

Of course that's split over three shifts, but still... :wink:

#87 Marlene

Marlene
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 8,123 posts
  • Location:Alberta, Canada

Posted 27 February 2004 - 07:35 PM

How wonderful Neil! I know we talked about this interview when I was in Chicago. You will be wonderful. And that is one of my favourite hotels in Vegas,so I'll be sure to let you know when we're coming to visit!
Marlene
cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.
Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

#88 colestove

colestove
  • participating member
  • 130 posts

Posted 27 February 2004 - 08:06 PM

Best wishes in a new and hopefully exciting professional placement for you. My wife and I are going to be in Las Vegas the last week in April and we will have to eat at least one meal again at Bellagio (my fave in Vegas.) Again best wishes to a very talented artist.


colestove

#89 col klink

col klink
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 2,015 posts
  • Location:Minneapolis

Posted 27 February 2004 - 08:23 PM

Gotta get used to the 4:00 am to noon working hours. :wink:

D'oh! Those are the prime poker hours! :shock:

By the way, those pictures of your work are really amazing. Did they have any play in getting you an interview or did the school help you out with that?

I wish I could get down to Chicago before you leave. :sad:

#90 nightscotsman

nightscotsman
  • participating member
  • 3,068 posts
  • Location:Las Vegas

Posted 27 February 2004 - 09:53 PM

By the way, those pictures of your work are really amazing. Did they have any play in getting you an interview or did the school help you out with that?

Jacquy Pfeiffer, one of my teachers at school, is a friend of Chef Maury at the Bellagio. In fact Jacquy coached Jean Phillipe's gold medal team at the last World Pastry Competition. So I believe a phone call was made. :wink:

But Chef Maury did look at my site and said my work looked very nice, which is a big compliment coming from a French chef. :cool:

I think just mentioning that I had graduated from the French Pastry School was enough to get me an interview, and it was a combination of the recommendation and the pictures on the web site that got me the job offer.