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Wendy DeBord

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  1. Are there more men (pastry) chefs...

    Although it's an interesting/funny story, I don't what it has to do with the topic? Goofs happen in both sexes. I thought Lindacakes made a really good point, one that I didn't see until she wrote it...I think it deserves more input, don't you all? If the word was 'racism' instead of 'sexism', self-promotion wouldn't have any place in the conversation. So is there sexism in our industry? I think yes, in a huge way. As a female working in mostly all male kitchens I've seen it many times at work. The real thing, is subtle. It's in how my bosses or co-workers think about women period, at work or not at work. Some males have great respect for women and I think it's growing and perhaps part of maturity (ie, the older wiser male starts to recognize the strengths of females where as the younger cockier male is blind to subtle strengths.) I guess when I think about it.....maybe it's not as much of a sexism issue I think of.........I see more of a glass ceiling. Men in charge promote males they like (that aren't threateningly good). So the cream of the crop doesn't rise.
  2. In case I've failed to make my opinion public.......... HUGE CONGRATULATIONS NICOLE! Pave the road.............all us females are doubley proud for you!
  3. Our Third Pastry & Baking FOCUS...

    Will, how the heck did you equip a kitchen for 14K? I understand used equipment but still, that's one heck of an accomplishment...........or your working with your hands tied from a lack of equipment.......... Any chance you'd post some photos of your place and of your work.........I'd LOVE, LOVE to see it!!! Also, how many people do you have in the kitchen and how much front of the house staff? Who's running the front end, they must be well seasoned cause it sounds like they're holding up their end...or are you also involved in the front? Aprox. how many covers are you doing daily? ......and how long will you stay with your current menu.......are you seasonal or do you roll out specials when you've got something your proud of?
  4. Our Third Pastry & Baking FOCUS...

    I was going to write both Ted and Will personal messages, instead I'd like to say what I have to say in public. I think this is a F__ing great focus! Totally open, totally what I want to know and read. Thank you so much Will for continuing to try to communicate to all and for being kind to educate others while you work! I will be checking out your site and I'm really excited that your selling hard to find ingredients and apparently sharing recipes too. Doing that is auesome, selfless and really working to advance our profession, thank-you. Personal thoughts......questions.........I guess I don't understand your mind and how you go from Duke U to modern pastry. It's a HUGE leap in my head. And perhaps it addresses a current thread about male verse female pastry chefs.......... For me (for example) I've been working pastry for a long time and never feel like I've perfected my skills enough to leap into molecular pastry science. Do you ever feel not grounded enough in the basics to get the positions you've gotten? How did you become so confident to leap to the future with-out spending alot of time on the past/classic pastry?
  5. who is your favorite chocolatier?

    I'm not Ling but hope you don't mind if I add my two cents......... I haven't had any from Haas in almost 2 years but he was hit and miss for me. He had some chocolates where his infusions were too weak...........as in I couldn't begin to tell what I had in my mouth flavor wise. But his chocolate that had fruit pate in them were wildly great. They were quite unique. I'd bet that he's gotten better over time........
  6. Are there more men (pastry) chefs...

    Wanting to stir the pot........ First, we all agree there aren't more male pc's in actual numbers, correct? They are getting more press, that's why it seems there's more of them. Lets go back in time. Before there was cutting edge science involved in pastry men were still the ones getting the attention in the field. I do think there's a biase for men against women in general in the business world. Just as there's an equal baise for women in family matters over men. We used to have very clearly defined roles not that damn long ago. It's only been a blink in time that things have changed. We're all on the younger side posting here and we forget what our mom's or grandmothers roles/non-paying jobs in society were. In the 60's (when I was growing up) no ones mother worked outside of he home and if they did, it was strictly part-time, they were housewifes as their main career. I think females are just starting to compete (looking at this as a movement in history), to learn the ropes and pass that info. on to other females. Sure theres always been women or people ahead of their time...........but I'm talking about the masses. It's not a movement or a change in culture until the majority is on board. We still look at men weirdly if they're househusbands raising the kids. It takes time for minds to change and people to accept the changing worker/enviroment. We all have steriotypes in our own minds. Hense the salesmen dirrecting his comments to the male as the decision maker. Men still make more then women for the same job, no? I do think things are changing it just takes time and more women in power to effect the changes.
  7. Are there more men (pastry) chefs...

    Nicole, I couldn't care less if you don't get the qoute buttons figured out, we all know what your good at. I'm thrilled that your cool enough to share/open up/help others, thank-you!!!!
  8. who is your favorite chocolatier?

    I've got his book and read a fair amount of press on Michael Recchuiti. I recently came across a source in my town where I could purchase his work. In all honesty I was very disappointed. Granted it's based on my taste buds, what I like in chocolates which can be different then your tastes. I particularly didn't like his burnt caramel.........which I've heard and read so much about. It tasted good at first, but it left a bad after taste on my palate from the burnt/bitter taste bud. I also couldn't tell you what the flavors of his chocolate were by taste, they weren't clearly recognizable to me. In contrast I picked up a couple confections at the same time that I was hugely happy with. I really enjoyed Frans salted caramels!! They weren't anything unusual but they were damn good/enjoyable. AND Vosages caramels I thought were brilliant!!! What they intended to do with their chocolates misses for me (I don't like their chocolates). But when they apply the same exotic seasonings to their caramels I think they hit a huge home run!! Everyone was a delight!! I also really liked their toffee! I think their chocolate line sorely pales in comparision to their caramels. Theres still many/most high end chocolatiers I haven't tasted so who knows maybe I'm way off mark. But to date of the ones I've tasted Norman Loves chocolates as my favorite.
  9. Are there more men (pastry) chefs...

    I'm influenced by what I see/read. Unless I work with a pastry chef or their work gets published how else could I be influenced by them? So the same names you read about are who I read about. I might identify with or emulate a different chef then you but that's still based on exposure to them. If more female PC's were published writing professional level books, I'd be equally drawn to them as I am the ones written by males. What professional level books have women written that are distributed by accessable sources?
  10. Are there more men (pastry) chefs...

    I'm not sure if she has the time or is willing to discuss this in public............but I personally would love to have more insight from Nicole on how to get recognized as she's been. It's clearly implied that you have to self-promote instead of just keeping your nose down to the grind stone. Honestly, from where I sit it looks like some magic thing that happens when P, A & D 'discovers' you and lists you in the top 10. It was only a couple years ago that I learned chefs hired their own publicity specialists.......... It's not exactly a topic discussed anywhere.......... I have no idea how chefs get featured in the recipe section blurp of P, A & D either. Is it all done by having your publistist contact them? Just how does this all work? Maybe we could share some insight into this self-promotion topic and help everyone male and female learn how to get ourselves out there. Maybe it's a female thing.......or maybe it's just a personality trait perfectionists have, or self confiendence we get as children from our parents..........but.........I always know theres so much I don't know about pastry, so much I've yet to master that it's hard/damn near impossible for me to say to someone "I'm a pretty good PC". Where as I see males strut their stuff like peacocks long before they really are any good. Are we like animals in the wild? Males have to grab the attention of females and scare/chase off other males to get to breed, could males be programed biologically to strut/seek attention? Not that I'm going to let that block my intelligence...........but it's a thought I've wondered about. I do think we have more biology running thru our veins then we want to recognize. Lord knows we inherit brown eye or blue eyes and a bunch of stuff from our parents we all stuggle with and......... we can be strongly influenced by self confidence nutured by parents or even mentally programed from what we see/learn in society.
  11. Question: When PC's try out for jobs...

    Seriously, if we want better jobs/situations then we need to collectively work together to make them better. The whole tasting/trial situation that's developed over the past couple years has gotten out of hand. It literally makes no sense and subjecting yourself to one is degrading all of our worth. No one can be judged by one or even two tasting! People can excell at tastings and be complete idiots in the kitchen.......or one trick ponys...or someone who's recieved help from someone else who's more knowledgable. Who created them? It's like a bad article on how to choose a caterer printed in some brides magazine. "How to choose a chef based on one or two dishes out of context of a typical busy day. " So you can slam out a couple desserts for a tasting, but how well do you slam out 150 portions while you juggle a mulitple other things at the same time? People who don't know anything about baking or how to judge the quality of a pastry chef told us to jump thru a hoop and we do. Instead, you should be asked quality questions and given time to prove yourself. If not, let your history speak for you.....after all what's the point of references? Keep photos of your work. Make employers work to be knowledgable about quality pastry, make them ask good questions that reveal thought and knowledge. You can't always judge a book by it's cover. You judge a chef by their ability to produce great work day in and day out, year after year. A tasting might reveal a total idiot, but it also may pass the idiot into your kitchen. It's a lazy hirers way to hire.
  12. Isn't this the same line of thought Torres had when he shaped cake into a stove or when Love served his chouboust in a pastilage piece of scuplture or when Wressell defied gravity and put his dessert in a cone balancing on his plate? WHAT REALLY IS NEW? The perfect quenelle has replaced the perfect scoop. The perfect dollop of sauce has been replaced with the perfect smear. The round plate has been replaced with the square or rectangle. A huge plate with a small item mats the food art just as artist have done for years when framing their art with huge mats of white. What's new? The cone has been replaced with the cylinder. We're still eating on plates with civilized preconcieved utensils the same "enhanced" perfect apple. Now I can bend an apple into a orange, I can make an apple taste like a peice of pie, I can make an apple taste like grapefruit....... Why does one pastry chefs work look like the next if we are all bending the limits? Who's serving a dessert thrown onto it's canvas, of a piece of linoluem? Who's not using a plate as a graphic arrangement? Who's not treating their creation like a beautiful little piece of precious art? edited to add: sorry Ted, we seemed to be posting at the same time. So please allow me to respond to your current post.......... God I don't think any seasoned chef could envy Alex's position. It's horrible/scarie/great/incredible to follow big statement like Mason.
  13. I'm not following the point of this thread. What's new? What's being said or done that's really different then what we've been doing for years? We've always had people that are explorers. We've always had people that push known envelops. We've always had people rooted in history. We've always had people that cared about what they were creating. We've always had people who want to make the same thing over and over. We've always had advances as science has progressed. Is there a small seed of doubt in your minds that your work isn't valid because it's the current hot topic of the day? I'm sorry..........someone spark a fire with-in me.......enlighten me........
  14. Weekend in SF / Napa

    All I can say is I love you guys!!!!!!!!!! It's such a wonderful gift that you share your experiences............it might be as close as I come to any of these great places.......and I value you taking me there! ........just a thought.........it would be auesome if you took some shots of the insides of your pastries and or bonbons..........that would mean alot to me, please and thank-you..........if that's ever possible.
  15. Demo: Mirror Glazing Technique

    Thank-you Michael. I've added this Demo thread to our list posted at the top of this Forum.
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