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Everything posted by duckduck

  1. The problem with being gone for a week and a half is coming back to your day to day life that is waiting for you. Fred has some things to get caught up on and will have pics up by early next week. I have his class photos which are way better than mine but no scanner. The gelatin was for mousse, etc. and I'll try to remember to bring my class notes with me tomorrow so I can hopefully elaborate.
  2. Just a bowl, a spoon and a little half and half. It's one of the greatest joys in life as far as I'm concerned. Which reminds me...I've been gone. Time to head over to my brother's house and see what's ripe in the back yard!
  3. It will be difficult to put the whole week into just a few words but here goes. If some fellow classmates could follow with a few pictures, it would be greatly appreciated. So here it is…the classes. Petits Gateaux with Olivier Bajard MOF His first words were “I’m not a teacher. I am a professional, like you.” He talked about caring for the customer first because “to give pleasure is the base of our industry.” He introduced us to violet aroma, a favorite ingredient of his and spent time, like all the teachers, talking about the basics and took the time to explain why we do what we do. He gave time saving tips like how he prepares his gelatin mixture 5 parts water to 1 part gelatin in big batches once a week instead of each time he needs it. Nice flavors, nice desserts. Entremet Glace with Luciano Ferrari Some people felt it was a little too product driven which I see as something that could be a valuable thing geared towards those in the business. One of the coolest things they did was pouring melted sugar over a bucket of ice cubes for a top decoration that hopefully someone will post a pic of. Not only was it pleasing to the eye but it pleased my palate as well. Some good, solid basics on gelato and ice cream and how to get that clean cut that is so important with an entremet glace. Viennoisserie with Ciril Hitz This class was the surprise of the week. More than one student commented to me that they walked in expecting it to be their least favorite class and walked out with it being one of their favorite classes. Good solid basics and hands on in the sense that he made you touch the dough in every stage so you got a better feel for where your dough should be. He had some great flavor combinations and we got to taste recipes made at the Coupe de Monde in 2002 that brought the US team the silver medal. Petits Fours with Laurent Pages Fast paced class that went through a lot of recipes with practical tips on making large batches of bases to be split and used in several variations. He did some really nice garnish tips and showed us uses for many different products. Many of his tips were about saving time like taking your acetate strips and dipping them one side down directly into the chocolate in your tempering machine and scrapping lightly on the side as you pull them out as apposed to laying them down and spreading chocolate over them. In the end, the photos will tell it all. Only difference for us students …we got to taste. You just get to look. Mmmmm. Plated Desserts with Thomas Haas Thomas’ focus on putting together the class was to make it practical. He didn’t want to “wow” us. He wanted us to be able to use what we learned. He encouraged us to question him and talked of passion. He said he was taught that “the joy of eating and the joy of pastry” is as important as technique. His desserts were a little more basic showing us what you can do with simple, good products such as a perfectly ripened fruit. He gave tips for squeezing that last bit of flavor from scraps with the age old kitchen manta of “waste nothing”. He was the only teacher that had us introduce ourselves. There was everything from wannabes to names like Notter and Trotter in these classes. All shared the same passion and were accepted. When I spoke of my book in the works, I was met with nods of approval. It was a very comfortable and accepting environment. All of the instructors of the week were comedians. We had fun. Plain and simple. Thomas, ever the joker, stood behind teaching partner Sebastian Thieffine with a sign that read “He is single”. He started applause wars with the class next door. You had to have been there to understand but great fun was had by all. And great dessrts. Four Seasons Chocolates with Ralf Wellauer We got good basics in chocolate and were encouraged to go organic and do things by hand for excellence in our products. We got to taste gelee made of old English rose petals and an orange spice base that he used in his chocolates. He showed us how to do four different finished pieces each in a different technique including the use of an enrobing machine. He caught on to Thomas Haas and class, trying to out-do us on applause so at the end of class he sent us sneaking down the back hallway to go in the back door behind Thomas on stage to surprise him with applause. Funny guys. Entremet & entremets tart with Laurent Branlard Fast paced and at times difficult to keep up with which recipe he was on but showed us some really cool stuff. In one of his cakes that he was building upside-down he inserted a silicone mold a little smaller than the square mold he was working with so that when he flipped it over and took it out, it left a space to fill with gelee. Very cool cake. He showed us neat little tips like using a potato peeler to level the tops of tarts shells and using a one-two sweep of the offset spatula to glaze cakes. “The less you mess with it, the better it looks.” What won me over was a taste of what made the US the winning team at the last WPTC. The man’s desserts rock. Airbrush Technique with Stephane Treand MOF As much as I adore and idolize Jean-Phillippe Maury, this was my favorite class. He had a showpiece planned that he took us through. Then we got hands on time. He left the last ½ of the class time open to play. Somewhere in the midst of it all, I let go and quit trying to copy his work and my own art started to emerge. I loved it. Then he went back to talking and was telling us how you can use anything. He had an ad of a woman’s face he had torn from a magazine. Instead of telling us what to do, he quickly decided to just show us. He slapped down a piece of acetate and traced and cut out a stencil. Then he proceeded to airbrush the face on a spare piece of pastillage he had that was cut into puzzle pieces. Some one asked how you would go about pouring sugar on it. He grabbed some silicone strips and a pitcher of sugar and went to town. By the end of the day we had a second showpiece. To watch it go from basic conception to finished showpiece was priceless. Oh, and a mini course of mold making, free of charge. Amazing. Sugar Showpiece with Jacquy Pfeiffer Jacquy Pfeiffer. ‘Nuff said, right? Does it get any better than this? Hello!!! Lots of molds, lots of recipes, lots of techniques. Molded sugar, blown sugar, sugar ribbons, sandcasting methods using sugar. Dominique and Cindy Duby sat in on my class and I couldn’t bring myself to turn and look at their faces when he talked about the feeling and the sound when a sugar showpiece comes crashing down. He told us to “study the artist’s way. Keep things in clusters. Find your center and work around it. Do it in styrofoam and duct tape to put together your initial design. Walk away from it. Get the opinion of others.” He even spent time telling us how to safely transport large pieces. What more can I say? It was Jacquy Pfeiffer. Chocolate Showpiece with Jean-Phillippe Maury MOF We started the class by Laurent Branlard taking the stage and welcoming us to “my” class to which Maury replied “He’s the wrong guy. Naked, he is ugly. You ever see elephant?” The whole three hours ran that way. The man was freakin’ hilarious. He was blowing up gloves and telling us “We are going to have fun. When my wife leaves.” My class happened to be predominately female so he started right away training us that when he did something impressive he would point to the class, then put his hand to his ear and we would all reply as a group in a sexy, dreamy voice “Oooooooh…chef!” Last comic standing to be sure. Lots of great techniques. Next time he comes back to teach though, he should be sponsored by Lowe’s. Remember what I said in an earlier thread about him being the one I would want to stage with because of like-mindedness? More than I knew. He walks into a Lowe’s store and sees endless artistic possibilities like I do. Anything can be used to make art. Expensive silicone tubes? Nah. Flexible pipe insulation $2 at Lowe’s. Wallpaper? Great for spreading chocolate on for texture. Use a coffee mug warmer to warm your ring you’re going to use to cut circles with. Vinyl curtains in your walk in cooler make great flat molds. Mix 2 cups grand marnier with one bottle gold dust and put in a spray bottle. When the alcohol evaporates, the sugar from the grand marnier will make the gold powder stick. He took plenty of time to taunt students. Think his English is bad? (It wasn’t.) “Say ‘foie gras…” at which point he made fun of the student who repeated it back to him and barreled on into the next amazing technique. Mold making, airbrushing, showpiece construction and on and on…. Not only last comic standing but most inspirational instructor in my book. “Draw with your heart first. You have to feel it.” He encouraged us to start with the heart, then engage the brain, then let it go to the hands. “Phase one is love….passion…it doesn’t matter what you do. You say ‘I can’t draw’. You are wrong. Everything starts with a line… a shape… practice. Everything comes from you.” He compared art to how shy he was when first learning English until he said “what the hell. Just start speaking. Communicate. Together we can grow.” Amen. If I could sum up the week in a word it would be passion. That’s what it’s all about, kids. Some amazing people willing to share their passion for excellence in pastry. I for one came away energized, inspired and thankful. I want to offer my thanks to the wonderful people that taught us and were willing to share with us. Words cannot express enough. I also want to thank my fellow students for being brave enough to pepper them with questions and for being open and accepting. I want to thank my eGullet posse for sharing the adventure and lots of laughs. The company was great and a good time was had by all. Thank you to the many volunteers. I’ve done a good many events in the past and what it took to pull off an event of this magnitude very simply blew me away. Thank you to the sponsors who gave generously and help to make this event possible. Like Keegan continually said, “Teamwork makes the dream work.” Ya know, from all I’ve witnessed this last week, I’ve realized this. It’s one thing to sit back on-line and talk about “the powers that be”. It’s another thing to sit across from a Carymax crew at lunch and listen to them bullshit like normal people. As one eG’er put it to me, “Yes, Keegan puts his pants on one leg at a time.” But to see these same people running for days at all hours and to see the work and heart and soul they put into this just gives you a whole new perspective. Anything is possible. So, last but not at all least, thanks to the Carymax crew for having the incredible vision and doing what it takes to make this a reality. You guys rock! Forever grateful, Pamela
  4. Closed on mondays. I'll be back thursday. That Criollo Cake is callin' my name. Glad to see a bakery back in the neighborhood again.
  5. Address. Right above me...duh! I must have cruised right by it! Replacing the old Alameda Bakery would be my guess by the address. Are you open yet? I'll come peek in the window on my way home from work tonight. Glad to have a bakery in the neighborhood again.
  6. Did I miss it somewhere? Name of the bakery? An address? What part of town? Opening day? I'll be there with bells on! If you need people to sample and tell you if it's good... invite the Portland Food group! We came out for Chef Rodrigo's pre-opening of Low BBQ on Hawthorne to show our support. I somehow missed this thread...life has been crazy the last month...it was all the buzz among the eG'ers in Vegas at the World Pastry Forum!
  7. I had heard our local Tim Healea say the same thing andiesenji said that they chew up the new KAs in the bakery but had an old workhorse with the Hobart inerds that lasted forever and his advice was the same to go on e-bay and buy an old one.
  8. To answer one of your q's Steve, the pastillage work was done behind closed doors and no, we didn't get to watch. From what I over heard coming from someone that came with the Belgian team, he was continually arguing about showpieces. The impression I came away with is one more time, many people see the showpieces as center stage. As Keegan mentioned at one point, they are the eye candy that gets Food Network interested in filming the whole gig. But it's still degustation that wins the event. I believe, (I'll have to go look) that the Belgian piece was the one that lost points for the sandcasting technique the did in sugar and they left the sugar on their chocolate showpiece that cost them because the rules clearly state that the chocolate showpiece should consist of chocolate and cocoa only.
  9. Kelly in the group photo is eG's bakerkel and Christina is her partner in crime. I'm working on a full write up of the classes. It's taking some time since there is soooo much to talk about but it was worth the money and then some. In fact, it was an incredible value and a mind-blowing experience. I would encourage anyone to do it. So much to talk about, so little time. I'm still floating and having a hard time adjusting to normal life now that I'm back. It was very interesting to watch all the politics and I have to applaud the Carymax crew in the fact that they all work very hard to keep things fair and to improve the competition every year. It was great to stand in front of the judges and watch the plated dessert judging. They were great at playing the crowd a little bit and tipping plates forward for us to photograph. It's one thing to watch it all on t.v. It's another experience all together to be there and be close enough at the gala dinner to take close up photos and be right there. Unbelievable experience. And the just the energy in the place...
  10. There was also a new category this year for "pastry student of the year" which was given to Redmond Cole, a legally blind high school student who won a recipe competition. He has speciallly made measuring cups and equipment and they blow his recipes up 400% so he can see them. It was a very inspiring story. When asked if he could do a competition like the one we were at he replied "If you could tell me what it should look like, I could make it happen." Great story.
  11. The best are at Otto's Sausage Kitchen (PDX) but that's a bit of a drive for you Seattlites, huh?
  12. I prefer Escape from NY. I tried Flying Pie once but they really overloaded it with garlic. I've heard good things about Bugatti's although I haven't tried them. Maybe if we do farmer's market on the 26th before I go to Vegas (world pastry forum) we could hop the streetcar and head up there for a slice.
  13. I disagree. There are many of us that will go non-corporate first. I think our little foodie group is proof of that. With short notice there were still 10 of us there to give Be Won a try. There probably would have been a crowd if we thought they could handle the numbers if we threw out an open "come one, come all" to the gang. If Nick's dreamin', I'm coming along for the ride 'cause it's been sweet so far. PortlandFood group rocks!
  14. Hey BuzzDraft! Were you the one talking about not buying Rocco's book? I would seperate the show from the book. They are two entirely different things. I've done my fair share of slamming the show but I stand by my words in another thread that I think the book is worthwhile. It's not just a bunch of recipes but a good read and a glimpse of a life. I really enjoyed the photos and his encourangement to experiment in the kitchen. I feel it's worth the money and if I weren't so broke I'd own it personally.
  15. I can't believe they were given a good review in the Oregonian today. All that was mentioned was a "little attitude". Was that the attitude we got when we walked in and the servers looked at us, turned their backs to us and walked away? We stood there awhile before we decided to seat ourselves since they obviously weren't going to seat us or tell us to seat ourselves. I just don't get it.
  16. Hot Lips is good but Escape From NY is still better.
  17. It was maybe 3pm but there were a couple tables with food so they were serving. And they knew we were there. I was surprised when the perturbed gentleman that was there before us went and asked for a menu and he told that someone would bring it to him. The person that said that could have just handed him a menu. And when that didn't happen, he asked "Are those the menus there?" and he went and got it himself. I felt like our presence was more of an inconvenience to them than anything and I didn't enjoy feeling that way. I won't be going back.
  18. Last friday I had a truffle class with Jack and Iva from JaCiva's. Wonderful class. Afterward I went looking for lunch. In Good Taste said they quit doing lunch 7 months ago but they send people to Caffe Allora. We decided to give it a try. The food was, well...oh, no, wait...we didn't have any food because we COULDN'T GET ANYONE TO TAKE OUR ORDER! The only reason we had a menu to look at was because there was a gentleman that was sitting across from us that was so totally perturbed that he had been sitting there so long with no service that he went and got a menu for himself and us. Twenty minutes later, we left because he still had not seen anyone to give his order to. God only knows how long he had been there before us. Some people should just serve food to their friends and throw great parties. They should not, however, open a restaurant. Not unless it comes with a huge sign on the door that says that a meal there will be an all day process if you ever get it at all. HERE'S YOUR SIGN. We hopped the streetcar to Miso Happy and were served almost immediately. It was piping hot, good and I was happy.
  19. We did it that day because I had the day off work. I usually don't get downtown until about 6:15 so it makes it hard to do too much happy hour stuff. I am scoping out the ones that are available on sundays though and concidering a full crawl from one place to another sometime in the future. I'll have to check out Canitas. I was originally wanting to do Portland City Grill but they're so packed. That's why we went to Aura. I'm planning on seeing how busy Portland City Grill is on sundays. Maybe there will be tables available then.
  20. We went back and after an evening of ordering all the plates and drinks we wanted the damage was only $18 per person before tip. Fun was had by all. The burgers were good but a little spicy for some. The proscuitto wrapped sea scallops pan seared with bourbon butter and caramelized apples were wonderful and the chinese beef curls were tender enough, you really don't need teeth to eat them. The surprise of the night was the sake stinger which is kind of like a mojito only better. Oh, and the bathrooms. A must see. Fun place.
  21. ooooh...Oregon Wine Tasting Room... I'll definately have to check that out! Thanks for the input, guys! Interesting to see all the people in here I haven't seen before. Welcome if you're newbies!
  22. We went yesterday and sampled many dishes at what seemd like a bazillion taquerias. Thanks for driving us around Nick! It was a blast! I think I liked the carnitas at Salvador's in Woodburn the best. And the baked goods...oh, my Lord! A good time was had by all. Anybody that missed out...check out portlandfood.org and come along the next time!
  23. The combo pizza at Pierre's Delicatessen on 39th & Powell in Portland. They said the reason I loved it so much was because my mother ate so much of it when she was pregnant with me. I can almost remember the smell as you walked in the door. It's enough to make me cry. Nobody has ever made a pizza as good as Rosa's. I miss her. And her pizza.
  24. Note to self...never order steak when out with Nick...medium-well.
  25. Now I have this thread stuck in my head and I feel like the BubbaGump salmon company. Sauteed salmon, poached salmon, grilled salmon, salmon fish and chips, canned salmon on crackers, smoked salmon, salmon pate and a NW classic and distant relative of the beer-can-up-the-butt chicken, there's always the dishwasher steamed in tin foil salmon. The most common meal in my house growing up was grilled salmon, boiled corn on the cob, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers and cut Hermiston watermelon. Followed up with a Prlain's cheesecake from the freezer. Mmmmm. We also have chicken, lamb, beef...venison comes to mind but you would have to keep on mind who your audience will be and it does run a pretty penny. Recently at axissupper club we had beef spare ribs braised in pinot noir and it was fabulous. If I had a restaurant with my name on the front like Rocco's, Mama's signature dish in my house would be pan-fried venison with mashed potatoes and pan gravy. It's my favorite answer to the "last meal on earth" question. I did a search on Alpine Foragers on yahoo just to find that they don't have a website but the first thing that came up was an event at theresort.com that listed many local chefs serving up NW fare. You might want to check it out. It was interesting. When is this event happening?
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