• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

  • product-image-quickten.png.a40203b506711f7664fc62024e54a584.pngDid you know that these all-volunteer forums are operated by the 501(c)3 not-for-profit Society for Culinary Arts & Letters? This holiday season, consider a tax-deductible Quick Ten Bucks to support the eG Forums and help us remain completely advertising-free. Thanks to all those who have donated so far!

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
fanny_the_fairy

My life as an intern at Pierre Hermé

25 posts in this topic

So I'm not sure whether you remember it or not but a few month ago I posted a new thread here because I was slightly scared with an upcoming internship.

Now I am actually an intern at Pierre Hermé and I thought you'd like to have some update.

Thanks for all the amazing feedback you guys provided!!!

Love

- fanny

<a href="http://www.foodbeam.com/2007/07/07/sunday-well-saturday-cest-herme-first-week-ispahan-emotions-sensations-baked-treats/">First week: Ispahan, Emotions, Sensations & baked treats</a>

Just one week after I arrived from New Zealand I'm already off to Paris for the long awaited <strong>internship at Pierre Hermé</strong>.

After waking up at 4.30, I head towards the 15° arrondissement shop, enter the apparently empty shop<em> sur la pointe des pieds</em>. Where is everyone? Luckily I quickly stumble onto Sebastien, the morning team head chef, who gives me the locker keys. I can finally go downstairs and get changed.

Hmmmmm the <strong><em>pâtissier</em> outfit</strong>! While I was over-excited when I bought it because it represented the first step towards my dream, this outfit is <strong>anything but dreamy</strong>. Think <em>oversized jacket</em>, <em>high-waist pied-de-poule pants</em> and Pierre Hermé<em> baseball cap</em>; the most fashionable item being the shoes – white<em> sabots.</em>

<strong> Honestly, who could look good wearing that?</strong> Well ok, some girls do but I don’t. And just in case I still had some hopes, one of the guys said <em>'oh mais fanny vous etes <strong>beaucoup plus belle</strong> comme ca, vraiment'</em> [fanny you look <strong>way better</strong> with these clothes on] when he saw me leaving the building wearing my <em>normal everyday clothes</em>. He looked shocked, trust me!

Once this first step is checked and I've understood how pointless it is to look at myself in the mirror, I can actually go upstairs and meet the chefs. Before that, I have to put an <strong>apron</strong> – well two actually: a cotton one and a plastic one; but this is only an anticipatory action as I know I tend to get quite dirty (and this is a total euphemism) when I cook.

Then I arrive in the laboratoire, wash my hands and shake everyone's hands. At this point, I am completely lost. Who is who? Hmmm names, so many different names. Luckily, I'm quite good with names so after a few minutes I am familiar with everyone just like we've known each others for years. That's totally not true though, and the use of <strong><em>vous</em></strong> is here to remind it.

Indeed saying <em>vous</em> instead of <em>tu </em>is like the <strong>first basic rule in the pastry shop survival guide</strong>.

The second one being to say <strong><em>chaud</em></strong> [litteraly: hot] whenever you're carrying something (usually really heavy) and not necessarily hot, as the term suggests, and you don't want anyone to get in the way. Basically, chefs say chaud not to be gross and say <em>'dégage'</em> although the meanings of both words are really close. Once this rule is mastered, you have to start applying it. And believe me it feels quite weird to yell <em>chaud</em> every other minute. Though, it appears to be quite useful because you don't want to spill 118°C sugar syrup on your boss, do you? Well some of you might - sometimes, but please before doing so you should strongly consider a career change and/or an escape from your country, a face makeover and a name change.

By now it's just after <strong>6am</strong> and <strong>I am awake</strong> (holly jetlag). Like not just awake – I am widely concentrated on everyone's moves and there are <em>many many</em> moves. <strong>In the morning team, everyone is here to produce all the cakes, entremets, emotions, yeasty treats... with the most dedicated passion.</strong>

The variety of tasks makes for the most interesting job. While every member of the team is responsible of a specific area, I wander from <em>poste</em> to <em>poste</em> to help the chef do the tasks they can't do because of their super-extra-busy schedules.

Thus in one week I got to do many different things: from sorting almonds to prepare candied lemon peels.

I started by weighing the ingredients for the <strong>crème onctueuse au chocolat</strong>. This was straightforward and was the perfect task to give me confidence on the first day.

However, I was quite – and happily – surprised when the manager told me to go with Simon to decorate the <strong>Ispahan entremets</strong>.

The Ispahan entremets are definitely one of the it-pastries at Pierre Hermé, so I was really excited to know that I was about to decorate them.<img src="http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/1184766732/gallery_48830_3725_30734.png" alt="ispahan1.png" />

This part was overwhelming – first I had to arrange raspberries on the rose-flavoured buttercream, fill with chopped and fragrant litchis, and then decorate the top macaron by piping a drop of glucose on rose petals and then sticking them, along with some raspberries, on the macaron.

Assembling the <strong>Emotions </strong>was also a great job. Emotions are Pierre Hermé's signature desserts presented in glasses and eaten with a spoon - well unless you like to lick your fingers!

I had the chance to make both Emotions <strong>Mosaic</strong> (griotte jelly, pistachio jelly, pistachio mascarpone cream) and <strong>Celeste</strong> (rhubarb compote, fresh strawberries, passion fruit and mascarpone mousse, passion fruit marshmallows).

<img src="http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/1184766732/gallery_48830_3725_187337.png" alt="emotion11.png" />

These are entertaining to make (basically I piped a fixed quantity of jelly with a piston into glasses - see Sensations below for more details) and are really yummy. I must say I have a weak spot for the passion fruit guimauves, even though it was a really-teeny (don't want to sound like I'm complaining because I am not) pain when I had to separate hundreds of them and roll them in icing sugar.

As you might imagine I was happy to get to make so many different things and I was really proud when they actually let me make a whole batch of <strong>Sensation Celeste</strong>. Sensations are glasses filled with different jellies and generally topped with a macaron.

First, I had to make the rhubarb compote: gelatine, rhubarb purée, lemon juice and sugar, pour a fixed quantity of it into small glasses with a piston, and allow to set before doing the same with both strawberry and passion fruit jellies.

On the same note, I also piped some banana and strawberry jelly into small round shapes for the entremet <strong>Désiré</strong>, which is totally delicious by the say.

<img src="http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/1184766732/gallery_48830_3725_31076.png" alt="desiree.png" />

However, I couldn't do just what I had to and couldn't restrain myself from peeking here and there. Anna, who I didn't really get to work with, is responsible for all the treats that have to go through the oven step. Hence, she makes all the brioches, croissants and other yeasty treats. But she also makes the <strong>cannelés</strong> and <strong>millefeuilles</strong>.

The cannelés are probably the best ones I've ever had: fresh, soft and fragrant.

<img src="http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/1184766732/gallery_48830_3725_247953.png" alt="canneles1.png" />

As for the millefeuille I picked a Mosaic millefeuille because I love the pistachio-cherry combination. This was a real winner: the slight tanginess of the griottes nicely balances the creaminess of the pistachio cream. I can't wait to work in the dough team because their <em>feuilletage</em> is excellent! Hopefully in two weeks...

<img src="http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/1184766732/gallery_48830_3725_144654.png" alt="millefeuille-mosaic.png" />

<em><strong>Next week: c'est la folie des macarons [it's all about macarons].</strong></em>


Edited by fanny_the_fairy (log)

fanny loves foodbeam

pâtisserie & sweetness

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've read your blog, Fanny! Those look awesome. Can't wait for you to post some more. Good luck in your endeavors!


Mark

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - Collaborative book reviews about food and food culture. Submit a review today! :)

No Special Effects - my reader-friendly blog about food and life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm also a fan of your blog, Fanny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I made the Emotion Vanille you posted and just like the writing overall.

Outstanding piece so far, can't wait for the future installments!

Thanks so much for throwing us this and I hope you continue to enjoy!


2317/5000

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Fanny, I've enjoyed reading this on your blog. If you get the chance, could you please find out how Anna prevents the canneles from rising from their moulds? I've eaten the canneles from PH and love them, and am using the recipe from the Patisserie de Pierre Herme book. I've made them about 25 times and each time, they rise in the moulds - which is so frustrating!

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow I decided to post over here in eGullet because I'm not aware so many people read my blog. Hope this thread will be useful though!

Love

- fanny

April - I will have a look so I can tell you!


Edited by fanny_the_fairy (log)

fanny loves foodbeam

pâtisserie & sweetness

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for taking the time to post your adventure. I'm really looking forward to it.


Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beautifully done, Fanny. Thanks for the treat. Your photos are stellar. I too am looking forward to further installments.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What blog? What blog? I want to read it too!

Fanny, thank you for sharing with us; I am delighted to read about your experience and learn right along with you!

Waiting with baited breath for the next installment....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very cool. I'm jealous (not that I have the skills that would earn me a stage there but I'm gonna go ahead and be jealous anyway). Keep the great posts coming.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Fanny, I've enjoyed reading this on your blog. If you get the chance, could you please find out how Anna prevents the canneles from rising from their moulds? I've eaten the canneles from PH and love them, and am using the recipe from the Patisserie de Pierre Herme book. I've made them about 25 times and each time, they rise in the moulds - which is so frustrating!

Thanks.

Fanny-- Wow! Thanks for sharing with us, especially the photos! When you are paying attention to how PH make canneles, I'm curious about what they use to line the molds before pouring in the batter. Wolfert swears by a mixture of oil and beeswax, but I have a hard time believing they do this in a busy pastry shop. What does PH use?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Fanny, I've enjoyed reading this on your blog. If you get the chance, could you please find out how Anna prevents the canneles from rising from their moulds? I've eaten the canneles from PH and love them, and am using the recipe from the Patisserie de Pierre Herme book. I've made them about 25 times and each time, they rise in the moulds - which is so frustrating!

Thanks.

Fanny-- Wow! Thanks for sharing with us, especially the photos! When you are paying attention to how PH make canneles, I'm curious about what they use to line the molds before pouring in the batter. Wolfert swears by a mixture of oil and beeswax, but I have a hard time believing they do this in a busy pastry shop. What does PH use?

I'm not Fanny, but I remember a pc who mentioned on her eG foodblog that she had to oil/grease them every day before use. And no matter what you use to grease the moulds, wouldn't it still be the same thing?


May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What blog?  What blog?  I want to read it too!

Fanny, thank you for sharing with us; I am delighted to read about your experience and learn right along with you!

Waiting with baited breath for the next installment....

I think that this is her blog: foodbeam: pâtisserie & sweetness


John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Fanny, I've enjoyed reading this on your blog. If you get the chance, could you please find out how Anna prevents the canneles from rising from their moulds? I've eaten the canneles from PH and love them, and am using the recipe from the Patisserie de Pierre Herme book. I've made them about 25 times and each time, they rise in the moulds - which is so frustrating!

Thanks.

Fanny-- Wow! Thanks for sharing with us, especially the photos! When you are paying attention to how PH make canneles, I'm curious about what they use to line the molds before pouring in the batter. Wolfert swears by a mixture of oil and beeswax, but I have a hard time believing they do this in a busy pastry shop. What does PH use?

I'm not Fanny, but I remember a pc who mentioned on her eG foodblog that she had to oil/grease them every day before use. And no matter what you use to grease the moulds, wouldn't it still be the same thing?

I remember that blog - and the pc said it was beeswax they used (they tried other things but nothing else worked as well and as beautifully) to grease the molds. 300 at a time.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where I work, we brush our molds with a mix of beeswax/butter (1:2) every day - 300-500 a day.


"I just hate health food"--Julia Child

Jennifer Garner

buttercream pastries

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lucky you! This is really amazing and I'll be glued to this thread (although not as prettily as those rose petals you posted)!


If only Jack Nicholson could have narrated my dinner, it would have been perfect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Where I work, we brush our molds with a mix of beeswax/butter (1:2) every day - 300-500 a day.

Almost as much fun as wrapping caramels... :wacko:


John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am going to be willing to say that this is one of the most contructive posts ever to have graced our pages here at eg forums, good luck to you and well-keep us updated of your post, I for one sincerely thank you.

Michael :smile:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thank you so much for sharing your experience with PH. I'm so excited to read more. His Desire was one of my favorites and I love all of his Emotions! Such a great opportunity for you. Congratulations.


Stephanie Crocker

Sugar Bakery + Cafe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi there,

sorry for not showing up lately. I've been so busy (moving back to the south of france bc the shop is closing for a month and reading harry potter).

Thanks for all the amazing info. This is why I just love egullet - so many passionate people at the same place sharing awesome thoughts.

Love xxx

- fanny

PS somehow the quotes don't show properly; im sorry for that... did i do anything wrong? EDIT: thanks gfron for solving ths problem.

Tell us about your pastry background, how you came to be able to get such a great stage.  It's way cool that they let you work on the important stuff right away, not just sifting flour or something.

Hi Abra,

my pastry background is pretty... empty. I've never worked in a pastry shop, never took classes. I'm just passionate about pastry.

As a second year student of a french ingenieur school I have to do a 10 week intership. Most students work for chambres d'agriculture or do research in labs...

Being the stubborn person I am I decided I didn't want to do something I don't like so when Pierre Hermé sent me an email in response to one of the articles i had posted on my blog i jumped on the occasion and asked if i could be an intern at in pastry shop.

And he said yes :)

Thanks so much for taking the time to post your adventure. I'm really looking forward to it.

Thanks. I'll be posting the one about macarons soon.

Beautifully done, Fanny. Thanks for the treat. Your photos are stellar. I too am looking forward to further installments.

Thanks. Im blushing!

What blog?  What blog?  I want to read it too!

Fanny, thank you for sharing with us; I am delighted to read about your experience and learn right along with you!

Waiting with baited breath for the next installment....

Hi Jeanne,

so it's already been said but my blog is foodbeam.com and I'm really happy because it's turning 2 today!

awesome great report, thanks!

Thanks (for the comment on foodbeam too).

Very cool. I'm jealous (not that I have the skills that would earn me a stage there but I'm gonna go ahead and be jealous anyway). Keep the great posts coming.

Thank you.

Hi Fanny, I've enjoyed reading this on your blog. If you get the chance, could you please find out how Anna prevents the canneles from rising from their moulds? I've eaten the canneles from PH and love them, and am using the recipe from the Patisserie de Pierre Herme book. I've made them about 25 times and each time, they rise in the moulds - which is so frustrating!

Thanks.

I think it's an oven temperature problem - if the temp is too low at the beginning the cannelés will overflow. Though I need to check that.

Fanny-- Wow! Thanks for sharing with us, especially the photos! When you are paying attention to how PH make canneles, I'm curious about what they use to line the molds before pouring in the batter. Wolfert swears by a mixture of oil and beeswax, but I have a hard time believing they do this in a busy pastry shop. What does PH use?

So I asked Anna about what she coats the mould with and apparently it's a sort of spray - which is a mix of oil and beeswax. Cant remember the name though. It might start with an A.

I'm not Fanny, but I remember a pc who mentioned on her eG foodblog that she had to oil/grease them every day before use. And no matter what you use to grease the moulds, wouldn't it still be the same thing?

I really have to check on that. Will keep you posted.

I think that this is her blog: foodbeam: pâtisserie & sweetness

Thanks John!


Edited by fanny_the_fairy (log)

fanny loves foodbeam

pâtisserie & sweetness

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Where I work, we brush our molds with a mix of beeswax/butter (1:2) every day - 300-500 a day.

Wow. At the laboratoire we only make 4 a day! Always wonder why because I just love cannelés and could eat tons of them. But then, maybe it's just me?

I am going to be willing to say that this is one of the most contructive posts ever to have graced our pages here at eg forums, good luck to you and well-keep us updated of your post, I for one sincerely thank you.

Michael  :)

Well thank you a lot Michael. That is very sweet of you.

thank you so much for sharing your experience with PH. I'm so excited to read more. His Desire was one of my favorites and I love all of his Emotions! Such a great opportunity for you. Congratulations.

Seems we share the same favourites!

tres bien fait

Merci ;)


fanny loves foodbeam

pâtisserie & sweetness

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great photos, Fanny. Would drop everything right now for a chance to do what you're doing there!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tell us about your pastry background, how you came to be able to get such a great stage.  It's way cool that they let you work on the important stuff right away, not just sifting flour or something.

Hi Abra,

my pastry background is pretty... empty. I've never worked in a pastry shop, never took classes. I'm just passionate about pastry.

As a second year student of a french ingenieur school I have to do a 10 week internship. Most students work for chambres d'agriculture or do research in labs...

Being the stubborn person I am I decided I didn't want to do something I don't like so when Pierre Hermé sent me an email in response to one of the articles i had posted on my blog i jumped on the occasion and asked if i could be an intern at in pastry shop.

And he said yes :)

from tan319:

"That above is probably my favorite part of the story.

Well, except for every other thing!!!"

Can't wait for more!

PS: Enjoy Harry Potter!!!


Edited by gfron1 (log)

2317/5000

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Similar Content

    • By JesseK
      Hello,
       
      hoping someone can help me with some workflow questions. I've recently taken over the pastry role in a small tasting menu restaurant and we'd like to produce molded chocolate truffles for either mignardise or take-aways. We have 5 poly trays of molds that hold 40/tray and we'd like to produce roughly that many per week (200). Time and space is tight so I'd like to do this in one go, once per week. The problem I'm having is I don't know the proper workflow for creating this many candies at once. We do not have a tempering machine so it would be stovetop tempering. Is it possible to do that in one go with one big bowl of chocolate? In the past I've made truffles, but always discarded the chocolate after filling the molds. Is it a bad idea to put chocolate from the molds back into the large batch of tempered chocolate? (i.e. fill the molds with chocolate, let the shell set (1-2 mins) then when tipping the chocolate out, can that be tipped back into the large batch?) Also, any tips for large batch tempering of chocolate? We don't have a marble slab so the seeded method is really the only one. The real question is how can I keep a large batch of chocolate tempered for the time it takes to produce 200 molded candies? We have minimal equipment for this kind of operation and I'd be tempering over a double boiler then using ambient heat from a frenchtop to maintain temperature. 
       
      Is this too much to do without a tempering machine? I'm worried about maintaining the temperature of the tempered chocolate during the time it takes to fill 200 molds with filling. I know I can retemper if I lose it but I really need to work fast and efficiently to get this done in the timeframe that I have (~1hr). If anyone has some insight into a workflow it would be much appreciated. 
       
      Thanks,
       
      Jesse
    • By nonkeyman
      I finally found a place better than Molly Moons.
      In Seattle Washington for Ice Cream. I was actually not very found of Molly Moons. It is to cloy for me. Has anyone here been to Sweet Alchemy?(They don't have a website yet...so here is a blurb about them)
       
      It is on 43rd and University Way. I thought it was Haagan Daz still because they haven't changed the banner. It is really good! They just are slightly expensive...3.80$ for their cheapest cone. I forgot to check if they have a children's scoop. They do a lot of fun and solid flavors. A tale of two teas, butter beer, Blueberry Lavender, Chai Tea, etc. They even have a very good vegan option called Monkey Berry Bash! It is made with coconut milk and really is quite good.
       
      Besides the price. I think it is worth to go once!
    • By Darienne
      Yesterday I made my familiar go-to simple lime/cream cheese pie with one egg, some milk, lime juice & zest, etc, covered with a dark chocolate ganache: heavy cream, a dollop of butter.  It's in the fridge covered with a plastic topper but I can cover it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.

      Today's lunch guest is not coming...onslaught of sleet, freezing rain, and now snow...oh goodie...winter's here...  Now she is slated for next Thursday.  Is there any possibility that the pie can last that long and not poison or at least revolt us?

      Thanks.
    • By cakewalk
      Can cake batter be frozen, then defrosted several days, weeks, or even months later for baking? If so, does this cause any changes in the way the cake bakes? This seems preferable to baking and then freezing the cake(s) because of considerations such as room in the freezer, but mostly, for me, because of time considerations. Has anyone ever done this?
    • By ryangary
      I bought a box of molten chocolate cakes from Presidents Choice that you cook from frozen in the microwave for 45 seconds or so. They come out perfect but the chocolate they use is inferior. My question is, if I was to make my own chocolate cakes let them cool, then freeze them, reheating them in the microwave for the same amount of time would they work. I like the fact that I can have a dozen or so in the freezer and just nuking them when friends pop in. Help me make this work! Please.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.