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nightscotsman

Pictures from Pastry School

105 posts in this topic

As some of you may know, I graduated last month from the 6-month program at The French Pastry School in Chicago. I took photos of all of my work (well, most - wish I had more shots of my chocolate stuff) as I went along, and I've finally gotten around to posting them on-line. Check it out here:

Neil's Adventures in Pastry School

In case you're wondering - none of the recipes we used in class were from published sources. We worked from two large notebooks developed by the instructors and updated after every session. The only other textbooks we used were the "French Professional Pastry Series" (which we used for reference only) and "On Food and Cooking" by McGee.

Bon Appetit!

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Very Beautiful!

Now, move to Portland. OR and get a job here so I can enjoy your work in person!

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Wow. Now I want something sweet and the sad, sorry thing is that there is no way it's going to be as good as what nightscotsman makes.

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We Heartland eGulls know that as sure as the sun comes up on the east , Neil is going to be very, very famous. We knew him when!

We will also swear on a book of your choice that not only were Neil's masterpieces knock-out gorgeous, but that they taste even better than they look---pure, exploding richness and flavor.

About that final exam: How long was a period? God Lord, that was a heck of a final to complete in three periods. (And your final mark was how close to a perfect score?)


Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Very impressive. Now come on back to Vashon and set up something next to the Thriftway. Everyone on the island goes to Thriftway.


Regards,

Michael Lloyd

Mill Creek, Washington USA

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Each class period was about 5-1/2 hours not counting clean-up (we had to wash all of our own dishes and clean the whole kitchen every day). I got a 92.8 out of 100 on the final, but I think all the students agreed that the first test on breads, breakfast pastries, and petits fours was actually the hardest. We had only two class periods to take the written exam then make and turn in:

- 1 brioche loaf

- 6 small streusel brioches

- 6 croissants

- 2 lemon pound cakes

- 12 madeleines

- 9 coffee eclairs

- 9 blueberry streusel tartlets

- 9 mini Paris Brests

I felt like I was going to have a heart attack the whole time until I finished with 10 minutes to spare. :blink:

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Oh. My. God. That's some beautiful work, Neil. Thanks for sharing it with us :smile:


Sometimes When You Are Right, You Can Still Be Wrong. ~De La Vega

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Absolutely beautiful, sincerely... the fire and ice creation is stunning but even the more "humble" offerings are praiseworthy. I wish I could taste them as well.

I'm impressed with your artistry. Please continue to tell us about your career and challenges as you move along. I'm curious, what are your options with a portfolio like that one?

Best of luck in whatever you choose.


What's wrong with peanut butter and mustard? What else is a guy supposed to do when we are out of jelly?

-Dad

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Very nice indeed. That stuff is better looking than most of what I saw at Johnson and Wales, sad to say. You look to be the guy we ought to be asking about the macarons.


Edited by McDuff (log)

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Great stuff Neil! Good to see the pics presented well on a nice Web page too. :)

Hope you have a bunch of bandwidth allocated to your Web host or it might get "eGullet-ed" :)

Ben


Gimme what cha got for a pork chop!

-Freakmaster

I have two words for America... Meat Crust.

-Mario

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Very very nice!


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.

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Beautiful work. Both the creations and the photos.

Congratulations on your success


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

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Thank you so much for sharing a tour through classic french pastries. The sugar work was amazing to me; I've never seen anything like it. As mentioned above, the fire and ice piece was an incredible design, but all the pastries, cakes, breads were extremely tempting to look at.

*the website is very nicely done also*


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Thanks everyone! :blush:

I've done a couple stages and trials at restaurants here in Chicago, and next week I'm going for an interview at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. The folks at school have been very helpful making contacts. I want to make sure I find the right place for my first job - one that will let me continue to learn and grow as a pastry cook and eventually a chef. I loved doing everything in school, so it's hard to decide how to narrow my focus. I want to do it all!

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wow, neil! such great pictures, and of course, such great work...my school was nothing like yours. i'm envious but happy that they are producing such good students with such a broad background. i don't think the cia even has a leg up on your school.

good luck in whatever you choose to do!

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p.s. is it just me or is it strange to finally have a face to match with the moniker?! i've now met several eGulleteers and it's interesting to see who matches what was in my imagination...or how far off i was!!!

thanks again neil!

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Thanks everyone! :blush:

I've done a couple stages and trials at restaurants here in Chicago, and next week I'm going for an interview at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. The folks at school have been very helpful making contacts. I want to make sure I find the right place for my first job - one that will let me continue to learn and grow as a pastry cook and eventually a chef. I loved doing everything in school, so it's hard to decide how to narrow my focus. I want to do it all!

Good luck in Las Vegas, Neil. The Bellagio is a lovely hotel, although it is a bit large. From these pics, you are going to be wonderful where ever you end up!


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.

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I can only echo on all counts the well-deserved high praise you are getting from everyone! You mean, you did all that with sugar?!

Good luck on your interview in Las Vegas, but I wish you'd come to New York instead - except that I figure someone with your skill will without question be employed at a place I can't afford, anyway, and justly so!

A few questions, though:

What exactly is Dacquoise? Is sherbet different from sorbet? (I thought they were the same thing in different languages.) What's in "Monkey Bread"? And what is Pate a Choux? (A more-or-less literal translation would be "Paste of Cabbages," which doesn't make sense.) I'm also not completely sure I know what Ganache and Nougatine are.


Edited by Pan (log)

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wow, neil! such great pictures, and of course, such great work...my school was nothing like yours. i'm envious but happy that they are producing such good students with such a broad background. i don't think the cia even has a leg up on your school.

good luck in whatever you choose to do!

neil! i have to agree wtih alanamoana. my school was nothing like yours as well and i'm quite envious! would you consider yourself a typical student (i.e., how did you compare wtih the rest of your class)?

very inspiring! best of luck! :biggrin:


"Why not go out on a limb? Isn't that where all the fruit is?" -Frank Scully

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very cool stuff night. Thanks for sharing it.


Mike

The Dairy Show

Special Edition 3-In The Kitchen at Momofuku Milk Bar

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Congratulations, Neil! I don't often get hungry for dessert while I'm in the middle of eating my dessert, but the images alone made my bowl of ice cream utterly uninteresting to me.

Best of luck!

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What exactly is Dacquoise? Is sherbet different from sorbet? (I thought they were the same thing in different languages.) What's in "Monkey Bread"? And what is Pate a Choux? (A more-or-less literal translation would be "Paste of Cabbages," which doesn't make sense.) I'm also not completely sure I know what Ganache and Nougatine are.

What, more tests?! :wacko::wink:

Dacquoise is a type of meringue made with ground nuts. It's usually baked in a sheet pan and the texture is usually soft like a cake, though it can be baked crisp like a cookie. The cookie part of French macarons is a type of dacquoise.

Sherbet usually contains some dairy and/or fat, unlike sorbet with does not. The dairy gives it a slightly richer, smoother flavor while keeping the freshness of a sorbet.

Monkey bread is just leftover scraps of croissant dough mixed with some sugar and cinnamon - and raisins or chopped dried fruit if you like - and baked in a loaf pan. Several of the students went nuts over this stuff and always made sure to screw up a good chunk of croissant dough so they could make monkey bread. Someone even made a savory version with cheddar cheese and chilis that was really good.

Pate a choux is the dough you make cream puffs and eclairs out of. I've read it is called that because the baked buns look like little cabbages.

Ganache is basically chocolate melted with cream, though for our dipped candies they also contained butter and trimoline (an invert sugar).

Nougatine is crispy caramel with almonds, sort of like english toffee but with more almonds than caramel.

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