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World Pastry Forum classes recap


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Just tellin' it like it is, Papi...just tellin' it like it is.

Pamela Wilkinson

www.portlandfood.org

Life is a rush into the unknown. You can duck down and hope nothing hits you, or you can stand tall, show it your teeth and say "Dish it up, Baby, and don't skimp on the jalapeños."

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  • 2 weeks later...
During the days that the World Pastry Forum was taking place there were several Food Network events happening.  One was a Sugar showpiece competition and the other was a Birthday Cake competition.  Both will be featured as Food Network specials.  My pictures of the sugar pieces didn't turn out but some of the Birthday cakes did. I can't tell you who did what but I can tell you 1st ,2nd and 3rd.  The photos are in that order.

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Hey, gang, I know the winner of the first place in the Birthday Cake Competition. Her name is Marina Sousa, and she is the newest member of the Culinary Alliance of Santa Cruz County. We are thrilled to such a world-class talent in our midst.

JustCake.com is Marina's web site. Check out some of the gorgeous work she's done.

According to Marina, the Food Network special should be coming out in early 2005. I'll start a new thread for it soon, and will get Marina to drop in on eGullet.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I haven’t forgotten. Honest. Sorry it took me so long to finish. Here’s the recap of the seminars at the World Pastry Forum.

Sweet Pairing Process with Dominique and Cindy Duby

They gave some basic info about basic varietals of dessert wines, the regions they come from and the characteristics of each. We tasted many different wines pairing them with small samples of desserts. They gave some basic pairing guidelines, for example, fortified wines are good paired with chocolate, caramel, nuts or dried fruits, sparkling wines go well with fruit mousse or soufflé, fruit salad or soup and icewine pairs well with fall or stone fruits, crème brulee or bread pudding .

They pointed out the fact that the temperature of your dessert can make an intense difference in your pairing and we tried something served warm and cold to show us by taste the difference it made. It’s good to choose a wine slightly sweeter than your dessert. The proper cleaning of wine glasses was shown by passing around a glass of champagne that had been ringed at the top with lipstick to show the fact that both dishwasher soap and lipstick take the bubbles out of champagne. That was kind of cool to know.

It was good to have the “tongues on” approach to class. It helps to taste what you’re learning.

Media & Publicity with Wayne Brachman

Very specialized area geared toward those interested in tv or books. He insisted that the best way to get press in the first place is to just simply be a great pastry chef. When approached by a journalist for info, he recommended that you “do their job for them”. Don’t just tell them a little about the subject they’re asking about. Tell them everything. Be their complete source when they have questions so they’ll return to you again and again. Don’t know it all? Learn to say, “I’m really busy right now…can I call you back?” Go do the research and call them back with the answers they need.

He talked a little about how to write a book proposal and pitch it to a publisher and said to get used to the fact that everyone has their own format. He gave tips on appearing on television. Be the best buddy of the host and keep an “imbecilic smile on your face at all times”. A straight face on tv “looks like your dog died”. He mentioned Jacques Pepin as a great person to study to learn how to move for the camera and how to let your camera man know where you’re going. He spent a lot of time at the end answering everyone’s questions.

Talking Taste with Patrick Coston and Clay Gordon

Another very interactive seminar and it was a lot of fun. Clay taught us how to properly taste chocolate by breaking off a piece, looking for a clean snap. Chew a couple of times and press it against the roof of your mouth with the back of your tongue and take in air to pick up the aromas. We did some tasting of individual flavors each done several different ways. Patrick talked of training your palette and trying one flavor in as many incarnations as you can to figure out which way you like it best.

Clay made flash cards with a single ingredient on each of a fruit, vegetable, dairy item, nut, spice or herb. He shuffled and dealt 3 cards to each place setting. With those three flavors, we were to design a dessert.

Cumin-cashews-lemon became a cumin cashew praline with lemon sorbet.

Cilantro-tomato-hazelnut became dessert nachos, a hazelnut tortilla/tuille with a tomato peach vanilla salsa topped with cilantro crème fraiche ice cream.

Pineapple- basil-sesame seeds became a pineapple mousse with basil gelee and a sesame seed nougatine.

In the hands of Johnny Iuzzini of Jean-Georges, black current-cashew-cinnamon became a black current Indian style ice cream (starts with a p?) in a cashew crust with a cinnamon anglaise. It was another situation where it’s cool to see wannabes side by side with big names and all sharing the same passion. It was a great exercise to get the creative juices flowing.

In retrospect, I wish I had spent more time at the tradeshow. There are a lot of really great people there to meet and a lot of products to try firsthand. It’s good to make the contacts and get to know the stories behind some of the people. I’ll admit the first time I saw the advertisement for Amoretti perfume spray, my reaction was “whatever” but now that I’ve checked it out, it makes perfect sense. You do lose a lot of the smell when you chill desserts and we do eat with all our senses. It makes sense that if customers can smell the dessert coming to the table, sales will increase. It was great to visit the JB Prince booth and physically flip through books that I’ve considered buying online. And there were so many demonstrations that were basically mini versions of the classes we had with some of the same instructors. The tradeshow alone is reason enough to go. Next year, I will definitely spend more time there.

Pamela Wilkinson

www.portlandfood.org

Life is a rush into the unknown. You can duck down and hope nothing hits you, or you can stand tall, show it your teeth and say "Dish it up, Baby, and don't skimp on the jalapeños."

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It was the adventure of a lifetime. I'm still blown away by the fact that I got to actually take a class with Jean Phillippe Maury. It couldn't get any better than that for me personally.

Pamela Wilkinson

www.portlandfood.org

Life is a rush into the unknown. You can duck down and hope nothing hits you, or you can stand tall, show it your teeth and say "Dish it up, Baby, and don't skimp on the jalapeños."

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Only the judges taste. Not the audience. Well...and the volunteers that take the plates to the kitchen. :laugh:

Pamela Wilkinson

www.portlandfood.org

Life is a rush into the unknown. You can duck down and hope nothing hits you, or you can stand tall, show it your teeth and say "Dish it up, Baby, and don't skimp on the jalapeños."

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