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Lisa J

ESCF Ferrandi culinary school

59 posts in this topic

Quelle surprise…  Not!  When I was there in 2003/4 we had some problems as well. 

...

I don’t know who the current French teacher is (was) but we had someone named Mireille whom we all liked a lot – very cool.  I just can’t imagine what could prompt them to fire a French teacher.  Mystère et boule de gomme. 

I agree, it’s a bit early in the year to drop the French instruction.  However, I know that most of the chefs have a fairly good command of English – at least enough to flirt with the girls…  (sorry, couldn’t resist a little jab).  The French portion of the program was valuable but to me, the most important things were learned “on the job.” 

...

Bon chance.

P.S.  Randy, if you get an update please let us know what’s going on.

Apparently it isn't the French instruction, but the teacher. The students must start with a new teacher after the Toussaint holidays. They get little enough instruction in French as it is and the bilingual sections have students with varying first languages. Nonetheless, it's better than dropping the French altogether.

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there are a few rules to live by when immersing yourself in a different culture: 

Thank you John, for the very wise advice.


www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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just to update everyone on the situation of the school. I am enrolled to start in September '08 at Ferrandi for cuisine. the program has changed a bit, it's been shortened to about 5 months of class instead of 9 or so that it was before but the 3 month internship remains. here is an email that i received from their anglo recruiting director:

"We have shortened the course basically at the request of many of our

students who find 9 months of courses followed by 3 months of

internship is too long, considering the cost of living in Paris. The

program which will cover 19 very intensive weeks of between 35 and 39

hours a week will follow the same direction as the 9 month course.

These 19 weeks will be followed by the 3 month stage. We will probably

be cutting out some of the subjects such as history and geography of

France, there will be fewer regional courses, perhaps a few fewer wine

classes, but these will still be included. On the other hand we are

putting a real emphasis on training for the restaurant kitchen - and

real life, hands-on experience in the kitchen during restaurant

service. This will become a training program aimed for the person who

wants to become a restaurant or catering chef - not just the food-lover

who wants to learn to cook to, for example, teach, or to become a

journalist or cookbook author. Thus we need highly motivated

candidates. By the way, the price of the program will be less - due to

the shorter length. The price for the coming year of 19 weeks in school

plus 3 months in an internship and all of the uniforms, books,

documents, knife kit and lunch daily will be 15,000 euros."

as far as i know it still gives you a chance to get the chamber of commerce exam and license so that you can work in paris afterwards which is the biggest draw for me.

hope that helps someone considering the school and feel free to ask questions if you have any.

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Oh hi ther,

Im going to apply for their Sept '08 pastry course.

Heard that the instructor will be Didier Averty

Does anyone know this chef?

Reply from the coordinator: Our course includes 19 full weeks - about 35 hours a week and the majority of that in the kitchen doing hands-on, practical work with your chef in a class with no more than 9 other students. The course begins on September 1 and finishes January 23.

Le Peche U mention: as far as i know it still gives you a chance to get the chamber of commerce exam and license so that you can work in paris afterwards which is the biggest draw for me.

Does this apply to all foreigners?

Any feedbacks will be good

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Interesting that Web Radio du Gout announced the lauch of their new website which should have info on everything members would want to know.


John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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Interesting that Web Radio du Gout announced the lauch of their new website which should have info on everything members would want to know.

Unfortunately the new website is only new for the French programs ... it links to the old one when you are looking for info for international students (the Anglophone program). And the old one is pretty crappy if you ask me. The information is out of date - I wouldn't trust it.


Edited by CavePullum (log)

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Hello,

I'm also going to apply at ESCF this year for the pastry program. Perhaps anybody can help me with this:

I've got already all documents for application, but I still have to transfer the fee. I wanna write Stephanie Curtis an email for getting the bank data to transfer.

Has anybody her email-adress and can send it to me?

It will be really nice and will help me a lot.

A lot of thanks in advance!


Take your passion and make it happens

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Her email is stecurtis@aol.com

Thanks a lot!!! Just one question more: Was whole application difficult for you, especially the essay?

I'm still unsure of mine, but perhaps I just take to much time for this!

Wish you a nice week.


Take your passion and make it happens

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give me your email and i will send you a copy of my application essay if you'd like

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A friend of mine did a three day best of course and enjoyed it a lot.

KM article

Check it out if you have the time.

Good Luck!


2317/5000

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A friend of mine did a three day best of course and enjoyed it a lot.

KM article

Check it out  if you have the time.

Good Luck!

Thanks tan319!

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Hello all,

I just graduated from ESCF Ferrandi for the 9 month cuisine program. I did a one month stage in February, and then have another 5+month stage coming up. You can check out my blog here: http://joanpan.blogspot.com. It is pretty detailed in terms of photos and tests at Ferrandi. I did check out schools in Northern California where I am from, and also every school in Paris, and in NY. Ferrandi was signifigantly more impressive and more affordable. I have heard that they have had students drop out from LCB to attend Ferrandi, and that there is a long waitlist for the French students that want to attend. I did consider Bocuse but you have to be fluent in French and it is a 2+-year program.

I would suggest learning some French - not necessary but it helps. (I only took 6 weeks before I moved here but I can get by now). There were quite a few students that didn't know anything past "Merci" but now speak pretty decently. In this program, you definitely learn kitchen French well. You need this for your stages.

I have worked with Chefs: Didier Averty, Thierry Jamard, Sebastien De Massard (who was my chef for cuisine the whole year), and Stephane Gabrielly.

I am very happy to answer any questions: JoaneeBonee@gmail.com

I would suggest Ferrandi if you want a serious career in cooking or pastry. They prefer that over people that want to do it "just for fun." You definitely learn what hard work is. =)


Edited by JoaneeBonee (log)

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Joannee

That's very informative and thanks for taking the time to report.

Good luck on the next 5 months.


John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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Hello all,

I just graduated from ESCF Ferrandi for the 9 month cuisine program. I did a one month stage in February, and then have another 5+month stage coming up. You can check out my blog here: http://joanpan.blogspot.com. It is pretty detailed in terms of photos and tests at Ferrandi. I did check out schools in Northern California where I am from, and also every school in Paris, and in NY. Ferrandi was signifigantly more impressive and more affordable. I have heard that they have had students drop out from LCB to attend Ferrandi, and that there is a long waitlist for the French students that want to attend. I did consider Bocuse but you have to be fluent in French and it is a 2+-year program.

I would suggest learning some French - not necessary but it helps. (I only took 6 weeks before I moved here but I can get by now). There were quite a few students that didn't know anything past "Merci" but now speak pretty decently. In this program, you definitely learn kitchen French well. You need this for your stages.

I have worked with Chefs: Didier Averty, Thierry Jamard, Sebastien De Massard (who was my chef for cuisine the whole year), and Stephane Gabrielly.

I am very happy to answer any questions: JoaneeBonee@gmail.com

I would suggest Ferrandi if you want a serious career in cooking or pastry. They prefer that over people that want to do it "just for fun." You definitely learn what hard work is. =)

Félicitations, Joanee, bien fait!


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.”

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Hey,

I'm applying for the sept 09 pastry course and I'm having major issues with my essay. If anyone could give me some advice that would really really help. Also what's is the admission process like? Is it very rigourous... or slightly chilled out...

Thanks!

Alisha

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I'm in Paris for a week in September and would like to take a day or half day class possibly with a market tour with an English speaking teacher? Any recommendations?

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Is this a difficult school to get in to? I read somewhere that the last class of international students was the size of 20. What is the class crowd like? older, younger career changers?

BTW, I was looking in to the Olivier Bajard school which looks like a great program, with the exception that there doesn't seem to be a bread course.

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Recently, a board member sent to me a list of questions about ESCF Ferrandi. Although I feel my information is now quite dated, (I attended Ferrandi in 2003/4), it was requested that I post the answers here since others may find the info helpful. Here you go:


  1. 1) Is it really difficult for an American who knows NO French to make it through the program? ( I’m going to try to be accepted to next year's Baking and Pastry certificate program) (Which from this point on I am going to purchase Rosetta Stone or do something to teach me the basics anyways so I have a little time to learn something of the language!!)
    That really depends on you. There was only one person in our class who spoke no French and he had a bad time of it, sort of. I mean, he did OK but it was very frustrating for him at times.
    For learning French, I have found the absolute easiest way is from Pierre Capretz' French in Action series. Check out your local community college. Here in Portland, they teach from Capretz' books and videos, which may be available at your public library. The info is occasionally a bit dated (you NEVER say 'garçon' when trying to get the waiter's attention), but by-and-large you'll learn the vocabulary needed to function in everyday life. The books are essential, but you can view the videos for free at
Learner.org French in Action .
2) I have NO professional experience and I don’t have much knowledge or even really know the basics of baking. Some might just think I’m curious or a hobbyist but its way more then that. I have wanted to bake for the longest time, I just have been hiding and running from it because I think I was part afraid of what people would think and also I always figured it was more of a women's thing! I don’t feel that way anymore. So, my question is (lol) if I have little to no experience am I stepping into a death trap (putting myself in position to basically fail)??
Baking is definitely NOT considered a "women's thing" in France. In fact, most chefs in France are men, though this is changing. My class was the first, I believe, where the women outnumbered the men by quite a bit - I was one of only two guys in the class.
Prior professional experience can help or hinder, depending on your attitude. Being open to learning and able to follow instruction are perhaps your most important attributes. They will really respect you if you work hard. Even if you're not the best in the class.
3) Obviously depending where I live would measure the distance to school, but I was more curious on the overall getting around the city. Is it pretty easy? Or does it take a good long while to figure it out? I’m assuming (which I definitely could be wrong) that you didn’t purchase or rent a car during your time there.
It's VERY easy to get around Paris. Such a beautiful city. I was quite happy to NOT own a car while living there. (Trust me, you do not want a car in Paris). You'll have the metro figured out in no time. Unless there's a strike (not an idle threat) you'll be fine. I used a couple of sites to locate an apartment: Sabbatical Homes and de Particulier-à-Particulier realtors , new listings out every Thursday morning. Completely in French, if I recall. But you have the advantage of being able to peruse the site from home with Google translate nearby... (just now saw that they have some English version which may be useful)
My apartment was in the 15th but only took about 15 minutes to walk to the school in the 6th.
4) I know there are a bunch of other programs going on at the school, but from your opinion when it came to the "cooking or baking" side what was the general age? I am 24 and although I am not going there for other people it would definitely be nice to be able to relate to people my age.
No, you're right on track for the age thing. I was the oldest in my class and I felt fine. We had folks as young as 21 with the average being around 24 or 25, I'd guess.
5) Is there a good amount of International students like I would be? Or are mostly people from France and surrounding areas?
In my class, we had students from all over: U.S., Mexico, India, Brazil, Japan, Israel, etc. We all spoke English best. Not any French students there since it is ostensibly a class for foreigners. But lots of French kids around in the vocational programs going on all over the school.
6) They already tell you what amount of hours you will be in class a week, but I know a lot of the times things don’t go as listed. Obviously no one would complain about a few minutes here and there but are they pretty well structured and stick to the agenda?
Things can be a bit disorganized. No doubt about it. But there'll be plenty of class time. And they'll give you a good foundation. One of my classmates wanted to take on extra projects and was allowed to do that. If you're really motivated, then you can get a lot out of the program.
7) Also I noticed we have to work on the campus restaurant? Is it the equal amount of time we spend in there for cuisine students as pastry students? Do the time we spend there count as the hours they outlined or is that "extra" time we have to come in when we would really be off campus? How often are we required to work there?
When I was there, we didn't work in the restaurant, per se. Rather, stuff that we made during class, and there was a lot of it, would be used to supplement the meals made by the restaurant staff, outsourced to the lowest-bidder catering company.
8) Just like regular school back home we make friends in the class and on campus, but what was your experience with meeting other people outside of the school? I know a lot depends on your personality and how out going you are, and I am that type, but I was just curious how hard it was to meet people out there?
Paris is a big city. And a lot depends on your attitude. There are cultural differences between Americans and the French. You know, I think that at your age it won't be too difficult to meet others. People are a lot less formal, esp. in their 20s, than you may have been led to believe.
9) How was the cafeteria food they provide?
Nasty. Kinda ironic, eh? But that's not a reflection on the level of instruction you will receive. It's about the external catering company being the low bidder. It was explained to me that the students could not be expected to turn out the amount of food needed to run a cafeteria on a daily basis. The cafeteria people were by far the rudest folks I encountered in France. If I had to serve food like that, I'd be grouchy and mean, too!
10) The certificate I would achieve on successful completion of the program is it the same as the one I would get from any other baking school in America? Is it recognizable here? Or is it more of just a good thing to have in France if I decided I wanted to stay out there?
Don't really know the answer to that one. If you decide to stay in France, however, you'll have to go a LOT further and pass language tests, etc. CAP or BEP? I forget.
For the U.S., I think it’s mostly about what you can do in the kitchen. I know that there are some degreed programs here that will do absolutely nothing as far as getting a job; in fact, some may even be a detriment to finding employment...
11) During the internship do we get paid at all? And do they treat you as a "slave" because they know you are in and out in a certain amount of months, or do you really learn more? And does it help your career?
Yes, they treat you like a slave. No, you do not get paid (usually). Yes, they're quite QUITE rude. There's a lot of histrionics involved. (Being really fluent in French can be greatly useful here, allowing you to react with humor and diffuse a bad situation, possibly, rather than just be dumped on). But, I think the stage (internship) is essential. You will learn SO MUCH. You will learn how to do it, how to do it perfectly, how to do it FAST. That can only help your career.
12) I know they provide you with ideas or connections on housing out there. My question is did you use their resources or did you end up trying to find something on your own? Everyone standards are different but what was your experience renting? They give suggestions of a basic amount of money you would spend, from 500, to 800, to 1000 Euros. If it’s not too personal what did you choose? And how was it? And what would you recommend?
I looked at several things suggested by the school but none were, ummm, places that I'd want to live. I'm a bit older and perhaps not quite as flexible... You can try http://www.pap.fr or even http://sabbaticalhomes.com/ (see above) which turned up a 1 BR apt. for about 1000euro/mo. I had a roommate, so that worked out fine. Check with the school and they may be able to pair you up with someone.
By the way, if you can afford it I would highly recommend finding a place with a view (even a partial view) of the Eiffel Tower. My apt. didn’t have a view and I do regret that!
13) Did you decide to stay out there for a whole or did you come back to the United States right away?
I traveled quite a bit while in Paris. It's very easy to do since Paris is very centrally located - a real hub. I traveled a bit before, during and after the program was over. Some of my classmates stayed longer to do extra stages. It was really tempting to stay longer, but I returned to Portland, which is also a very nice city.
14) Besides obvious tourists locations the Eiffel Tower, cathedrals and things of that nature, in your free time was there a lot of stuff to do? Like out here tons of malls, movie theatres, sporting events, clubs, etc…
TONS of stuff to do in Paris. You'll only be able to do a small fraction of what's available. All kinds of stuff. Club and bars and restaurants? Certainly. Movies, of course. Do you roller blade? Want to join several thousand others on Friday night to roll around Paris streets? There's a group for that. In Paris, no one is without the current issue of Pariscope. For shopping, Paris Pas Cher (in French) is indispensable.
But you probably won’t have time for any of that since you’ll be trying to figure out that multi-page contract you just signed to get a cell phone...( :unsure: ).
15) And speaking of free time was there much of it? Or was there always A LOT of homework? Just curious if you get to keep a healthy medium between work and play. Sometimes, I get overwhelmed with things and it’s nice to know hey I’ll have the weekend off or just have time to unwind a little.
Very little homework to speak of. The school provided us with a "deal" on some reference books published by a couple of the schools professors back in the 80s. Very little has changed and I still use the books a lot today. There are 4 volumes. Here's a link to French Professional Pastry Series Vol 1: Doughs, Batters and Meringues.
16) If you could make your decisions all over again knowing what you know, would you do it?
I would have done it a lot sooner...
17) What was your experience with baking before actually going to the school?
Just a home baker.
18) Based on the little bit that you know about me now as far as experience, and what not, do you think I could make it out there? Or am I way over my head and I’m better off attending something out here?
Seriously, if I could do it, anyone can. But you understand that I'm not a professional baker, right. I'm just into chocolates and confections. I mainly took the class because I wanted to fully explore the possibility of being a pastry chef. I enjoy baking but right now, it's chocolate.
Le Notre has a very nice school about 1/2 hour outside of Paris, I hear, and that might be a possibility for you. And Bellouet Conseil (in the 15th), I've heard good things about. Probably many others. But I think you'd enjoy Ferrandi (ESCF) the most.
Being in central Paris really is preferable, at least socially, than some of the other options. Keep in mind that they all offer short term classes as well. I don't think I expected the level of instruction at Ferrandi to be quite so high. They're really good and very well connected when you go to do your stage. They have the top contacts in Paris. Students in our class went to George V, Plaza Athenee, Mulot, Hotel de Crillon, Le Meurice, etc.
In the U.S., you should look at The French Pastry School in Chicago. Excellent program, last time I looked; great facility, great city.


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.”

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That's for the reply, john.

Class starts in February and I haven't heard from them so my gut is telling me I didn't get in. I'm thinking about The French pastry school or CIA Greystone (2nd choice because it's in state). Or maybe Ritz Escoffier. My heart is set on Ferrandi, but I don't know if I'm patient enough to wait until the next term in September. And then I don't get in again and I waste another year.

I really like French Culinary Institute, but the tuition is too scary.


Edited by savvysearch (log)

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That's for the reply, john.

Class starts in February and I haven't heard from them so my gut is telling me I didn't get in. I'm thinking about The French pastry school or CIA Greystone (2nd choice because it's in state). Or maybe Ritz Escoffier. My heart is set on Ferrandi, but I don't know if I'm patient enough to wait until the next term in September. And then I don't get in again and I waste another year.

I really like French Culinary Institute, but the tuition is too scary.

Ah non, non, non! Les Americains, boh! (tongue in cheek, of course :smile: )

Don't assume that you didn't get in because you haven't heard from them. You need to be patient, polite and persistent. Contact them again. If Stephanie Curtis is still associated with the school, ask to speak with her. She's from the U.S., so there won't be any language issues.

Bon courage!


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.”

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Many years ago, I had met Germany's youngest master chef, and he had suggested École Supérieure de Cuisine Française (ESCF), because Alain Ducasse was associated with that school. I could not afford living in France for a year, so I researched schools in the U.S., and decided to attend GRCC. It is the only community college listed by Pastry's Best Magazine. The Pastry Instructor is Gilles Renusson, CMPC.


Edited by TheUnknownCook (log)

Buttercup: You mock my pain.

Man in Black: Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.

-- The Princess Bride

If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy -- Red Green

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Salut a tous! I have learned a lot from this topic! Thank you! In fact, I have applied the pastry course in ESCF in september 2010. Now I am waiting for the results. I will follow up this thread on the progress. :biggrin:

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      So, if I cook these sous vide, what temp and for how long?
    • By stellabella
      My neighbor's sister made a huge cassoulet for my neighbor's birthday dinner last night, and invited me to watch her assemble it on Friday. Sister is married to a Frenchman and spends about half the year in France--this is the technique she learned most recently. It was amazingly non-fussy, quick to assemble, and heart-breakingly delicious served with a light fresh salad and lots of home-made bread & whipped butter.
      For eight folks, four duck thighs, 4 duck legs [in retrospect she said she should've used more duck], 4 Italian sausages, 2 kielbasa, 2 bratwurst, the sausages cut into 2 inch pieces. First she browned 4 slices of salt pork, cut in half, in about 2 T of olive oil on top of the stove in a large roasting pan, then added the rest of the meats to brown. After 10 mins she removed the meat and added 1 minced oinion, a few cloves of garlic [careful, she said, if you have garlic-y sausages], and a couple shallots, all finely minced, and softened in the fat. Then one large carrot cut in chunks, and a couple celery stalks, de-threaded, cut in chunks. Then the meat went back in, along with 2# of small white beans, soaked for about 4 hours--Great Northern beans, because she wasn't able to get the French beans she prefers. Then, she added enough water to cover the beans, and a few sprigs of rosemary and parsley from the yard [she said sage is good, too], and about 1/2 cup strong tomato sauce--she said the best thing to use is the very concentrated tomato paste from a tube--and, she said, ONLY a small amount--this is more for color than anything else. Don't salt it, because the salt pork should be sufficient.
      The roasting pan went covered into a medium low oven for, well, hours, and she checked it periodically to see that the beans were cooking and the water not getting too low--if so, she added more. When she was satisfied it was done, she skimmed off some of the excess liquid--and they like to eat that as a light soup for lunch. Her husband says it's best to reheat the cassoulet a couple times over the next couple days, before serving--to bring the flavors together.
      The result was meats that melted on the tongue like communion wafers, in a flavorful stew of perfectly cooked beans.
    • By jedovaty
      Good morning!
       
      Long story short: I am doing a spin off the coconut/chocolate/almond candy (almond joy), and trying to create a specific shape out of the almond.  My hands are cramped after a couple dozen failed attempts whittling roasted almonds, so now I'd like to try a different approach, and instead, create some kind of sub-candy or cookie with roasted almonds that I can put into a mold or use a mini cookie cutter.  I'm fairly new to sweets, my knowledge in this area is pretty slim.  Some ideas so far, I don't like any, but it might help turn some gears:
      1. dusting almond over a stencil, but that's not enough almond nor crunchy enough
      2. almond brittle, but that's too hard and sweet, I'd like it more of a soft crunch, and bringing the almond flavor forward
      3. meringue with almonds (sort of macaron-ish), however, weather has been humid and raining here, and I'm ending up with a gooey mess instead of that soft crunch
       
      In addition to having almond-forward taste and soft crunch texture, it'd be fun to explore something modernish - I have a accumulated a few tools and ingredients not customarily found in homes.
       
      There are dietary considerations I will have to account for, however, no need to worry about that now, I am just looking for ideas and a place to take it from there
       
      Thank you for your time in reading!
    • By Franzisaurus_Rex
      FOOD BRETHREN!
      I need some advice. I have one last piece of pork belly confit in the fridge. I brined these bitches for about 5 days (brine included pink curing salt), vacuum sealed the squares of pork belly with lard and sous vide them at 158 F for 16 hours. I cooked this on 11/10/16 and its been in my refrigerator since. 
      Here is the general recipe I followed, with some modifications based on my taste: https://www.chefsteps.com/activities/...
      The last piece is still vacuum sealed and submerged (mostly) in lard. Any visible pork only has contact with the bag. 
      It's staring at me. And calling my name.
      I want to deep fry this sucker and have a little date night with the handsome devil I see in the mirror every morning, but the last thing I want is spoiled food. I can't find any conclusive information about how long pork confit lasts for. I've only seen references that duck confit or in general that the confit technique will last for months in the fridge. I have found no sources which directly addresses pork confit.
      Questions/Factors I'm Considering:
      - Does pork confit keep for as long as duck confit?
      - Does vacuum sealing have any effect on the length of preservation?
      - Does sous-vide cooking method affect the length of preservation?
      I know I am probably being a bit paranoid, but I thought I would do my due diligence before taking the plunge, so to speak. Any advice on these questions would be extremely helpful and appreciated!
      The Franzisaurus-Rex
      PS - you should totally make this if you are into sous vide, confit, food, or have any respect for the enjoyment of life. Flash-searing these things after cooking was OUT OF THIS WORLD.
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