Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Grilling with a veghead- Vegan Pesto Mayo & Asparagi Fries!

The afternoon was so pleasant yesterday, that Bill, my mom and I decided to have a grillout! Poor Billiam has to stick with my mom and I- complete veg heads. The menu for today? Grilled portabello, roasted red peppers, caramelized onions, grilled asparagus and some vegan pesto mayo! Absolute heaven. 

Thank goodness we started our grillout earlier, because it poured an hour later!

Earlier in the morning, I had to go to the dentist for the first time in three years to get my poor wisdom teeth checked out :[ 

Anyways, back to the real talk of the town- the Asparagus with the pesto. Everything about this meal was so simple- all you have to do is grill it and eat it! But this pesto was so decadant, I was dipping my asparagus in it and it satisfied my taste like fries and a special sauce! But, these are even healthier for you!

Vegan Special Sauce
serves 6 

1 cup basil leaves
3 tablespoons veganaise 
Juice 1/2 lemon
a pinch of salt and pepper
1/4 cup pignolis

- add basil leaves, lemon, salt, pepper and pignolis in a food processor (I used a tiny food processor to get the pine nuts extra fine)
- once it is all chopped up,fold in your veganaise, however much you want. I like a more basil taste, so I didn't use as much.
- put it in the refridgerator to get nice and firm and enjoy with anything!
        * use as a salad dressing
        * use as a mayonaisse substitute
        * dip it in asparagus!

And here's some wise words from my dentist :] <3

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Beans and Cheeze Enchilada Salad

It's been such a busy week at work, now that the season of summer has begun at Lake Naomi! Bring on the mupfers! Working at a pool that fries all their food, it is nearly impossible for me to eat or even trust food! I usually pack a bunch of goodies throughout the day, but the rushes at Lake Naomi get so busy that I can find myself not eating for 6 hours! YIKES! When work is done, I'm usually so starving, and it's almost too late to start making a delicious dinner. So the question is, how can you make sure your diet is healthy on such a busy schedule?

My best answer: semi-homemade! I always have backup microwave meals just in case I have these days. Microwave meals aren't always the best option, but I trust Amy's and Helen's Kitchen microwave meals so much- not only do they use recyclable, biodegradable products, fresh ingredients, and non-GMOs, they are amazing and most are gluten free! These two brands are the best also because they don't add preservatives and extra sodium in their meals. 

Have you noticed the SIZE of microwave meals? It's not gonna curve my cravings. With a lot of microwave meals, I love to put it over a salad, because salad is so filling and satisfying and then I add even more veggies and sauté them for a real homemade flavor- it really makes the difference.

Because of this, I love to get some bean burrito bowls, veggie bowls, and mostly bowled-microwave meals. The Helen's Kitchen Beans and Cheeze Enchilada was awesome because there were tortillas that I used as a good starch! On top of my salad for additions I:
          - Sauteed some corn 
          - Sauteed some peppers and onions
          - Let it simmer in leftover salsa
          - Topped it with some cilantro and lime sour cream (vegan and semi-homemade)

Here are some other ways to semi-home-make microwave meals:
          - If you have a veggie bowl, use brown rice instead of salad for a heartier meal
          - Steam some vegetables like broccoli, peas, carrots- whatever vegetables you like!
          - Top it with some store-bought or homemade kale chips for an awesome crunch
          - Add some sunflower seeds, pepitas, or hemp seeds
          - Make your own dressing! I made a cilantro-lime dressing, recipe below

Cilantro and Lime Dressing
1 Serving
Juice of 1/2 Lime
2 spoonfuls of Sour Cream (vegan, non-vegan, whatever you want)
1 teaspoon chopped cilantro
not even a pinch of salt and pepper
a little baby squirt of sriracha

mix all these ingredients together and then use it as a creamy dressing for anything!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Our Last Day

7:30AM- Airplane to Switzerland
          It was really sad leaving Lyon today. This was the greatest experience of my life, and I am so happy to finally have an out-of-country experience! I'm so glad this was my first experience, because it was exceptional. I got to experience so much fine cuisine, I feel like a princess! And I am so thankful for this opportunity. But next up was Switzerland.

          This sounds crazy, but I REALLY enjoyed Switzerland! The grapefruit juice was freshly squeezed and when I got home, I had some grapefruit juice and I couldn't drink it because it tasted like straight sugar! I was so disgusted and so disappointed. As for the scene- well you could tell when we were near Switzerland because of the Alps! No big deal! I fell in LOVE! I think the next time I travel abroad I'm going to go to Switzerland, because even the air just felt right about this place! And- they are obviously famous for their chocolate. 
         Yes, chocolate. I had to buy myself a new carry-on bag to carry all my new purchases of chocolate. The last of my euros went to some good spending for my entire family! The white chocolate turned out to be my favorite- and I don't even like white chocolate! I wish our layover was an 8-hour layover in Switzerland, versus when we were coming to Europe and had a layover in Belgium! Right now, I'm getting so excited talking about Switzerland, I need to stop!
          13 hours later, we landed in America- on our home grounds. The security is a lot stricter to get into the states, which is extremely frustrating when your mother is right across the way waiting for you! I actually cried when I saw my mom, because I missed her so much! But i'll never forget the memories of Lyon- I made some awesome friends, made some even more amazing memories, and conquered Lyon. Who knows what is next in my travels, but I guarantee you the travels won't be as exquisite as Lyon treated me. VIVE LE LYON!

Day 9: Winery de George DeBoueff

2PM- After our "interesting" meal
          Today, we began our journey on a 1 hour bus drive to a Winery by George DeBeouff. Our first stop- lunch, and boy was it a lot different than our exquisite lunches at the Institut.
          I had an interesting salad, with a cheese that was like the fresh goat cheese we test-tasted at the Institut. Personally, it wasn't that appealing to me when I tasted it and it still didn't appeal to me. Also, the service was terrible- for the first time in France I felt like we were being taken advantage of for being tourists! Also another crazy thing- when we think of sausage, we think of ground up meat encased in a sausage-like encasement. Well, in France a sausage is considered not-ground-up intestines! YUCK!
          Despite our unluckiness in lunch, we did have an awesome and intriguing tour of the winery. There were some creepy puppet plays, but the facts we learned about the winery were spectacular! The top picture is a replica of Lyon at night- shear beauty. Next up was a mini museum, where they had wine bottles of all shapes and sizes. One wine bottle was larger than myself! They also had a rare sculpture of I believe "David" (I could be wrong)- only being 3 in the world! My museum was my favorite part, because there was so much culture and history within it.

   Another interesting place we visited was the actual exterior of the winery, and the gift shoppes. The barrels are kept in a climate-controlled room and their wines are kept in pristine shape. Once the barrels have been used, they use them for other means, such as wallpaper! I thought it was really cool how they don't put their barrels to waste and use them in any way they can. As much as the aura of this place was pleasing, the puppets and kid-like activities bored me, and I was feeling a little homesick...especially since today would be our last official day as Lyon-ers. So bittersweet! Next up- 3AM wakeup call to head back to the airport and on our way home!

Day 8: Tours de Lyon

          11PM: For today, we decided to be tourist-y. We walked all throughout Lyon. My roommate and I  took the funicular up to the top of Vieux Lyon and decided that we were going to walk down after. In doing so, we saw so many awesome attractions! The walk down was steep, but we ran into a cute little garden, this cave pictured here to the left, and an awesome picturesque of Lyon. From the top of the hill you can see all of Lyon, but when you walk down these extremely steep steps, you see an awesome view as you walk into Lyon. Such a magnificent town!
2PM: Lunch in the City
          Our lunch was fantastic! One thing I love about the meals in Lyon is that they give you apertifs and espresso at the beginning and end of every meal, respectively- at no extra charge! It's as if they really want you to enjoy your meal. Another great thing about the city is that their fries are naturally gluten free with no contamination- because you won't find chicken fingers going into the same deep fryer as a french might not even see a deep fat fryer in the kitchen! In America, french fries are one of my favorite treats, but in restaurants it is very impossible for me to get them due to contamination. In France, I was eating them more than I do in America! 
          As a sweet ending, my roommate and I went to this awesome "glacier de nature" store called terre adelice- selling some fresh ingredient ice cream. It was the best ice cream I have ever had! The two flavors I got were rose petal sorbet and lavender sorbet- it was like a flowery goodness in my mouth- who would've thought flowers could taste so DELICIOUS!

3PM: The churches de Lyon
          We did a lot of sight-seeing today, and wanted to walk a little bit more. So we decided to hit up the local churches. We went to the one on the hill of Vieux Lyon, but we never went to the one centered in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the alleyways. The church was like a totally different scene from the town- so quiet, so pristine and so delicate. I loved it! We lit a candle and went back to our apartment. While we were going back to our apartment, we ran into a market that was still going on that had so many cute gadgets, gizmos, and art! The tapestry art was cool, but I remember this one piece of art there that was little stick-figure people doing so many goofy tricks made out of what looked like pipes- it was awesome! I wanted to take pictures, because my cousin is an artist and would've really appreciated it, but coincidentally the artist wouldn't allow pictures of his work. I thought this somewhat odd and confusing- I guess he doesn't want his work to be displayed on social media's like facebook and twitter. Well either way- it'll be a little trinket of a memory I can hold with me for a long time!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Day 7: Failed the nightlife, success at the mall

2AM: Champagne in one hand, Failure in the other
      We had an early start this morning, despite our failed excavation on the town last night. My roommate and I were just getting used to the culture of Lyon, until we experienced our first night-life culture we were not prepared for. 
       The night after we graduated, we decided to go to dinner at this amazing vegetarian restaurant that offered gluten free. The plating and such was awesome. We went at what we thought was a normal time in Lyon- around 8PM- a time too late for us but might be a little early for Europeans. Apparently, we were completely wrong. 8PM is way too early! By the time we were finished with our food, the Europeans were going out to eat dinner! We were dressed to go out after, thinking we'd be going out at 10PM, a normal thing we thought. Well apparently that is way way wayyyy to we looked like obvious tourists. 
          Anyways, back to this amazing restaurant. On the top is a tartare, that was pure amazingness! It was stuffed with some apples and spinach, topped with pickled ginger, bean sprouts, and red pepper- truly amazing. They also gave me rice cakes to nibble on- yay! After, I had a rice bowl that I unfortunately ate too fast for me to snap a picture of- but it was loaded with some exotic and fresh vegetables. 
         Also, another thing about this place called "toutes de la fruit"- the kitchen was run by 1 woman and it was an open kitchen- AMAZING! I noticed how rare it was for a woman to be in the kitchen- at the Institut all the chefs were males. With the open kitchen, it made the food more promising and guaranteed freshness. I loved the setup- it was like an open-bar but with all the food at your very eyes!
          The dessert was my favorite- it was very strange- but so awesome! On the bottom was a chia-seed jello, then on the top was a rhubarb juice that had foam on the top- I don't even remember what they called it but it was amazing. My roommate had a chocolate GLUTEN FREE cupcake- it was so cute! It was the perfect way to end our meal! Bon Appetit!
          After dinner was very unsuccessful, we ended up going home after our failed out-on-the-town. All the bars are everything but European- Ayers Rock is an Australian Bar and the Boston Bar is ... an American Bar. We decided it is best we just go back to our little americanized apartment and celebrate the american way.

12PM: Heading to the mall
         I woke up feeling great and very refreshed- so the girls and I took a trip to the mall. The mall was HUMONGOUS! My two favorite stores were this spice shop and the European Williams & Sonoma! The spice shop was called "CookMe"- and apparently there are only two in the world, and one is in New York City! I went crazy at this shop for my mom- our favorite spice is Herbes de Provence and she loves himalayan salt. I bought her some of the Herbes de Provence and this awesome salt combination. 
          The Williams and Sonoma-like store (I totally forget what it is called) was so modernized and awesome. I like how in the mall there were a lot of awesome kitchen-appliance stores. I feel like in Europe, there are more of these store because more people embrace the kitchen than in America. In America, people are more about on-the-go and eating outside of the kitchen. But in Europe, people really know how to appreciate their cuisine culture. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Day 6: Halles de Lyon & Graduation

11PM: Halles de Lyon
       Today is a bittersweet day- we get to visit Paul Bocuse's "grocery store", but we also graduate from his Insitut. I'm not ready to say goodbye to my favorite Chefs! But before I start my wallowing, we'll look at the sweet part- the fancy grocery store of Lyon (as I like to call it)
          Rows upon rows of sweet, delicate pastries, aisles of cheese, and meat carcasses hanging from ceilings. Yup, this is true. Everything was as fresh as can be. I wasn't particularly grossed out, I was more fascinated at the freshness of everything around me! The chicken is sold with the heads on so that the customer knows not only the freshness, but also what type of poultry you will be getting. If in America they did this, people would NOT eat chicken because their heads would be pulverized from all the cruelty that goes on in factory farms! Sorry about the rant- it just astonishes me every time I see the difference in America and Europe- everything in Europe is so fresh, and you can definitely trust your vendors as to what you're buying!
         Enough about the meat and more about desserts- these macarons looked to die for! So many exotic flavors that are so hard to find! My favorite place was called "Seve"- I bought some chocolate encased in a hazelnut meringue and brought them to my family. These little truffle-bites are a Lyon specialty- and my family loved them! I also bought some Epoisse cheese from another MOF (this is the cheese we taste tested and was my favorite). My brother loves cheese, and the consistency of the cheese reminded me of something like string cheese for some reason! Obviously, if I told the MOF this, he might have a slight heart palpitation. But Chef Patrick told me to get it vacuum-packed because it is a very "stinky" cheese- thank goodness he did otherwise all my luggage would smell! 

1PM: Back at IPB
          When we got back to the Institut, we had something I was craving at the Halles de Lyon- Paella! It was crazy- the top picture here is a Paella that was at Halles de Lyon and the bottom picture is what we had at the Institut- they look so similar! I love how in Europe, when you ask for something, you get what you want every time. It's like, all their recipes are all handed down! for example- if you ask for a hollandaise sauce, or there's a stock, you know that it's going to be homemade hollandaise (not the powdered and add water) and the stock is going to be freshly prepared (not from a bullion cube). This kind've freshness is what makes me love the aspect and environment of France- no wonder why everyone looks so vibrant and healthy!

2:30PM- Graduation
          Our time at IPB has come, and I bet the chefs felt bittersweet to have us crazy Americans graduate! We had a little ceremony for each of us- and our pastry chef made us a cute chocolate and raspberry cake and gave us some champagne! When I received my diploma, the chefs called me the girl who couldn't eat anything (haha). I bet it's hard for a chef to cater to someone with so many restrictions, which made me feel a little bad, especially with the Celiac Disease. I bet in Europe, they don't have as many dietary restrictions- I feel like it is something that America battles with more than most countries usually do. Trying to tell someone in Europe "sans gluten" is like trying to figure out a math problem created by Albert Eistein. But in America, it's becoming so common and so well-known, nowadays many restaurants cater to such dietary restrictions. I keep on saying that if I lived in Europe, I would probably consume meat and such, but in America, after HRIM 228 and even before that class, my vegetarianism began to kick in. Well anyways, our time at the Institut has come to an end, and it was a great experience and opportunity to be with such prolific chefs. probably the most memorable experience of my life. All the recipes we made I've been inspired to either renovate, or create. I can't wait to go home and recreate the recipes!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Day 5: Cheese and Herbs

12PM: In the Kitchen
          Today was the greatest day ever- just take a look at the photo I depicted during the pastry demonstration! It was our last day in the kitchen, which is kind've sad because I have been having the best time working in the kitchen with Chef Patrick. 
          In today's lesson, we did a lot of knife cutting. It was great because knife-cutting is something hard to practice because you don't want to waste your food. For today's lunch, we made a chicken morel- similar to a chicken marsala, mashed potatoes, and this amazing grilled shrimp with terragon butter sauce salad- it was delicious! The mashed potatoes were a result of our tourne potatoes waste. I LOVE mashed potatoes- and found this a creative way to use waste! Now, I always have an excuse not only to practice my cutting skills, but also to make mashed potatoes! YUM!
Here is a depiction of my terrible mushroom carving skills
How am I supposed to go a day without seeing Chef Patrick!!
2:30PM- Pastry Demonstration

          My favorite demonstration. Not only because our chef was delicioso, but the pastries were so heavenly! And the best part? I got to make my own gluten free, raspberry free concoction!! The one on the right is what I like to call Aimeril's Mint Mocha Frappuccino- White chocolate whipped cream with a coffee mousse and Mint pastry cream- topped with caramelized tumbleweed and a nougatine on the side. The one on the left was a coffee and chocolate mousse- with so much rich and heavenly chocolate! I ate maybe.....2 of each? Yup...2 of each. They were divine. I was so excited about my concoction as well! This is what I live for- CHOCOLATE! The best part about this demonstration was the effectiveness of decorations has on the eyes- because my favorite saying is that we eat first with our eyes :]. 

5:30PM- Cheese on Cheese!
          What an awesome experience we had today! We got to meet a MOF in Cheese- I call him the cheeseologist. Today was the day I longed for the most besides the wine tasting and pastry demonstration- because cheese is honestly a blank slate to me! In America, our love for cheese is slim to none- our most popular is our American Cheese- AND IT ISN'T EVEN CONSIDERED CHEESE! Isn't that so sad? I have a lactose intolerance, so when I went to my doctor before I came to Europe she told me that the way cheese is fermented in Europe is totally different than in America and it will not upset my stomach- and she was right! The only one that upset my stomach was the Rockefurt- which I found out is fermented with BREAD! As most blue cheeses are. Learning this surprised me because it is something I never learned when I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Instantly, I wrote this on the Celiac Forum Blog- because even OUR blue cheese is fermented with bread! EEK!
         I learned the importance of cheese and its "age"- because when you have new cheese, it is very mild and also very mushy. Older cheeses are much more firmer and "stinky". I do not prefer the newer cheeses- my favorite turned out to be the epoisse! I brought some home and broiled it- DELICIOUS!
          Unfortunately, we did not roam through Lyon on this night, mostly because we went out last night, unsuccessfully. It's unfortuante to say that the only bars in Lyon are american-style, and every time we show up they play the song "American Idiot". But we did enjoy the remainder of our cheese and fruit for dinner- which was delicious. I slept like a baby, too- dreaming of the pastry Chef Dillat and so sad that today was our last day for hands-on cooking. Oh Lyon, I don't want to leave your beautiful culture!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Day 4: The Real Lyon

12PM: In the Kitchen with Chef Patrick
          Today is gonna be a short day, with so many memories. We started off our day as we have every day since we started- cooking with my favorite person Chef Patrick. Today's theme seemed to be lobsters. The other girls besides me and my crazy vegetarian roommate had made foi gras and scallops and ate that today. My roommate and I had this delicious lobster- totally raw with a scrumptious sauce. The foi gras looked a little creepy to me- it cooked in its own fat! It was really awkward watching the fat ooze out and cook in itself! But this lobster was so good- just look at how pristine it is!
           The next thing on our menu: Lobster raviolo bisque. Chef Patrick was kind enough to cook the ravioli on the side so I can eat it, and I am so happy because it was so delicious! To cut the lobster, he had to use this nifty sword-knife. Intense. I was so nervous for him! But I was even more frightened when we put the live lobsters in the boiling pot- because they were SCREAMING. I honestly teared up a little being the crazy animal lover that I am...Chef Patrick loved that part......

1:30PM- Wandering the halls of Paul Bocuse

So after lunch, I wandered a little, and found the pastry chefs creating some extraordinary sculptures made out of blown sugar and sugar candies. I had a lot to ask them- my cousin is a glass blower and he has taught me a lot about the perfectionism and preciseness involved in such art. I wanted to know the difference between the two- because sugar blowing has always been such an interest to me. Look how beautiful these are! I couldn't believe my eyes how artistic these were!

5:00PM- Post-Gastronomy
          1 word for History of Gastronomy: boring. I was so bored, and I couldn't wait to be able to finally see Lyon. After Gastronomy, a bunch of the girls and I roamed the streets of Vieux Lyon. It is so beautiful! We rode the funicular to see the entire Lyon- which was breathtaking. Next, we roamed the alleyways and examined all the magnificent and estranged shops! There were also some awesome tunnels, that were the passageways to transport Lyon's world-famous silk. I was in love with this city, with all the beautiful churches, the history behind every cobblestone we tripped on, everything! 
7PM- Lunch
          We found a place for lunch that the waiter could speak some english...un petit. Anna and the rest of the girls decided to try the Quenelle- famous in Lyon. It was seafood pate stuffed and covered it a light dough and smothered in a heavenly-looking sauce. They said it was amazing! I wish I could've tried it, but the Celiac Disease wouldn't let me. I had a vegetable medley, which was awesome either way! Lyon, you have captured my heart. 
The Vieux Lyon 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Day 3:Pastries on Pastries

May 18, 2012
6AM- Out of bed in a Frenzy
       Something I totally forgot to write about for yesterday's post! THE WINE TASTING! I don't know how I could've forgotten this because it was so great! Wine has always been something I only knew vaguely about, being only 21 for a couple months now, but it has definitely been something I've always wanted to know more about. I love the concept of wines and taste preferences with choice of food, and I always knew that White goes with lighter meats and fish and Reds go with your red meats, but what kind of wine is good with what? I wanted to know how to know the difference between a Cabaret, Muscat, Sauvignon, etc. This wine tasting taught me exactly that, and I found a new wine preference out of it! Usually I love both red and white- red with chocolate and white with my meals. But I usually get "Sutter Home" to play it safe or make it like a sugary apertif. Now, after learning how to compare each wine, I definitely learned a thing or two, rather than depending on boxed or fruity wines to please my palette. 

12PM- Kitchen with Chef Patrick
          Today was such a struggle to begin class, because some of the girls and I went out on the town to learn a little about the nightlife of Lyon. First thing we learned was that the metro closed at 12AM- unfortunately when we found this out it was way past 12AM. So we decided to take a nice little stroll throughout a foreign Chef Patrick taught me how to say: oh mon dieu. Not knowing the language, I immediately thought of how Pepin felt when he first walked into america and asked for a "shower" in French..when it clearly means another thing in America! As much as this was a hassle to be lost in Lyon, I definitely saw some sights that I wasn't expecting to see and I actually really enjoyed being lost in translation. 
          Thankfully, today's cooking demonstrations were the best demonstrations we had all week. Pineapple's Foster, the greatest risotto I have ever eaten in my life, and a soup made from the heavens- cream of asparagus soup. The first thing I told my mom when I got back from France was the glorious asparagus soup and how I need to make this vegan! The pineapple's foster was out of this world- it was cooked papillote - something which I would've never thought of doing besides steaming fish or vegetables. Surely, Monsieur Elephant (who is the elephant who is captured in probably every picture I have) thorougly enjoyed this one!

          Next up- some delicious risotto for me and my vegetarian roommate! But the veal looked AMAZING! In all honesty, if I lived in Europe or anywhere other than America, I would probably be eating meat. If you compared the quality of meats of America and Europe, Europe would definitely show much more appreciation and quality in their meats. In America, it is all about mass production, quick cooking and long preservation. And with Celiac Disease, it is hard to trust foods that have so much added ingredients. In Europe, when you ask for anything, you know you are getting quality ingredients without question. Even the sellers know and are honest as to what they are giving you! When talking to Chef Patrick, he was so proud to say how much he does not use any replacers to quicken a recipe, and that the Europeans do not use High Fructose Corn Syrup!

          Ignore the rant- back to food! My favorites probably the entire week were the risotto and creamy asparagus soup. The risotto was handled with so much care and love and it definitely shown in its presentation! I have always been afraid of making risotto, but after watching Chef Patrick and learning the tricks of the trade (slowly but surely and tend with love!), I definitely will put my time in for this dish- it was tres bon! Next up was the cream of asparagus soup. oh mon dieu from the start it won my heart! The presentation was spot-on. I loved how Chef Patrick didn't put the cream into the soup, but rather he topped it off with the cream so that you can mix it in and add some extra presentation points. Everything about this soup was so amazing and flawless, i'm currently trying to translate the ingredients in my program book so that I can make my own at home! 
5PM- Pastry Demonstration
          How can you go wrong with pastries? This is where my heart is at. The thought of meeting a Pastry Chef just makes me the happiest person of my life. I don't care if I can't eat the pastries because of the Celiac- the thought of just being in the presence of such exquisite pastry chefs is thrilling enough! The reason why I love pastry and baking is because of the exactness and preciseness of the cooking- because in pastry once it is in the oven there's no turning back! A pastry chef must have patience, with the intent of numerous trial and errors in order to perfect a perfect dish. Just look at that dish that our Chef created- so elegant, colorful, and I can tell you this much- he definitely worked his magic to perfection on this dish. Pastry is my forte- I hope to become a Gluten free pastry chef and maybe even incorporate chocolate sculpting or something of the matter. I am an artist, pianist, perfectionist- something I believe I can incorporate into something I love- food. After meeting the pastry chefs of France, I realized just how much I cannot wait to begin my career path as a pastry chef. 


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Day 2:Institut Paul Bocuse

Monday, May 7
12PM- Institut Paul Bocuse
      Coming into this program, I had no idea what to expect. I had my suspicions, my fantasies, but one thing for certain was that I was not expecting to be cooking in a castle! It honestly reminded me of Disney in Lyon, France. It was gorgeous at the IPB. In the front of Castle de IPB there was open grass that families brought their children to play at. This warmed my heart! It seemed so welcoming, so jovial, so surreal! My thoughts were that the Frenchies love to live in the lap of luxury!
I started my morning off with a very very little cup of espresso. Coming to France, I always heard these europeans love their espresso, but I didn't know how much! They love it so much, it's nearly impossible to find a cup of coffee! The little coffee, although very strong, upset me because I love starting my mornings with a big cup of coffee I can snuggle with. Unfortunately, I was not going to be able to find such, so the little espresso (3 times a day) really had impressed me! I was just imagining how the French act when they come to America and ask for coffee and get a huge cup- they probably are so confused!
2PM- Let the cooking begin 
          I was so excited to get down to business in the kitchen ! Today's theme seemed to be seafood, because we made this shrimp custard and fish sausage- both of which seemed so extraordinary! Never did it occur to me that a custard could become an entree or appetizer, and a sausage to be fish! Another thing that astonished me was that no food went to waste- so much so the skeletons of the prawns were used to make a fresh seafood stock! Back at home, I usually make homemade vegetable stock with leftover veggies, but this fish stock was outrageous and made such a difference in the custard! And who would've thought to make a custard into an appetizer? AMAZING! Chef Patrick (the greatest chef in the world) definitely was impressing me on the first day of class and I was ready for more!
PS- everything here was gluten free :]