Monday, January 2, 2012

Pastry School

I guess you could say my 2012 started out with huge amounts of sweetness! I made a quick decision over the holidays to venture into pastry school.  Having been laid off from a job in the pharmaceutical industry at the end of September, 2011 has really given me the time to broaden my creative horizons in the kitchen. 
I was always the one of 2 girls at work that would bring in cupcakes and tasty morsels for every one.  I started small...easy by-the-box cupcake mixes topped with Betty Crocker frostings.  I began experimenting more and more outside the confines of a box of cake and really getting into more complex confections.  I started tweaking recipes I liked and expanding my baking vocabulary with things like "soft-ball stage caramel" and "jelly roll pans".  I'd say I'm still at the elementary stages when it comes to baking.  I have always loved the process of creating, and baking seems to always have a happy ending. Even when I've had some failures, such as my coffee cupcakes...the experimentation of something new was fun and exciting.  
And pastry school is just that! Something SO NEW and SO EXCITING! I have never in my life been so excited for school.  I was throwing around the idea of doing something creative for a job, but REALLY... how many people get to do what they love for a living?  Not many! And I was fighting myself with the fact that I have this great degree from Berkeley in Integrative Biology.  I was thinking, what a waste to not continue my path in something science related.  I understand that my undergraduate degree is by NO means a waste and it has given me a broader perspective on the world, strengthened my problem solving skills and the way I process and react to information.  An undergraduate degree (although specified it might be) makes you a more well rounded person.  SO with that understanding and of course the support from my parents and significant other....I delved into my search for pastry schools.  
I came to three options: The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, The Art Institute, and Le Cordon Bleu.  After really deciding what I wanted to get out of the school and overlooking the curriculums, I decided on Le Cordon Bleu. 
I always have a gut feeling about something.  My gut told me to pursue this.  And the confirmation behind my decision was the motivation and drive I've had since the decision point.  I've been making the important phone calls, researching everything I can get my hands on, messaging friends of mine also going to pastry school, and setting up all the proper meetings.  This is OBviously something that I want to do.  I'm no procrastinator but it definitely takes me longer to do something I hate than something that is right up my alley!
In two days I'll be getting my schedule, taking a tour, and getting acclimated to my second kitchen :-) Get ready for some seriously sweet desserts and maybe a few less-than-sweet concoctions.  I hope I can leave the burning to a minimum.
Here's to new adventures and an EPIC 2012!

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