“Prioritize your passion. It keeps you sane.” Criss Jami
Thank you for the overwhelming response and support for my last post, I was a bit nervous to share and I am thrilled that it spoke to a lot of you. I shared recently that I was unsure about what to do after I finish Le cordon bleu in 2 months and with February flying bye I have found myself filled with more and more anxiety whilst looking for opportunities that would allow me to practice my craft. If you don’t know I’m a major movie fan and I missed the SAG awards which made me really sad but I did however catch up on interviews with some of the winners well into the night and I came across the pressroom interview with Viola Davis. The question posed to her was “What advice would you give to someone who has not achieved their dreams just yet?” and she told the story of what a life coach had told her, she said ” He said to me, everyone is told to follow their dreams and everyone is always focused on success, we do everything to achieve success but we forget the final stage which is significance. So I would tell anyone who has a dream to find the significance in it.”
So naturally amidst all my frustration I had to ask what is the significance of becoming a pastry chef? I could easily decide to get a job in marketing but what was pulling me towards this medium of expression? What’s the significance of putting some dessert in front of somebody? What’s the joy of food if you HAVE to have it anyway? The answer came so quickly. The significance of becoming a pastry chef to me is the service. It’s being behind the scenes conjuring up edible art that somehow makes the day more memorable for someone and for me it’s to always remember the pleasure of it. Viola went on to explain how she just wanted to act and tell stories, for me its the same. I would bake regardless and I guess thats what keeps me in this space, its the hunger for more, learning more and the fact that with every plate you get only one chance to impress the person who is receiving that plate. You may never get any feedback from them, 99% of the time you never know who that plate is going to but there is something about that anonymity that makes you try every time.
It’s about the discipline and for me that is defined as a promise you make to a lifestyle that keeps you performing at your very best, its a sacrifice and a necessary dance for me. I CAN imagine myself doing something else but the honest truth is I don’t want to do anything else. I asked some of my classmates why they were there studying and the answers whilst different all centred on the passion for it. It’s so easy to focus on the bad in the world but I will always appreciate being alive in a time where you can live off your passions. At the end of the day Oprah’s made a career out of conversation, Dan Flavin made a life out of fluorescent light fixtures and the examples are numerous! So if you can find the significance stay with that dream no matter how scary it is. On Sunday after a long weekend in school I woke up skyped my bestie, soaked in the words of a sermon by Christine Caine and spent the day doing what I love. I baked a Nutella and orange babka (a spongy, brioche-like yeast cake) which is mainly made for celebrations and whilst it wasn’t a particularly special day it was for me because I put my frustrations aside and just focused on what I love. The title of this post is from a foo fighter album (love them) in which one of the songs quotes
“Echoes and silence
Patience and grace
All of these moments
I’ll never replace
No fear of my heart
No Absence of faith
All I want is to be home”
I’ve never felt more at home than in the kitchen, for you that might be anywhere else or anything else and if you are struggling like me all I can tell you is to set your mind on the significance and if it feels like home to you it will keep you fighting.
Here are a few pictures of my week and the babka:
Had some tea at laduree with some of classmates Farah and Mariya love them
Mariya made us laugh
Restaurant plating class: Chocolate Delice with sweet paste, raspberry couli and rosemary with amaretto cream
Lemon parfait with mango and raspberry couli, sweet paste, tuile and frosted sugar
Cinnamon Ricotta with raspberry compote and mixed spice tuile
Beginnings of the babka with orange zest
Working the dough, I wasn’t satisfied with the mixing so I did the rest by hand, dough is perfect for working out frustrations.
After the 5 hour prove
The good part
Before it went into the oven
I finished it with orange zest and glazed it with a simple syrup. It was amazing
Till next time friends!
Lots of love,