Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Welcome to the World's Premier Culinary School

And so the adventure as a Culinary Student begins. Every morning that I wake up in New York I still have to remind myself that this is real. Culinary school is something that I have been dreaming about (and effectively putting off) since I was 12 years old, and to finally be here - at the Culinary Institute of America no less - is a surreal experience to say the least.

Over the past week I've had all kinds of information, regulations and expectations thrown at me. Sometimes it's been along with some encouraging support, other times with a can't-wait-for-you-to-mess-this-up-so-I-can-yell-at-you tone. This school is for real, ya'll. I walked in thinking, "Hey I'm back in college, I know how this works," and quickly realized that I have no idea what is going on here. We're the 'newbies', the ones without real uniforms yet, and no one cares what you did before you came here or where you think you're going after. Everything down to your fingernail length is regulated. With the exception of moving day, if you wear anything besides business casual or your chef's whites into the dining hall, you won't be served food. Let me tell you, I have never felt so out of place in a college dining hall wearing yoga pants.

That was the first four days. Then they give you your knives and your uniform and all of a sudden you belong, and you're a part of something special. It's crazy and it's fast paced but it's passionate. Everyone is here because they want to be and because they love food. My favorite part is being surrounded by people who don't think it's weird to think about food all day long. And oh the food. I use the term 'dining hall' extremely loosely. All of the culinary students prepare meals in every class, and the rest of us swipe at the kitchen door and come away with a three course dinner. It's magical. And filling. The gym here is really busy...

I have my first official day of classes today- Baking and Pastry Techniques. The first time I walked into the bakeshop I never wanted to leave. Although the first week has been a whirlwind, I have never once second guessed my decision to come here, which says a lot in my book. It's going to be 21 months of the hardest I've ever worked and the most I've ever learned, but I've never been more excited for anything ever. While in school, I will definitely be continuing my cake blog although it will be changing to be more about school and the process of baking, than my latest cake orders. Please email me or comment below with any questions you may have! I will still be taking wedding cake orders, just on a case by case basis.

Here's me "blending in": 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Winter Wedding Cake

From the tasting to the delivery, this cake has been by far one of my favorite to create. Not only did the bride and groom give me a lot of room to brainstorm and be creative, but they were also very laid back and patient to work with. At their tasting in October we decided to go with a winter theme for their cake, and incorporate elements of the New Year's holiday into the flavors. The design was a tall, four tier traditional cake with ivory and white pearls dripping down the sides to look like snow. The 12" bottom tier was vanilla confetti cake filled with champagne buttercream, followed by a 10" dark chocolate cake filled with whiskey caramel mousse and an 8" gingerbread spice cake with cinnamon cream cheese filling. The top 6" tier that the couple kept for their first year anniversary was a second chocolate tier with caramel mousse. It was topped with a single sparkly snowflake that was provided by the bride.

The pearls are edible and two tones, ivory and white. Separating each tier is a thin band of fondant at the base.

The cake was presented on an antique silver platter.

I also provided labels for the flavors to decorate the cake table. 

I can't say enough nice things about the catering staff from Harvest Moon that was so wonderful to work alongside with while I set up the cake. Other vendors for the wedding included The Jefferson Theatre as the Reception venue and Aaron Watson Photography. Cville brides, knock yourselves out.