vendredi 19 novembre 2010

How's school by the way? When Pastry makers change into caterers.

For the exam of the BTM (Brevet Technique de Métier), students are asked to bake and present all kinds of different products such as individual pastries, "entremets", Danish breads, a "pièce montée", a "pièce en sucre", a chocolate display, bonbons, sweets and also SAVORY classics. Thus as an exercice our class was told to prepare for a catering session. We were totally throne into confusuion.One must keep in mind that as apprentices in pastry making, most of us have absolutly no clue about "fond brun", "pâté en croûte", "fromage de tête", "saucisson brioché" and other famous French delicacies. Moreover there is a kind of half serious silly and biased tradition of mistrust within the French pastry makers for other artisans such as bakers,cooks and caterers.

Some of us were quite frightenened and already imagining themselves in a butchers's or a "charcutier"'s kitchen, in other words, in a real blood bath.

Despite our fears, our teacher treated us very gently. Moreover I believe it actually went pretty well and I had so much fun making my fast food canapés.

Here is what we were asked to make:

- puff pastry for the 12 "bouchées à la reine" and a big "vol au vent" in the shape of a fish ( I used green food colouring and flavored the butter with Provence herbs to give it a little funky switch)

- "brioche" for the "saucisson brioché",for a "brioche Louis XV" (on the picture it is set in a glass vase, "it has the shape of a "brioche mousseline" cut in slices and garnished with lether pâté)and finally for 20 "navettes" (small oval shaped "brioches" used for mini bites "petits fours")

- flaky dough or pâte à pâté (no joke it really exists) for a quiche loraine anda "pâté en croûte"(dough and stuffing and all )

- pizza dough for 1 big pizza and 4 individual ones

-white sandwich bread for 40 canapés of 5 different sorts

-whole wheat bread for a "pain surprise"

After going to the FNAC (the bookstore) and looking into a lot of main stream, non profesionnal crap like How I Became a Host Goddess or How to Make Your Kids Enjoy Brussels Sprouts, I decided to make an international fast food mini bites buffet (instead of the dull traditional "canapés").

On the picture above from left to right :
- Nordsee curry shrimp sandwich (for those who are not familiar with Nordsee don't worry you can continue leading your life as it is). Nordsee is a chain of fish "restaurants" mainly existing throughout Germany.
-a classic club sandwich (all my regards to Lord Sandwich)
-a Californian roll
-a mini cheese burger (a slice of ham" jambon de pays" replaces very nicely the usual meat steack)
-a bruschetta (my apologies to the Italian community; sorry, I know bruschettas don't really fit in the fast food category but you had to be represented somehow and I am not actually sure they don't serve "bruschette" at "Mezzo di Pasta" and other pasta fast foods)
-a New York hotdog

I hope this post may help other members of the anti savory club look at catering differently and maybe enable some try out "un dîner presque parfait".

Yours always,
signé : "le saucisson brioché"

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