First day
Wednesday, August 31, 2011

And so it begins, my journey to becoming a pastry chef. Today, I began the Intensive Professional Program in French Pastry at ESCF Gregoire Ferrandi in Paris, France.

During the morning, we met our fellow classmates, faculty and administration office. Our Chefs and Program Manager talked about our 5-month school training and 6-month stage (internship). Right from the start, we were warned how challenging our year was going to be. Obviously, to expect very long hours on your feet, lots of dishwashing and sometimes (maybe all the time) yelling and screaming in the kitchen during our stage (internship).

For the Anglo (international) program, there are a total of 60 of students- 35 in cuisine and 25 in pastry. For the pastry group, we are split into 2 groups (A and B) of about 12. It’s almost all female (with the exception of one guy) in the pastry program with a good representation of nationalities from all over the world. I’ve met some fellow Canadians, quite a few from the U.S., Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand. I am very much excited to meet people who share the same passion for baking as I do.

Lunch was provided, as is for the rest of the year. I’ve heard a few stories about the subpar cafeteria food so I was not expecting anything gourmet, even though this is a gastronomy school. I will have to agree that it’s just average, though they really give you a lot of food and it’s very healthy in terms of nutrition and variety. This must be the only place in Paris that serves ginormous portions.

After lunch, we separated from the cuisine students for a more detailed talk about the pastry program. We also got our book of recipes for the year and a super awesome tool kit. I haven’t looked at it in detail but there are lots of knives, spatulas, piping tips, and a proper candy thermometer. I won’t be guessing the temperature of my sugar syrups anymore!

Top layer of the tool kit. This layer has the regular accessories any proper pastry chef worth their weight should have. It has your handy scraper, whisk, rolling pin and rubber spatula. Quality products ladies.

Second layer of tool kit. It's got knives and dangerous tools to be used in the kitchen. I'm going to have a blast with this baby.

Then, we had a long tour of the school, the different laboratories (kitchens), on-site restaurants, and offices. And that was it for our first day.

3 Comments so far...
  • candice
    September 15, 2013
    Hi Emily, Was looking through your blog and read about the macarons that you made before, Was thinking if you would mind sharing with me ur recipe on that as I tried many recipes and I failed, was hoping to use it as part of my sch assignment to create a fusion dish and thought that your dish of pistachio and chestnut might be so interesting!! If you could, would you mind emailing me at my above email? Thank you so much for your help in advance, would be very very grateful!!!!
  • Jessie
    March 2, 2013
    Hi! Wow I'm addicted to you're blog first if all! Someone recommended your blog to me since I just got accepted to the pastry program at Ferrandi! You're blog has made me soooo much more excited! I do have a LOT of questions for you and I'd be REALLY grateful if you would email me! Jessie
  • Caitlin
    September 16, 2012
    Hi I know this post is pretty old but I'm also really interested in attending Ferrandi soon and I was wondering if I could pick your brain? P.s I'm also from Vancouver ;)