26 Apr 2010

Lazy Sumdays

Posted by PastryPrincess at 00:23 4 comments Links to this post
Vietnamese spring roll
Prawns, noodles and vegetables wrapped in rice paper served with chilli fish sauce
A month. I can't believe it's already a month that I've been in London and a third of my Basic diplomas are over. Wowsa. Time just flew by and it kinda feels like I've been here forever. To be honest I don't have any feeling for time whatsoever anymore... One reason might be that I had 48 hours of class this week, also on Saturday, and I volunteered at the Superior Cuisine event aswell. Loved it. Just like I'm totally loving all of this! Is it weird that I could already well up simply thinking about the fact that this is gonna be over sometime?!
Char sui bun
Honey barbecue pork in a fluffy white bun
Well anywho. As I had a crazy busy week I wanted to do something relaxed today and what would be better than food? Coz it's not like I'm surrounded by food 24/7, right? hehehe. Ever since I went for Yum Cha in Sydney I wanted more of it but as that's always around lunchtime, which clashes with my schedule, I decided on the very similar Dim Sum instead.
Spinach and prawn wrap
Prawns rolled in spinach, steamed and served with a light garlic and ginger sauce
Conveniently enough there's lots of lovely Asian girls at school whom I asked for some inside scoop on London's Dim Sum scene and they recommended several places. The deal was sealed when I was told Ping Pong offered "Lazy Sumdays" where you can gorge yourseld on as many dim sum as your heart desires for a set prices. Bargain or what?! Ping Pong in Soho it was on today's sunny London Marathon Sunday afternoon.
Prawn toast
Prawn on toast favoured with coriander and garlic sprinkled with sesame seeds
The placed is in a very central location just off Oxford Circus and has a modern and refreshingly un-Asian interior but I can't say I was very impressed with the service... I was expecting a buffet but really we could just order whatever we wanted from the menu, excluding certain dishes like Chef's specials, and it was freshly prepared for us. The selection was pretty good, the food always arrived scoldingly hot and stacking up all the baskets in front of us was fun.
Scallop and shitake dumpling
Scallops and king prawns with shitake mushrooms in wheat four pastry
Altogether we ordered 17 things. That sounds like an awful lot, doesn't it? We did leave pretty full and quite tired but hey, it's supposed to be quite healthy food... I think. Some dumplings I liked more than others and some I wasn't exactly fond of at all. Yeah, scallop & shitake dumpling I'm talking about you. You smell funny and no, you didn't taste very nice either - which is why I ate all of half a piece. The prawn toast was pretty boring and dry, too.
Crab spring roll
Crab meat with prawns, coriander and chilli in crisp pastry - two served with Thai fish sauce
Of course there's other " little steamed parcels of deliciousness" which I loved. BBQ pork buns, oohh yum. I first had them at Yum-Cha where everybody was mad about them and so they obviously were the very first dish I ordered. Twice. There was also this really lovely Prawn, coconut and water chestnut soup: a fragrant coconut soup with king prawns, straw mushrooms and water chestnuts of which I forgot to take a picture, boo.
Spicy pork dumpling
Pork and spicy sautéed vegetables in translucent white pastry
 One dim sum in particular left me puzzled because I simply didn't know how to eat it exactly... Was I expected to eat the lotus leaf or not? I will never know but at least I tried fearlessly and chewed on it until I decided it was too rubbery to enjoy and preceeded to unwrap the rest of the dish. Not that this tasted anything like I expected either. All I could taste was rice and then some but surely no duck and tropical foods.
Duck, orange and pineapple
Two steamed parcels of sticky rice with duck, orange and pineapple wrapped in a lotus leaf
That's the thing with dim sum, sometimes I'm not really sure what they taste of were it not for the labels on the baskets... All I know is that most of them taste better dipped in one of the sauces, Hoisin sauce in particular.
Chicken and cashew nut dumpling
Chicken with chopped cashew nuts in a chilli hoi sin sauce
... which is what these little gems were served with. I can truely say these were the surprise hit of the day and therefore I re-ordered them. The reason I went for these in the first place was funnily enough to humour my boyfriend. He used to always go for Cashew Chicken at our local Chinese take-out back in Galway and it was the blandest and most boring dish ever. The reason I told him he could never ever order it when I was around - a good decision because it ended up broadening his culinary horizon. Something I've been working on for quite a while now, successfully at that. There was nothing bland about these dumplings though. They tasted much more exciting and delicious than the ones you would initially think better and more special. Never judge a dumpling by its reputation!
Crispy prawn ball
Chopped king prawns and spring onions in shredded egg pastry served with sweet and sour sauce
Don't these look like aliens? Or something living in the ocean. Utterly funny to eat, I didn't even know where to begin! Very crispy and crunchy indeed and served alongside a delightful sauce which didn't taste anything like your usual sweet and sour sauce.
Black prawn dumpling
Delicate black pastry with King prawn Chinese mushroom and garlic butter
Maybe it's just me but these don't really look as appealing as they sounds, or do they?! A bit like alligator eyes and the black of the pastry is suspicious-looking. I felt like the prawns were never really taste-able in any of the dim sum and these tasted mostly of garlic and I'm still wondering what it was that made the pastry black...
Seafood puff
Scallop and prawn with onions and ginger in flaky puff pastry
If there's one thing I've really had enough of recently it's puff pastry. Indeed, you figured correctly, we made puff pastry in school last week and we'll be doing it again for pâtisserie this week. So no, I didn't order these for myself but I tried them anyway but they didn't impress me greatly. Probably because of the puff pastry.
Seafood dumpling
Prawns and scallops in a pastry made with carrots
The Vietnamese spring rolls, these seafood dumplings and the squid cakes were nice although I could neither see or taste the noodles in the spring rolls. The spinach wraps tasted mostly of spinach and not prawns but the crunchy and very unexpected fried onions made for a great contract in texture against the soft legume and added a surprising flavour unusual to Asian cuisine. 
Just now I'm coming to the conclusion that dim sum just mightn't be about being able to taste what exactly is in them but rather their interesting over-all flavour. Then again some can be quite bland and you need the sauces to pimp them up and the dipping takes them to a whole new level. They're meant to be eaten whole and dipped, that's the key to enjoying dumplings.
Chilli squid cake
Squid, prawns and coriander with chilli served with fish sauce
Trying all the different little dishes was fun and in general it was a nice dinner. Most of the dim sum tasted good and it's to be expected that you can't love every single one of them. I mean we did try 17 different ones after all! They were fresh, well made and delicate but at times not as exciting as their descriptions made them out to be. It stands in no comparison to Yum-Cha though.
The service was somewhat of a let-down but not when it came to our actual waitress serving the dishes as she was nice and smiley. It was that we were seated, left without any further explanation when we asked about the special offer and ignored for a while that was frustrating and didn't make for a good first impression. Neither did twice receiving a wrong bill which is why I would probably go and try different dim sum restaurants like Royal China first before going back to PingPong. The lazy sumdays offer is great value though: It's Sunday, you're lazy ( i.e. not in the mood for cooking ), hungry and in want of (dim) "sum"? Pardon the pun but do try for yourself!

18 Apr 2010

Jamie's Italian @ Canary Wharf

Posted by PastryPrincess at 23:24 5 comments Links to this post
My boyfriend is over at the moment and today we went to Canary Wharf because I wanted to try Jamie Oliver's "Jamie's Italian" restaurant there. I don't think it'a a big secret that I'm a big Jamie fan even though I found out the chefs at school think what he does is "for kids", to quote them. Well, thing is when they talk about so-called celebrity chefs they mean people like Alain Ducasse with his 9 Michelin stars but I mean people like Jamie. Funnily enough they do respect Gordon Ramsay though who I personally don't think much of to be honest. Particularly since he goes to other people's restaurants, curses at them and then mice dumplings and other wonderful treats were found at his own ridiculously expensive, fine dining restaurants.
Obviously Alain Ducasse is amazing, no doubt about it and all the other Haute Cuisine geniuses but they're not necessarily well-known outside the hospitality industry, right? Okay, so Jamie doesn't have any Michelin stars or whatever but hey, he's got charme and mass appeal, he's cute, adorable and his food is absolutely delicious. You can say what you want, I love him. His dishes are some of my favourite foods and I think all the things he does, all his different projects aswell as his books are amazing. There you go, I love Jamie O.
I had wanted to go to his restaurant Fifteen for a while, you know, the one run by his apprentices. Remember, there was a tv show about it, too. Anyway, I heard from several people that his own, new Jamie's Italian would be even nicer and as it's also cheaper and sounded scrumptious we decided to give it a go. It's located in the very modern business district at Canary Wharf with its high-rise buildings and cool architecture. There will be another one opening in Covent Garden in the summer and I think that location will be even nicer.
The restaurant is a nice open space with a modern feel but still comfortable. At the entrance you're greeted by a shelf of freshly made pasta next to pasta machines where you can access the outside terrace when it's warm enough for an alfresco dinner. There are lots of Jamie books on the wall and it has a bar, another counter with fresh produce where antipasti are prepared and a half open kitchen.
It's not a massive menu but there were still a good few things I wanted to try and so I had to talk my boyfriend into agreeing to share certain things. We usually never share food because it somehow doesn't seem to work for the two of us... unfortunately. It can be so much fun to get lots of different dishes and then share them but I guess as Joey from Friends would put it: "Joey doesn't share food!!!" ;-) Somehow we still managed though. I more or less decided we should get antipasti and a pasta "primi" for starters:
Seasonal Meat Antipasti Plank
Seasonal cured meat, Tuscan fennel salami, pistachio mortadella, San Daniele prosciutto and Schiacciata piccante 
Italian cheeses, buffalo mozzarella, pecorino with amazing chilli jam 
Pickles, curly green chillies, green and black olives 
Salad, Italian coleslaw with lemon and mint
 This selection of different antipasti was very nice and all the different components worked well together. I especially liked the chili jam on the pecorino and the Italian coleslaw was an interesting interpretation of the dish.
Roasted Pumpkin Risotto
Seasonal pumpkins roasted with chilli and thyme, creamy Arborio rice with parmesan and crunchy herby amaretto breadcrumbs.
This was really delicious. I just love risotto and it's such a homey, feel-good comfort food. Pumpkin is a vegetable I'm quite fond of so I knew I had to try this dish. Admittedly I can't say I tasted any amaretto flavour in this but I don't even think that's a bad thing. As we ordered this as a starter ( you can also have it as a main course ) and then shared it wasn't much for each of us, more like a teaser, really. I could have literally eaten a whole bath tub filled with this creamy goodness!
Fish In A Bag
The freshest sea bass fillet from Brixham market, Cornish mussels and clams steamed in their own juices with smashed fennel, heritage potatoes, capers, arrabiatta sauce and zesty Amalfi lemon.
This was a tasty, light, summery and healthy dish. The fish was tender, the sauce was fragrant and all the flavours and juices worked together beautifully. I love fennel and the potatoes were just the way I like them, small and golden. There could have been a few more mussels and clams but then again there were green beans in it which weren't cited on the menu. There were several sides I would have liked to try but we settled on the 2 I wanted to try the most:
Crispy Polenta Chips with rosemary salt and parmesan
Golden, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside nuggets sprinkled with grated parmesan of which I asked for more and fresh rosemary. These were yummy and a great alternative to your usual side of chips or potatoes. I would definitely go for these again and will make them at home instead od chips sometime - great idea!
Posh Truffle Chips, Insanely good with truffle oil and parmesan, proper posh!
These chips were also yummy. I believe most things are made even better with parmesan on top! I was glad the truffle oil wasn't as pungent as it sometimes tends to be but rather a faint aroma, a hint of truffle. Hmm.
My boyfriend couldn't resist and went for steak instead after contemplating the Fish in a bag for a while, too and not being able to bring himself to order any of the "cooked under a brick" dishes. Too unconventional for an Irishman I suppose... And I had thought he had made such great progress, haha. Naah, I actually didn't mind.
Good Old Grilled Steak, 8oz Sirloin
Fantastic British steak (dry aged for 21 days) chargrilled and served pink with grilled flat mushrooms, dressed watercress and flat parsley
Can you see what looks like grilled strips of meat on top of the steak? Well, my darling boyfriend believed them to be fat as in cut up and grilled rind of steak that gives all the juicy flavour. Hence he refused to eat them. Me, never one to let any food go to waste... went for them, if not at least to try them. Guess what? I realized these strips of fat were actually the grilled mushrooms, d'uh! Ah hahaha. I couldn't stop making fun of my boyfriend, what a low-brow! Guess this goes to show he still has a good bit of culinary ground to cover!
Just reading the menu again there I noticed I completely forgot to order another side I would have loved to eat, Slow-Cooked Balsamic Chickpeas. Balsamic and chickpeas? Sounds like a match made in heaven to me! As we already had the roasted pumpkin risotto I refrained from also ordering
Gennaro's Winter Salad: Radicchio, roasted pumpkin, sweet red onions, sultanas and pine nuts because this dish can also easily be re-created at home - not that I'd have the time... or would need anymore food for that matter!
Just like all of Jamie's food this dinner was a yummy one. Nothing overly fancy but good, yummy, feel-good Italian food that leaves you satisfied but not full and is fresh and healthy. I also thought it was refreshing that there wasn't a single pizza to be found on the menu! Coinidentally I found our friendly waitress looked like Jamie's wife Jools as a young girl and I would not have minded to keep on eating or enjoy bigger portions. Unfortunately it wasn't until my boyfriend had already picked up the bill (thanks, baby!) that I read about today's specials of which the deep-fried risotto balls filled with mushrooms, parmesan and Italian meats particularly caught my eye... Ooohhh. I'm sure I would have thoroughly enjoyed them! 
Ah well, there's always a next time. This is a nice place to go to on a first date, for lunch or take the family out to on a Sunday. Make sure to order plenty of different food and sides and enjoy a scrumptious meal in a relaxed athmosphere. Maybe you'll even bump into Jamie - now wouldn't that be a fun treat?!

13 Apr 2010

The Hummingbird Bakery, Part 1 ( of many to come... )

Posted by PastryPrincess at 22:44 1 comments Links to this post
I have uploaded pictures of my first few days! And to make up for not having been able to post anything in a long time, I'm going to treat you to some lovely goodies from the Hummingbird Bakery here in London. Yes, that Hummingbird bakery and if you've been reading my blog you'll know I've already made a few things from their cookbook which I love! I don't want to sound cocky or anything ... but I think my Cheesecake Brownies with Raspberry Cream looked much better then their actual ones in the shop! Seriously now. Must mean I rock, tehehehe. A girl can dream.
Obviously I had planned on paying a visit to THB ever since I was given the cookbook because all their stuff simply looks yummilicious! Then eventually I stumbled upon their Notting Hill shop by coincidence... My flatmate were strolling around Portobello Market on a Saturday afternoon, looking at all the tid-bits around when I spotted something cupcake-y. Anything cupcake-related always catches my eye, d'uh! Imagine my surprise and delight when I realized it was actually THB!
But, what with it being Saturday and all... man, it was busy! People were queueing out of the shop and yes, it's a very small place and the Britsh love to queue up for just about anything but it was impressive nonetheless. I suppose they must have quite a reputation!
Maybe because it was Saturday or because it's one of the smaller shops... I don't know but I was slightly disappointed by the selection. For obvious reasons I had kinda expected to find every single item from the book on display but this was unfortunately not the case... I was told they didn't sell many cakes and none of the pies and you could only order them whole. There were none of the cookies either if I recall correctly but the shop is pretty indeed. Just like the book.
 ( This is actually the one in Soho )
I went for the Red Velvet Cake for 2 reasons. First because I had made it from their recipe and wanted to compare my work to theirs. Secondly because I have never had any Red Velvet Cake besides my own that once and as people always gush about it so much I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. I don't think I've to mention I asked for an extra-big slice albeit them already being ginormous, right?!

Then I needed to try, yes needed to, one of their famous cupcakes and I went for a Black Bottom one because it combines 3 things I love: Chocolate, cheesecake and cheesecake frosting - brilliant, especially with choc chips in the cheesecakes!
Another plus is that they wrap up your pastries beautifully. Lovely cake boxes and personalized wrapping paper and stickers, très chic. Very... feminine. I like it.
So, how did I like my first proper Red Velvet cake and how did it compare to mine? Well, first of all I liked the fact that the pieces are massive and basically impossible to eat in one sitting and that coming from someone like me means something! ... ehum ... Did I mention I already have the reputation of being a terrible glutton at school? Yeah, not very lady-like... But that's a different story.
The cake is very ... red. And funnily enough I think it tasted red, too! Would you agree with me? I had made my cake less red and more chocolatey so it actually tasted differently, particularly because I also changed up the frosting. I must admit I prefer their original frosting though. Note to self, stick with the original frosting, they know what they're talking about, ye dope! Well, anyway. The cake also smelt funny. Hmm, kinda... vinegary. Does food colouring make things smell like that, kinda weird? 
I did like the taste though, don't get me wrong but I honestly can't really understand why people go mad for it. Maybe I'd like it even better without the red, even though it looks cool. Just a thought, don't hang me! I mightn't be American enough to go crazy for artificial colour. Bottom line is I liked the cake, bright, moist and all and especially the frosting.

The Black Bottom cupcake was very good. Scrumptious. 
A dark, moist yet airy chocolate batter contrasted by a delicious cheesecake filling which was made even better by adding chocolate chips to it and topped off with lovely white frosting and a few chocolate batter crumbs. 

Oh, goody. I'll definitely have one of those again sometime!
My flatmate tried one of their basic vanilla cupcakes with simple blue frosting and didn't like it too much. I would never choose a plain vanilla one because they're simply too boring for my liking, blue frosting and glitter or not. I did try it though and I must say I wasn't impressed either. She had a point indeed when pointing out that if they're famous for cupcakes they should totally rock at the simple, basic vanilla cupcake. Don't you agree?
A few days later I finished school early and decided to look for THB in Soho as I had been told it would be a bigger shop and I was hoping for a bigger selection. All I wanted was to have a look at their stuff but of course I ended up buying something. Oooyyy. It took quite sometime to find their bleeding shop but when I finally found it I was quickly reconciled because it's just so pretty. 
Aaaand they do actually have a much bigger selection, plus it was during the week and not busy at all so I had a tough choice to make! We all know what a terrible sucker I am when it comes to decisions...
Too bad they didn't have last week's chocolate peanut butter special anymore and the theme for the next 2 weeks was teas. Not my favourite. Still, I settled for a green tea cupcake. Yeah, what's with all that food colouring - again?! Ok, ok, it does make sense... Green tea, green cupcake and it didn't taste of food colouring. The texture of the cupcake was nice but I'm not entirely sure how I felt about the taste of it. I'm not a tea drinker, so I probably don't like green tea. 
Why did I go for a green tea cupcake again? No idea. Because it sounded interesting. Even while I was eating it I wasn't sure whether I liked it or not. Strange things mystifying.... The frosting had got a wee bit dry and wasn't as good as the one on the Black Bottom cupcake. Would I go for a cupcake like that again? Probably not.
 
The Pumkin Spice Whoopie Pie I bought last Friday on the other hand was delicious. Can somebody tell me why they're called whoopie though?! It was nice, airy and moist with a lovely filling inside and yes, it was big too. Not that I would know how big whoopie pies usually are. This one was another first for me and I really liked it. Basically it's just normal cake batter baked differently and then stuck together with a filling in the middle. Not exactly rocket science but tasty nonetheless. I can't say I tasted pumpkin in particular, it was rather a general christmassy spice flavour. Hopefully they will have other great flavours soon because I find the chocolate and red velvet ones too boring.
 
Last but not least I indulged onanother massive slice of cake only that this time it was Carrot Cake. Taste of carrot cake it did. Was it the best carrot cake I've ever had? Nope. Was it good? Yep. In the beginning I felt like there were too many walnuts in it but I got used to them pretty quickly and didn't particularly notice them anymore. The frosting was yum-o once again - they just know how to do a nice frosting at THB! Maybe there could have been more actual carrots, you know, seeing as it's a carrot cake. Generally it was a good cake though and I'm really taking a serious liking to those giant American cake pieces! Hehehe.
For now I've to try all the other ( cupcake ) bakeries but I'll be back at THB next week when they've a new cupcake special menu again! I'm becoming they're official tester I guess and all for your sake, people! Tsss, yeah right. ;-)

6 Apr 2010

No Internet...

Posted by PastryPrincess at 15:37 0 comments Links to this post
Hey guys! Happy belated Easter to all of you! I just wanted to let you know I haven't abandoned my blog and vanished into thin air... I just don't have internet yet, which is really annoying. The only way I can keep in touch with my loved ones is through the amazing invention that is the skype mobile phone. Please bare with me... We have signed up for internet but it's taking a while to get it all sorted and installed. Keep your fingers crossed and stop by again soon.

26 Mar 2010

A New Era Has Begun!

Posted by PastryPrincess at 23:51 4 comments Links to this post
Hello from London everybody! This is a news round-up to let you know what I've been up to and how my first day at Le Cordon Bleu went! I'm very sorry there won't be any photos today but you've to know things have been crazy around here...!!! I don't have internet at the hotel and the internet issue at my future apartment still has to be figured out, too. It might take a while and therefore posts etc might be a good bit delayed and all but I will do my very best, I promise!
( Right now I'm sitting in a McDonald's at Paddington Station because they have free Wi-Fi, bless'em! )
A girl's gotta eat...
Thankfully my flight went smoothly after all albeit the strike and I got here fine. The Goodbye from my family was obviously sad and the fact they're on holidays in the States now hasn't made things easier...
Right after my arrival I met up with my future room-mate and co-student, Sarah, and I'm happy to say I don't regret my decision so far, she's lovely! ;) It seems like we have loads in common.
We went around looking at places and I wasn't happy at all. Finally we decided on a nice flat and had to quickly take it off the market and I found the whole legal side of things quite intimidating. There have been so many complications and it's been wrecking my head, uuggh. We obviously need to move in asap as in NOW and everything took much longer and was a lot more complicated than we'd hoped. Such a hassle. I had no idea you needed so many documents and it was all so difficult and strenuous. One big problem for me was that I didn't have internet to do all the filling out of forms online and that I badly needed my dad to help me with things and he is in a different time zone and on holidays. He did everything he could though although we had a hard time sometimes. Tomorrow we'll finally sign the contract, get the keys and will be able to move in. Hopefully. Please God! I want to have this out of the way because there is so much other stuff to consider, figure out and think about. Like the internet thing...
Lovely crayfish baguette with capers from "Paul's" Pâtisserie
Seriously though, I haven't had a quiet minute ever since I touched down and school hadn't even started! I'm glad I've Sarah by my side so I don't have to go through all of this by myself. Too bad she isn't in my group at school, oh well...
On Wednesday we met some of the other girls from school for lunch at TGI Fridays in Covent Garden and it was very nice. Somehow I expected there would only be about 20 people starting Le Crdon Bleu with me but it turned out we're actully 100! Can you believe it?! Only 23 are doing Le Grand Diplôme like me though, we're the badass, hardcore people, haha.
Sarah and I also found a bit of time to walk around Oxford Street for a tiny bit and I bought my professional scales I need for school and some gorgeous Pierre Hermé macarons at Selfridges. ( Coming soon! ) Then we went for an all you can eat buffet at Mr Woo's in China Town. They have a nice selection of things and it's very good value. I definitely had too much Chinese food! Ouff.

Day 1: The Introduction

This morning Sarah and I made our way to LCB where we were given our amazing, massive knife and utensil kit first of all. Then we received to big bags full of our uniforms and course manuals and shedule. Now I'm the proud owner of 3 chef jackets, 2 pants, aprons and towels, my knife kit, a silicone mat and my course manuals as well as my student ID with security card. Too bad I gave them a passport picture I look like an idiot in and not a nice one, eekk.
Turns out we're all devided into groups of 10 and obviously I would have like to be in a group with Sarah and another girl I like but I'm not and no, I can't change groups. Apparently there's specific reasons why certain people are in the same group... aaaahhhh.....huh?! What kind of reasons?! I'm in Cuisine group C by the way and there's only 3 other girls and the rest is all guys and only one of them is doing the whole same thing as me. Maybe there's some more girls in Pâtisserie...
First of all they explained the difficult looking schedules to us and I realized I will be a very busy girl and will have classes on Saturdays. There's 4 periods a day and you can have up to 3 I believe which means you'll have a break at some point but sometimes only 10 minutes. That means that apart from a free period or so I'm gonna be in class from 9am in the morning until 10pm at night on a good few days... just imagine! Intense! Which is exactly what the chef, my mentor for Basic, explained. It starts of easier and they will slowly but surely put the pressure on. Superior is supposed to be very hard and intense and generally some people crack and cry and all that. A wee bit scary, especially because I have twice the workload as most people! Oh gosh. The chef was nice and funny though and later on another student who's about to start superior was able to calm my worries by telling me it's fun and doable after all, pppphhhh! If she can do it, I can too!
The director welcomed us and she seems to be a very nice lady and I generally really like the athmosphere and attitude of people at LCB. Except for that one stressed-out girl at reception, oooyyy. There also were refreshments and delicious, freshly baked and still warm croissants, yum. They were prefect and I will learn how to make them, yay!
After the introduction we got our lockers for all our stuff and tried on our uniforms. I had to exchange them because they were too big. After that we had an hour of lunch break which Sarah and I used to get out knife kit engraved with our initials. We were told to get all our stuff marked and we were smart enought to go to the place before everybody else did! That way we didn't only get an extra discount on top of the LCB one (they have many partner places where we get discounts!) because the guy liked us but our knives were done very quickly and we were able to pick them up right after class and put them back into out lockers so we don't have to carry them around.
Actually, if we want to carry our kits around we always need to have our student IDs with us, otherwise we'll get into trouble with the police. Basically we're deathly weapons now, ah hahaha! ;P The engraving look absolutely amazing and every single tiny item is engraved, it's great and made me feel so proud! All this gorgeous equipment and it's all mine and so professional!
When we took our kits back to school we decided to look at every single item more closely and I actually managed to cut myself straight away, eejit that I am! Haha. Proved Sarah wrong who thought the knives weren't actually sharp... Ouch.
My kit was missing a couple of big knife guards but I was eventually given one while I was sucking on my thumb to stop the bleeding. Ooops. Nah, wasn't that bad really but very typical of my clumsy klutziness!
Anyway, after our lunch break we were split up into our groups and met our mentors i.e. one of our teaching chefs. He answered all of our questions; I asked most of them... and some answers where even more intimidating. It's gonna be very intense, that's the same word I have to repeat over and over again in this context. I will be more or less living at the school basically, will have very long hours, up on my feet all day, having to get used to all the hard physical work and will have to do well at the same time. Wow. Every single tiny thing will be graded and I can never fail. That's quite scary. Besides I wanna try my best to get one of the merit medals, hehe. That might be wishful thinking though, now that I know more about the reality of things.
We were given a tour of the school which I had already done when I visited the school with my boyfriend in December. Then there was a fire evacuation drill because apparently the sensitive smoke detectors set off the fire alarm a lot and we'll probably have to evacuate a good few times during our time at LCB. Come on, it's a culinary school, things are bound to get burned! ;)
Tomorrow I will be in school from 9am until 4pm, doing a food saftey and hygiene course with an exam at the end. An exam! They're getting right down to the nitty-gritty but this certificate is essential for obvious reasons. Still, we're thrown in at the deep end because I will be in school until 10pm on my first actual day, Monday, too! Hardcore.
Well, today after school I bought my safe, non-slip kitchen shoes and just like all the bare essentials such as a duvet and pillow from Ikea I will have to move all this bulky stuff from my hotel to the apartment tomorrow... Hopefully everything goes smoothly, please keep your fingers crossed for me in these stressful times!

I will try to keep this baby as updatet as possible and will eventually put up pictures. Please bare with me while I don't have internet and am still trying to wrap my head around things. It's mental! I will try to write things down everyday about what I'm doing at LCB, it's just that I don't know yet when I'll be able to post it all. Thank you for your understanding and I can't wait until I can finally show you things I made and learned and FYI... I did bring my good camera solely for that purpose! ;)

This is it. My life is changing drastically. I'm an official Le Cordon Bleu student now. Wow. Amazing. Scary. Overwhelming. Extraordinary. Intense. Exciting!
 

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