On December 21, 2012, I graduated pastry school – and thankfully, the world did not end.
My parents and my sister Hannah drove to Chicago from Missouri on Wednesday, and I was able to spend the day with them on Thursday. I played hooky on Thursday and missed my first (and last) day of pastry school. It was worth it though because I got to hang out with my family and explore the windy city.
Well, somewhat. It was very cold and rainy so we shopped a lot and spent a long time at Trader Joe’s. I did most of my Christmas shopping there.
Everyone woke up early on Friday to get ready for the graduation held at the Union League Club at 8:30 AM. Yes, I know – that’s early. I was blurry eyed when I was fixing my hair and makeup. We had to wear a black skirt or black pants, our chef jackets, and heels.
It was fun taking my family on the express bus downtown. They got to experience the joy of public transportation. We were seated by alphabetical order, and then listened to quite a few speeches. My friend Camille spoke and represented our class! She did a great job.
Then they called out our names, we shook Franco Pacini’s hand, and we accepted our diploma. That’s me in the picture. I rocked those boots from H&M.
Afterwards, instead of throwing our caps in the air, we threw our framed diplomas.
My sister Hannah.
They took our class picture afterwards. I’m really going to miss these guys.
Some of the gals. I wish I could have gotten more pictures of my classmates, but it was kind of hectic.
Pictured: Me, Stella, Fatma, Cynthia, Camille, Kim, Annie.
We walked over to the French Pastry School for the grand buffet.
Each class made recipes that we’d learned in the program. My class had breads and breakfast pastries. Other classes had plated desserts, mousse cakes, tarts, petit fours, chocolate candies, and sugar candies.
Above: financier, opera cake, tarts, madeleines, macarons.
Danish and cinnamon rolls.
Plated desserts. Sorry for the bad pictures. There were little mousse cakes, panna cotta, crème brulee, and more.
Croissants and brioche.
We feasted and celebrated at the buffet for a while before heading back to our apartment.
It was a great day – one I will never forget. I’m so thankful that my family and Eric could celebrate the big day with me.
Thanks to all of you for your support and sticking by my side through this pastry school journey. This was something I’ve wanted to do since I graduated high school. It took years to save the money and to decide on a school. I started to believe it would never happen for me.
I’m so glad I took the risk and decided to apply in January. I don’t regret my decision. It was time. I needed a change, and I needed it then.
I am absolutely happy with my education at the French Pastry School. The experience was life-changing, to say the least. I think I grew up (a little). I feel like a stronger person. I feel more confident in my pastry abilities now. I feel more organized. More disciplined.
As sappy as it sounds, dreams really do come true. I can now check off “go to pastry school” off of my bucket list. How is school over already? Who knew six months in pastry school could go by so fast? I’m so sad. But I am excited for the next step, whatever that might be.
And now, I give you my final thoughts on pastry school:
#1 – I love eating chocolate candies. That’s what I filled up on at the grand buffet.
#2 – Pulling sugar is hard and it hurts real bad.
#3 – Weigh your ingredients.
#4 – There’s no crying in pastry.
#5 – Homemade marshmallows are delicious.
#6 – Don’t beat puff pastry with your rolling pin because you’ll destroy the lamination.
#7 – You can microwave a metal bowl if it doesn’t touch the sides of the microwave.
#8 – Glucose is the secret ingredient in most pastries.
#9 – Favorite class: breads
#10 – Favorite thing to eat besides chocolate candies: ice cream cake.
#11 – Least favorite thing to eat: nougat mousse cake.
#12 – Sift your flour and confectioners’ sugar.
#13 – Most interesting subject: macarons.
#14 – Most rewarding project: my croquembouche.
#15 – Favorite chef(s) Chef Jacquy, Chef Scott, Chef Josh, and Chef Della.
If anyone has any questions about attending the French Pastry School, feel free to email me.
Well, thank you for reading! I hope you have a good Christmas! I’m going to go spend time with my family. We’re having roasted chestnuts. I think I’m going to make eggnog tomorrow night and a Christmas-y dessert.