Sunday, December 27, 2009

Feeding frenzy

The holidays are always full of friends, family and food. I'm not sure why it is, but people always seem to bond over food. It seems to be the common thread that always brings people together; at least it always brings my family together.

That said, I can't seem to stop eating! Perhaps my palate has been devoid of some Californian flavors, or subconsciously I know I'll need to fatten up to deal with a cold January in Paris. Whatever the reason is, life sure has been tasty as of late!

Halibut soft tacos from Orale Mexican Grill. They're SO good, but they were out of scallop tacos that day.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

California: good eats and sweet treats

I'm finally back in California. After a delayed flight, pleading with American Airlines personnel, and running to my gate, I finally made it home. Well I guess I can't technically call California home now, since I'm officially homeless here. Paris is home. California is where good food and family are.

Needless to say, I've been baking up a storm and feasting on stuff that I've missed while in Paris. In this case, I'll let the pictures do most of the talking!

My first meal back: a complete American breakfast!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas cakes

This past week marked the last week of class before winter break. I really can't believe that there are only 3 more weeks of class. It's amazing how time really flies. Sometimes I wish the program was 10 months instead of 5, but I feel like we're usually on overdrive mode to cram as much in as possible.

With the holidays upon us, we made a few holiday cakes including a buche noel and holiday wreaths. Though I can't say I'm a fan of the marzipan pine cones, they turned out very pretty.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Les bons bonbons

After working on icecream, I realized that a fistful of warm tempered chocolate really isn't so bad. True, it's messy, but in comparison, I'd much rather have my hands coated in chocolate than stinging from being frozen.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Rungis visit

WARNING: This post is not for the faint of heart or squeamish. Be advised that the following includes pictures of dead animals. LOTS of dead animals. You have been warned!

Yesterday morning I found myself waking up early. Really early. 3:30AM early. Why you ask? One word: Rungis. Rungis is the largest wholesale food market in the world. Supposedly if Rungis closed, all of Paris would be devoid of fresh food within 36 hours. Its quite amazing and impressive.

We first hit up the fish hall. It was freezing, but well worth the visit. There were stacks and stacks of Styrofoam containers housing all sorts of seafood on ice.

Bretagne butter cake of death

On Monday I decided to make a cake from the Bretagn region of France called a kouign amann. I guess it can be considered in the viennoiserie category since it's made with leavened dough, but this is not your average croissant... or pain au chocolat. Well maybe a distant cousin of the croissant on steroids chocked full of insane amounts of butter and sugar.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

What cauchemars are made of

Sometimes I'm in complete awe of the things we make in class (in a good way) and sometimes I just cant wrap my head around why we're making something. Case in point.. chocolate clowns. Yes, I understand molding chocolate eggs, airbrushing, and modeling marzipan are very important skills to learn. But really, a clown? Are you kidding me? What child in their right mind would want one of these. They're quite creepy if you ask me; and I'm sure they'd give some kid cauchemars (nightmares).

I scream, you scream, we all scream...

...for ice cream, or rather because our fingers are being frozen beyond recognition working with the chilled treat. And trust me, its quite painful removing sheet pan after frozen sheet pan out of the blast chiller, especially if you're someone who is always cold.

A soupçon that soups on

When its cold, I always look towards comfort foods, whether its a steaming bowl of tomato soup or some haphazardly put together fried rice. I guess it reminds me of home, which reminds me of warmth, and in turn warms me up just a little? Okay, not really.

Last week I took advantage of our Thanksgiving dinner amongst friends. Where most people were packing up stuffing and potatoes, I jumped up and laid claim on the chicken carcass. In my defense, I am Asian and we do make the most out of every animal and I knew that the lovely bird would make a wonderful stock! Case in point, my friend and I went to Tang Frères and the Asian grocery store chain sells raw chicken carcasses just for making stock. See! I'm not all that nutters.