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Sat Sep 3, 2016, 08:53 PM

Oddly creative ways.

Four years ago, I chucked a decades long career in government consulting to go to Pastry School.

Most. Difficult. Time. Of. My. Life!!

You've seen those shows where the chef yells and screams and berates his underlings. You feel bad for them. They are, for the most part, working hard. Trying to make it right....good..acceptable. Edible.

But, no... I paid $20,000 to get demoralized and ridiculed. The instructors came up with oddly creative ways to make me feel like a total failure. "Your Pate a Choux is not the perfect consistency." The first EVER time I made it. "Didn't you pay attention to the 30-sec demo we gave you??!!?? Where are your notes." Cuz I can multitask like some Twitter groupie!

I, at 52 years old, was up against 20-somethings. It wasn't a competition. But I had something to prove. Those young-ens were not gonna show me up! And then, they did. And, BTW, SOME OF THOSE 20-somethings were incredible, awesome bakers.

I was defeated...deflated. This Pastry school has churned out White House chefs. Who was I? But, you want to know something....I won't be the next White House pastry chef. But, despite the abuse, I learned a hard lesson. I learned a lot. That homemade puff pastry is 100 times better than store bought. That Seasonal fruits and veggies hands down beat fruit from South America.

And I remember that, for all the abuse I took...I learned a great deal.

I also learned to not treat people like crap.



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Reply Oddly creative ways. (Original post)
Sophiegirl Sep 2016 OP
eleny Sep 2016 #1
PoindexterOglethorpe Sep 2016 #2
dem in texas Sep 2016 #3
Sophiegirl Sep 2016 #4

Response to Sophiegirl (Original post)

Sat Sep 3, 2016, 11:34 PM

1. good for you!

i would never have the guts.

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Response to Sophiegirl (Original post)

Sun Sep 4, 2016, 12:10 AM

2. I have never understood why treating people like crap

is supposed to improve or motivate them. Really?

Speaking from my own life experience: my younger son behaved worse and worse the more I punished him. When I eased back on the punishment and instead rewarded him for good behavior, OH MY GOD did he improve. Important lesson to me, and to the rest of the world although they don't know my son and may not learn this lesson.

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Response to Sophiegirl (Original post)

Sun Sep 4, 2016, 01:53 AM

3. I don't understand being so rude when it is so unnecessary.

Good for you for staying there, I don't think I could. What I don't understand is why you get treated so poorly when going to cooking schools? Other types of education do not do this. My nephew is now in a trade school learning to work on BMW's. The people have been nice to him, helped him find a place to live and to get a part-time job. I studied accounting in college and some of those classes were very intense. In cost accounting, our professor had a gentle heart to heart with the class and said if you were not understanding the class and making passing grades, you need to consider another major.

I won't watch that cooling show where the chef berates the contestants.

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Response to dem in texas (Reply #3)

Sun Sep 4, 2016, 04:16 AM

4. I believe - to some degree

That it is done to prepare students for what it is like to work in a high-end kitchen. Chefs are notoriously rude and unrelenting. Their egos are amongst the worst of any industry.

Still, it wasn't completely miserable. Although there were days I took out my frustration by overbeating whipped cream by hand. I joke about it now. Like a badge of honor in survival skills.

I didn't go to work in a bakery or restaurant. I run my own "cottage" bake shop now. The skills that were ground in to me were well learned and truly appreciated. I love baking. When I don't have orders, my neighbors and my husband's staff become my very own test kitchen judges. I'm a feeder...what can I say.

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