Friday, February 29, 2008

I am sooooo happy there aren't enough words to say how much i love my stage! I got really lucky. Anyway...there are a few things I wanted to mention. Small things...and VERY random. First has NOTHING to do with work...but it's pretty funny and sad! Last nite after work I went to the store to pick up some things and I dropped a 6 pack on my forehead. Luckily it was under the side of my my big welt isn't seen. And was a 6 pack of DC...not the story is kinda lame! But OUCH! stuff! My piping (meaning, into a mold with control and speed) has gotten SO much better as well as my cutting (preciseness, speed, and correctness). The other thing that has improved in just a couple of days, believe it or not, is my french! I KNOW! I am trying to speak only french! It's unreal. And they love to speak it's kind of a fun game! Oh...I got to work with chocolate yesterday! Most stagieres don't get to do it was exciting for me! I was DIRTY...but had loads of fun! I also got to make a few new things today like different creams and batters meaning I picked up some recipes. Also, today there was a water/food fight amongst some of the boys. It was pretty hilarious! I managed to stay out of the way, but I couldn't help but laugh. The best part about it, was that the head chef (not michalak) was a part of it! Hahaha. He's so great! And his English is not very good...but he loves to try. Today he asked me if "Al Bundy" was from Chicago! HAHAHA. Today I also did 2 things wrong. First one was half my fault, half chefs. He likes to speak to me in English, like i said. So he told me something in french and then repeated it in English. Well i tried to get the french and then when he said the English that's all that stuck, but he missed a part. So i followed the English directions. And i did it wrong. The second time, no one (including chef) told me to put water in with the sugar and it wasn't written on the recipe. So i had to toss the sugar and start over. No big deal. It's unreal how much they throw out there! I'm like...i can take that home if you need me to ;) However...they won't let us! It's their money! Oh...And Chef Michalak is coming back Tues! YAH! But i don't go back to work til wed is my big day! I have to look PERFECT! I'm nervous already :) Other things...after work i usually come home, eat dinner, reply to some emails and then go to bed! I'm so exhausted by the end of the day! 10 hrs is a LOT...but i love it so it goes by quickly! I also have MANY MANY cuts and bruises already...but that's to be expected. However i think I'm accident prone. It's from stupid stuff like moving a box or even just cleaning. Nothing big...but it stings when i wash the dishes! Which by the way...washing the dishes is nothing here! I don't mind it at all because i get to use the BIG washing machine which is ONE button! SOOOO simple! Other than that, work is just great! i'm busy ALL day and the time flies. I have work tomorrow, sat, then my 3 day weekend and THEN i work afternoons! So i am sure i will learn all new stuff! HOW FUN!!!! So stay tuned. Plus I hope to have some more pictures...maybe with Chef Michalak?!?! Heehee. toodles

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

1st day at Plaza Athenee!

WOW! no words to describe how amazing this was! lucky for you guys...someone generously said to me "feel free to take pictures as a souvenir" so of course I started right away!!! I don't think I'm going to tell you what I did in order, but I'm going to post pictures and then tell you what I worked on within that product! (plus there was A LOT more that i didn't take pictures on!) Also...small tidbits....we do clean. That wasn't a rumor. 3 times a day. The first two are just table tops and small mop of the floor (plus the squeegee-like a windshield wiper-which i LOVE) and the 3rd clean is the MAJOR to bottom. I don't mind the cleaning. It's actually fun because everyone gets involved (including the chefs!!) and I know that after the last one i get to go home! Now...dishes. YES i do have to do dishes...but 1) they have a dishwasher and 2) i have to do it MAYBE once a day! and the dishes in the sink i do voluntarily because i am a nice person! Oh and get this. Since we don't have to do our laundry after lunch we were told we HAD to change our uniform everyday during lunch time and go get it switched at the "laundry mat". CRAZY! But it was so nice to be in a clean uniform during the second part of the day! We are STARK white! And if i get dirty, I still have a 3rd one i can go change into in my locker! it's great! Other than that, I start at 7:30am (on the days I work in the morning with a 30 min lunch break at 11:30-early but then again i eat breakfast at 6:30) with an ending time that no one has told me an exact time yet (however my first day i got off at 5:30 and my second day somewhere around there)! My days off are going to be Sun, Mon, and Tue. I will be working some night shifts (i think from 2pm-12pm?!) because I asked if I could plate and they said yes! Which means I will be working at the famous Alain Ducasse Plaza Athenee Restaurant. OMG that's amazing! Otherwise, the people are SUPER friendly, the boys are pretty cute (AND SOOOO nice), and I'm loving what I'm doing! I'm super happy here! I wish it was longer than a month :( are some pictures to start off with! Enjoy and there will be more to come :)

This one I got to put on the streusel, the orange peel, and the chocolate squares.

The chocolate I coated in chocolate glaze and sprinkled with almonds covered in gold powder, the pink I put onto the macaron and added the orange peel, the green I put onto the macaroon and added the green glaze dot on top, the white I place on the coconut sable and did the red lines and put on the wild strawberry!

These two cakes I got to make by adding the almond cream and then either the strawberry or pineapple chunks. Then it's baked. Then on top is for the strawberry: strawberry compote, powdered sugar, strawberries, glaze and strawberry marshmallow squares. For the pineapple (which I haven't personally done yet-except for cut the pineapple!) is pastry cream with Malibu rum (ARGH-that's for people who know Ben!), powdered sugar, pineapple, and glaze.

Now other things I've done but haven't posted....cut brunoise, made cookies, made mi-cuit (real version of the molten cake), made a few chantillys and creams, weighed ingredients, assembled a few petit gateaux (mini cakes), first in-first out the fruit in the fridge (i actually LOVE doing's a working in a restaurant thing! haha), and some other things which I know I did but i can't remember cause i left my notes at work! but i WILL keep you posted! Hope you enjoyed those few pictures! I can't wait to do more :) yipee!!! off to get some rest! toodles

Monday, February 25, 2008

Orientation/Plaza Athenee

YAH! Finally! I've been waiting for this day FOREVER! was a little longer than I imagined/wanted it to be! I started my day bright and early with a jog at 6:30 am. Not going to be doing that anymore, because i need to eat before i jog or I get from now on I will be jogging after work! Anyway, then I got all dolled up (hoping i was going to see the love of my life...chef michalak) because i wasn't allowed to wear jeans to orientation day (i should have at least worn flats-STUPID penny!!!) Well...the first thing we did was meet in a room with all of the other people that were newbies! This girl walks in right after me and starts speaking to me in french. I understood her, but i pardoned myself and told her I didn't speak much french. She asked me if i spoke English. I said yes and was thrilled. Then I asked her where she was staging because today wasn't just for culinary was for everyone who works within the hotel...and boy did i get lucky! She was staging in pastries like me! However...only for two weeks! But at least two weeks with someone who can speak English is better than nothing right?!?! Anyway, she also lives off the same metro line as me and we just chatted up a storm all day. There was another person who spoke English as well. But everyone else spoke french. So besides that, the day was planned out really well, but they didn't tell me where I was going, they just told me to leave my VERY sad but true, i didn't bring my camera with me when i left the room so i took no pictures. I'm very depressed! Anyway...I got my uniform/locker first thing in the morning! How exciting. They do the laundry for us also. EASY!!!! They also served us breakfast! So nice!! Then we toured half of the hotel (the rest we did later in the day). Then we had presentations up to wazoo! Then we had lunch, more touring of the hotel, more presentations, and then finished! So the day went from 9 am to 6 pm. LONG DAY! All I know is I start tomorrow at 7:30 am...nothing more. No schedule, no ending time...nothing! I got a fun little goodie bag at the end of the day which was cool! And I have some fun Plaza Athenee facts that you may want to know!

-580 employees at Plaza Athenee (of that 25 in Pastry- 20 patisserie/5 boulangerie
-280 of those employees are JUST service (meaning working in and around restaurants)
-a basic room goes from 565-4,600 euros
-The Eiffel tower suite (entire view you can see the Eiffel tower) is 6,600 euros (a night!)
-The royal suit, 450 m2, is 18,000 euros a night! (the princess of Fatar rents out 5 floors of this hotel yearly for one month-imagine how costly that is!!!)
-Alain Ducasse Plaza Athenee (the big restaurant) is a 3 Michelin starred restaurant which has wines from 25 euros to 14,000 euros per bottle.
-Plaisir menu-220 euros, collection menu-320 euros and the average person spends 386 euros when they eat dinner there.
-They do 5 dinners a week and 2 lunches.
-P.A. is part of the Dorchester Group which also owns a hotel in Beverly Hills, Milan, Le Meurice in Paris, London, and they are about to open up a hotel in NY.

I learned a lot more...but since the entire day was in kinda filtered one ear, out the other :)

I am VERY excited to start my stage tomorrow. I will bring my camera into the kitchen...but I don't wanna start taking pictures too soon! But i promise I will take as many as I can! Anyway, hope you enjoyed this blog more than I enjoyed my long day :) Now, I am going to bed because I know I have a LONG day ahead of me. Check back tomorrow for some more fun! toodles

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Disney take 2!

So Saturday I went to Disney with Manuel, Chris, Tyler and Asima! The reason we went was because Manuel is a year pass holder. He got an email for the month of February saying that he gets in for free and can bring up to 5 people for 10 euros a piece for 2 parks one day! So we were like...let's go!!!!! it's only about 35 min away and it's a 12 euro train it was SO cheap to go! It was a BLAST! We left Paris at 8ish and got into Disney at 8:30ish. Then my friends went to eat while i waited in line. Luckily i did! By the time 9:30 rolled around...the line was SO long! They eventually came in and met me and we entered the park at 10 am going to the Studios first because it closed earlier. We didn't quite get to do everything we wanted because some of the rides were closed and we wanted to wait around to see if they would re-open...which they ALL did and we got on pretty quickly. But then when we got to the second park, all of the fast passes were gone so we had to wait in line for a LONG time. The longest wait we had was Indiana Jones which was 80 min. But everything else was under that. The second longest was Space mountain which was 50 min. Other than that...nothing was longer that 30. What else?! We ate dinner at Planet Hollywood which was good and LATE....around 9:30ish we ate! We arrived in our houses at 11:30 and in bed by 12! (after waking up at 6:30...that was a LONG day!)

So this is a special blog! Not only do i have fun pictures (and FINALLY a picture with my amazing roommate Asima!) BUT there is a video...nothing big...that Tyler filmed (and you can hear her cute laugh!). But the music Chariot's of Fire was playing and I thought of doing that slow motion get the point! won't be as funny if you watch with out the sound. So enjoy!

Well...Disney was a success and i was with GREAT people! I came home exhausted! But WELL worth it. Enjoy the pics! I start my new stage I'm off to prepare. Check back this week for fun updates!!! Toodles