Just like any other learning program, you always have to start at the very bottom and learn the basics before you can make your way up to the top.  Back in Basic and Intermediate, we had to follow recipes to a tee… making dacquoise over and over again and having the concept of a good jus drilled so deep into our brains that we were browning bones in our sleep!   Finally, now that we’ve reached the Superior level, we’re finally able to breakaway from tradition and utilize our creativity and imagination to make the dishes our very own =D  Even during demo, the chefs stray away from the recipes and add their own personal twists.  I have to admit, it’s quite refreshing and very liberating ;)

After a couple days pulling sugar, our hands seemed to have adapted to the harsh conditions and our arms had become stronger… pulling sugar into roses and ribbons no longer seemed like an impossible task, but still not a piece of cake =P  The second part of our pastry exam would be a sugar sculpture of our own creation. Luckily, we got a few trial runs before the big day =)

The most exciting bit of news came at the end of the week.  For our final exam in cuisine, we were given a list of seasonal ingredients to create our own dishes:  an amuse-bouche to be served in a shot glass, and a main course featuring two garnishes and a sauce.

Scallops, mussels, and brill were some of the highlights, and since winter was almost upon us, endives and chestnuts were also present.  Since chestnuts haven’t been in season up until now, Chef prepared for us the ultimate autumn soup with chestnuts and gingerbread.  The soup had just the right amount of nuttiness and perfectly warmed the soul with its smooth and silky texture.  With just a slight hint of gingerbread, we all knew Christmas was just around the corner, and with only a week left to go, we were all anxious to be done with our exams!

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