harvest moon

Now that we’ve all reached the superior level in cuisine and (hopefully) learned the basics of classical French gastronomy, the chefs have continued to expand our palettes by exploring more international flavors.  Guacamole with white fish ceviche, peach melba with hibiscus, coconut shrimp with lemongrass,  and streusel with passion fruit sorbet are just a few examples of how our French chefs think out of the box…. call it French fusion if you well =P

But of course, we must never forget our French roots  ;)

This was a short week in pastry, but the one class we did have marked the beginning of what seemed like a very long journey back to chocolate… definitely proving to be a love-hate relationship.  Our chocolate bonbons with caramel au beurre centers were filled with ooey, gooey goodness, but tempering the chocolate just right to get that nice shine on the outside and that perfect crunch when you first bite into it was a definite test of our own temperaments.  It’s no wonder artisan chocolatiers can charge an exuberant amount for their creations!   Making chocolate taste good is one thing, but making it look good is a whole other ballpark!  It’s not a profession to be taken lightly and requires a serious amount of passion for cocoa =P  And on top of that, it’s an extremely dirty job!  By the end of the day, you’ll be covered with chocolate stains, but on the bright side, at least you’ll be smelling heavenly ;)

Even with our stomachs full of chocolate bonbons, the harvest moon was cause enough for a celebration and more FOOD!   And on top of that, a friend from back home came to visit me in Paris!  We didnt’ have champagne, but one of my schoolmates had just returned from a short trip to Taiwan and brought back with him “‘tai yang bing” or sun pastries to share.  So instead of the traditional mooncakes served during the mid-autumn festival, we had our sun cakes filled with sweet honey, personally imported from Taiwan =D  Naturally, we devoured dessert first before our feast at L’Orient d’Or in the 9th, a Chinese restaurant we found specializing in Hunan cuisine.

With the full moon out shining high above us, we walked home completely stuffed and exhausted =P  We had reached the halfway point in superior cuisine and pastry, and even though the harvest moon meant that the time difference between moonrises on successive evenings would be shorter than usual, we all knew, longer days were ahead of us.

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