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Monday, January 23, 2012

Reflections and Changes.

2011 was quite a year for me.
It had its ups and downs but ultimately things twisted and turned for the better.

Many have asked why I have been so inactive on my blog lately...

I can finally say that for the past two months I have been working as a pastry cook at a restaurant in Downtown Los Angeles. However, before you start thinking things, I'd like to say that cakes will always and forever be my number one passion and that I will never stop making them. It may take me a few days longer to compile tutorials, publish blog posts and complete cakes, but I will never stop. Ever.

For the longest time I was a cake snob. I wanted to create cakes and only cakes. Though I learned the fundamentals of French pastries in culinary school, I never bothered to take another look at them after graduating. Plating desserts? Eh. Not my thing. Viennoiserie? Too stressful. Saucing plates? Nerve-wracking. Working in a big kitchen? Intimidating. Looking like a Pillsbury Dough Boy everyday at work? You must be kidding me. Having my work schedule be different every single week? I strive for stability.

My stubbornness and ignorance left me building my cake portfolio full time for nearly two years. (To be fair, there aren't as many cake-centered establishments in Los Angeles as opposed to NYC.) There were some opportunities that came my way but I did not want to work at any bakery just for the sake of working. I wanted to work at an establishment full of passion and energy. I wanted to grow. I wanted to learn. I wanted to work for a prestigious and well-established cake shop-- even if it meant scrubbing toilets-- than work at a place where passion had fizzled ages ago.

Well, towards the latter part of the two years or so, I was getting job offers from several bakeries, but there was a catch: they wanted me to stop Miso Bakes.

Are. you. kidding. me?

There was a brief moment when I took it into consideration, but I talked myself out of it. This blog and my Facebook page were (and are) a part of my identity and if they wanted to hire me, it was either all or nothing.

Ironically, the following day, I learned that a friend had temporarily moved to Paris to take pastry courses at the original, and main, Le Cordon Bleu institution. I sat in front of my computer for awhile. Something inside me sparked. Lucky. She's so lucky. My semester abroad in Europe as an undergraduate flashed in my mind. I remember standing in front of Lenotre and Laduree in Paris with my mouth open. Their show windows were breath-taking. The feminine creations gently kissed with gold screamed opulence. I frequented Harrods just to view their confectionery creations. My feet automatically stopped every time I walked by a Patisserie Valerie or Paul's bakery so I could glue my face to their windows. The plated desserts served at some restaurants were so extravagant and chic that I did not want to eat it.

That used to be me. And that was all before I attended culinary school or knew a single thing about sugarpaste.

Suddenly, I wanted to re-learn everything I learned in culinary school. I felt like I knew enough about cakes to form a strong foundation and believed it was time to build upon that foundation. I wanted to introduce various European techniques to fondant-covered cakes. Not to mention, I thought it was crucial for me to know and learn how a kitchen ran if I wanted to open my own cake shop or cafe later on in life. I set my worries aside and took a leap of faith and in faith.

Today I work in a kitchen setting. I start work at 2:30 PM and get home well past midnight most nights. My social life has suffered tremendously and the inconsistent work schedule has left me on the edge. However, I must say that I'm quite excited for what lies ahead for me and for this blog. I cannot wait to share the various techniques learned (in culinary school) and re-learned (at the restaurant).

Therefore, please bear with my inactivity or 'slowness'. I'm always thinking of you guys-- even while at work. : )

Let's all be excited for an amazing 2012!

4 comments:

  1. Congrats to you for taking that leap of faith! I know it will work out for the best and we will all be here waiting for the next post:) Best wishes!

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  2. I know there are only good times ahead for us and I wil wait :) and all the best to you, have a super awesome year - marylou.alb

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  3. Congratulations! It's been quite the year for me too! I decided to start my own thing and it is going well so far. I hope things settle down a little for you. So far I have found that in this line of work it seems that the only thing that you can rely on is constant change!

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  4. Congratulations! I feel exactly as you do. I had a helluva 2011 and this year has just been picking up for me. I am taking on challenges and jumping on opportunities. Keep believing in and pushing yourself and your goals will come to fruition (sp?).

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