Today, Wednesday the 1st of June, I proudly graduated from my two and a half month introduction to French Pastry.
For this early morning at our graduation from Basic Cuisine and or Patisserie, before anything was said regarding the students or why we were here, we heard of the history and international reputation of LCB
LCB International is represented by:
23000 students each year
And straight from the Directors mouth we were told that it is “One of the greatest international institutions for culinary and management training, and it participates in research, and is a famous member of multiple culinary associations”.
We were all waiting patiently, but the propaganda and self-praise continued as each of the chefs were introduced with their careers and illustrious positions recited.
Behind the Director and translator was a line-up of esteemed chefs on a raised platform, although there were many glaring voids with key chefs missing in action. Those in attendance seemed uneasy and bored up on the stage.
Chef Daniel Walter, having retired and simply been helping to teach us for fun, was not in attendance to my honest disappointment and our hardened task master and trainer Chef Cotte who we were informed had been at the school for 9 years, it turns out was currently preparing our petit fours.
Here we all were waiting diligently for what was an important event for many of us, in a pretty disappointing situation. The graduation was held in the winter garden at the back of the school where we normally wait in between class – unlike the superior students whose graduation is held in the hall of a grand hotel.
First the head of Basic Cuisine presented the overall standards in the exam – it turns out that he wasn’t very impressed with the carving of the Margret de Canard, but there was some well cooked fish.
Finally it came to the time when we were the centre of the event and they began calling out the names of the students who had completed their Basic Certificate in Cuisine, plus those who had completed both the Cuisine together with the Pastry certificates.
The chefs were chuckling in the background at the pronunciation of the names by the director, some students actually unaware of the need to stand up as their names had been so misinterpreted, but even more so they were aghast at the huge number of students who didn’t even turn up. The number of names that went entirely unanswered was astonishing.
Before the Patisserie Students were called the head of intermediate Pastry reflected that although we went well, “some tarts didn’t look like tarts” but this will improve with intermediate.
When finally pastry students were called up after the cuisine graduates we filed up one by one.
I was very happy to go up and receive my Certificate de Patisserie de Base and my exam marks, pose for a photo and then sign the ledger of students.
But my proudest moment was watching my friends graduate in the Top 5’s in Cuisine and Pastry, but especially my two classmates who came first and third in Pastry out of all 56 students!
After the ceremony was complete we all shared in champagne and petit fours in the demonstration room.
And as I was eating these delectable and flavourful and inspirational petit fours all I kept saying to myself was why couldn’t we learn to make these!!!
The in-house catering from the chefs was impeccable. Each bite was perfectly balanced in sweetness, flavour and texture!
There was a foie gras mouse on sable, a coffee set mouse, a lemon macaron, a financier, a red fruit macaron, canelé, a chocolate mousse, chouquettes and some savoury petit fours which I didn’t even touch.
Not only did some of my friends succeed in basic, one of my great friends came 1st in intermediate pastry!
Who could have asked for anything more!!
After the party we headed for a coffee down to convention and then made a plan to celebrate the best way we know how – spend money!
And for two of us a long awaited visit to Libraire Gourmand, the gourmet library, was a great way to commemorate our graduation. Of course the books I bought were all in French – but c’est la vie!