March 18, 2014

By: Ocean Babin, Pastry Arts Student

Last week I wrote about students at Escoffier coming first and that I am on a leave of absence until I heal from an emergency surgery. Because of the surgery, I have missed over five weeks of school and today my group that I began this journey with, are preparing their final meal before heading out on their externships.

The Culmination Tea Party is something new at Escoffier.

A Change Is Gonna Come

Change is something that will happen often in life, and Escoffier is not just teaching cooking, but they are teaching us about life; life in the kitchen.

During my course in the Pastry Arts; I have had different Chef Instructors. This was very hard on me each time because I become attached to people and I hate change that I cannot control, but I realized that I was receiving a richer education because of these changes.

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Chef Amy was our first official Chef and she is perfect for the new student. She is caring and made me feel relaxed, yet she is strict about being prepared and ready for class. She taught us how to prepare a production sheet for each day, so that we would be able to be organized as an individual and as a group. She took us through the joy of baking cookies, my favorite French cookie the macaron, scones and other delicious
breads and pastries.

After the more laid back approach of Chef Amy, we were in for a big change when we received Chef Suzanne. Chef Suzanne is an enigma to me. She was far stricter than any other chef, but she was knowledgeable in our next six weeks of ice cream, cakes and tortes. She taught us the importance of being extremely clean while working, which helped me realize that not everyone has the same gift of cleanliness that I possess. She, like Chef Amy, is very caring and will give you her ear if you need to talk about a problem or if you just want to share a joke.

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Chef Dan is the master of chocolate like Willy Wonka, but without the whimsicality. He taught me so much about chocolate, which was one of my favorite parts of the course. He liked things to be done in order, by the rules, which I appreciated. I think Chef Dan is more of an enigma than Chef Suzanne because I sometimes saw myself in him and I am not sure that I know myself too well.

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And then Chef Kelly. She taught us about baking breads, healthy foods and eating healthfully, which was in perfect time, since I had surgery after it. Chef Kelly was different than all the other chefs. She knows what each student needs, even if they do not realize it. She knows how to build a team and how to build character into students. She sees everything in black and white and does not let you be deceitful. She will also be your biggest champion, standing in your corner, cheering you on to success. She taught us how to be human.

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Escoffier School of Culinary Arts is not just a cooking school or a pastry school. It is a school that will teach you about the real world of the kitchen and if you are fortunate enough to be open-minded and open-hearted, they will help you change to be a better chef and a better person.