French Entremet class at Savour School
I’m not a pastry chef or in the industry for work, I have recently finished studying a totally unrelated degree at University and was fortunate enough to have the support (financially and emotionally) of my family and boyfriend to go through a series of classes at Savour Chocolate and Patisserie School.
I’m not sure if it is normal for someone to take 9-10 classes all in one go over the span of 1 month (besides their VIP students), but I’m really glad I did it. I had other plans for early 2014 I didn’t really look into classes at Savour until October last year, so I didn’t have much time to apply for their VIP Program*.
There is no doubt that I have gained a lot out of my time at Savour. I am naturally an impatient, aggressive and careless person – you put three of those together and it would be a disaster in this field. As Paul (he is the instructor for most of my classes) put it: “you need to step back and think/listen, don’t just go go go!”. It is a very true analysis of my personality and behaviour and it is something I have been working on (slowly) in all aspects of my life.
A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate enough to be invited by Manfred Rindler to attend the in-house competition held at the Callebaut Academy, Shanghai. This competition was co-hosted by the Callebaut Academy and yeslicake.com, and there were 9 contestants from all over China.
The theme of the competition was “七夕”, which is the Chinese Valentine’s Day. Chinese legend has it that there was a goddess from Heaven who was sent to Earth, subsequently fell in love with a farmer. This was discovered by the Gods and she was forced to leave Earth and return to Heaven. Since the separation, both of them were in pain as they longed to see each other everyday. Therefore, the Gods decided that they could see each other once a month on the 7th of July (Lunar calendar) over a birds made bridge.
This was a love story and the contestants had to make a chocolate mousse cake and a chocolate showpiece based on this theme. It was my first time witnessing a competition of this kind and it was definitely an eye opener for me, especially to watch how the contestants skilfully put together each component of their chocolate show pieces.
The contestants were all of varied levels of skills, some of them were beginners who have just recently attended a beginners’ class at the Academy. I really admired them for their passion and their effort.
The contestants were judged based on the chocolate showpiece, cleanliness of their work and the taste of the cakes.
“Will you marry me?”
I visited this place on a Saturday afternoon and the place was packed with dine-in customers。 Although it was already 4pm, the display cabinet was still kept quite full. I am guessing Chez Shibata receives quite a lot of orders in addition to their walk-in customers as there were at least 6 staffs in the kitchen.