Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Baby You Can Frost My Cake

So, yes, I went and interviewed for a job in a bakery today. I'll find out later this week whether they'll hire me, or take me on as an intern, or whatever (I didn't even ask about pay). They need help decorating cakes right now--before I could tell him I suck at that, he saw the look on my face and said that I didn't need to know how to do any of it. I said that's good, because my piping skills are in their infancy (in the interests of full disclosure), and he didn't seem the least bit taken aback by that. There's apparently not much call for bread in the winter--they sell a lot more in the summer, at the farmers' markets. The guy who's doing their laminated doughs (i.e., croissants) might be moving to the decorating thing, so I said hey, I'll do laminated doughs, no problem. One thing made me feel really good: he (let's call him K) said that Chef Bob only sends people to the shop that Chef Bob thinks would fit in with the place, that K has called Chef Bob and said "Hey, do you have anyone for me?" and Chef Bob has said, "Not in this group." It was really interesting: It was clear that Chef Bob's recommendation carried a lot of weight. Which makes it all the more cool that Chef Bob sent me there. K knows his shit: he's a master baker, and he runs a successful business. He knows some of the things I need to know--a lot of them.

In other news, I need to decide within the next 24 hours whether to do the nougat for the in-laws' store; they're putting their newsletter together, and it can feature the nougat if I want it to do so. I sent an email to an insurance agent I know, and I'll check with the chef tomorrow about why my nougat was so goopy. I guess I'm going to try to do this . . .

Today's plated desserts: poached pears with hazelnut financier and hazelnut ice cream (quite tasty); panna cotta with berries; and red-wine-poached plums with a little linzer cake (the cake was good, the plums not so much), spice ice cream, and florentine tuile (no, no spinach in it). I figured out what I don't like about these things (or maybe I told you guys this already). Basically, I've never done plated desserts before, so I really kind of suck at it. Could I get better at it? Yeah, probably--but not in two weeks. It's like wedding cakes and chocolate sculptures that way: I could get better at it with practice, but my complete and total lack of skill right now is completely demoralizing.

The job interview, on the other hand, was less demoralizing. Waiting to hear from him will be a challenge, but I'll keep busy with the plans for the nougat.


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