Posts Tagged ‘Chocolate’
“You do only get one shot at this life, so why not incorporate it in a way that is not only fun, but also make it voyage, make it an adventure…” -Michael Mast
Yesterday we watched a video that was produced a few years back that still resonates with chocolate lovers and creative types alike. The passion shared between the Mast brothers over this edible craft is astounding and I can understand why. What feels like a long time ago, I was in culinary school and I fell in love with chocolate. Now I know what you are thinking… I have always loved chocolate (that much is true), but until I worked with chocolate I could not possibly comprehend what the Mast brothers felt.
There’s an interesting link between chocolate and imagination – the Willy Wonka effect. The moment you watch Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory for the first time (the eighth time yesterday), it leaves you wanting everything; ideas that rest in your wildest imagination. What you may perceive as unattainable now; dreams are what motivates us as youth. It is unfortunate when creativity becomes less important in your life, when imagination disconnects with reality.
We are constantly taught the differences between dreams and reality. It is a part of growing up, right? Society’s creative types are often glorified for their contributions and at times ridiculed for the same reasons. In the end, whatever the case may be they are people who never lost touch with their imagination. They are people who can not separate dreams from reality because they discovered that for them there is no need to.
Dream. Imagine. Create. Live.
“Imagination and fiction make up more than three quarters of our real life.” – Simone Weil
Imagine what real life would be like without imagination? Without people expanding their minds, seeing past the stars, the concept of creativity would not exist. This can be applied to any creative medium. Imagine a world without poetry, music, photography, or food… not a pretty place. When people embrace imagination, people create, and when people create the world benefits.
My latest project in culinary school was to design a chocolate showpiece. Instead of following the trend of using American elements to compose our showpiece, my partner and I decided to side with the French. We used very organic looking shapes to represent our 101 Dalmatians (our project’s theme was Disney movies) concept. What I like most about our piece is its simplicity. Every piece present is clean, eye catching, and not too busy. While complexity is not necessarily a bad thing, there’s just something special about a simple and effective design.
It was truly a pleasure to witness my entire class use their imagination to create chocolate showpieces representing their favorite childhood movies.
Believe it or not, but my pastry program is almost over. Months of sweet, delectable knowledge is stored in my head and can be brought to life with my hands. With that being said, I have been dipping my fingers in chocolate for the past month.
In the beginning, I could not stand tempering (the process of melting and raising the temperature) chocolate. It was time consuming, messy, and well… boring. Although I understood the importance of the tempering process, my classes dragged. That all changed once I tasted the finished candies. There’s something special about eating chocolate that is shiny (and that contains sea salt).
That does not mean out of temper chocolate is not delicious (and cool looking)!
I am currently working on a showpiece with my partner, Danielle, and needless to say it has been a challenge. You never know what is going to break until it does. Our theme is 101 Dalmatians and I must admit I love the direction we are taking it in. We are combining the organic flowiness (not a real word) of French showpieces opposed to the blocky (also not a real word) American style. I am a big fan of symbolism, so this should be a fun ride.
Two weeks ago, I was walking up and down the aisles of the International Restaurant & Food Show pondering what it must be like to be a restaurant owner. Although I am only a culinary student, the dream of opening a small shop with my best friends is always in the back of my mind. While the exhibitors pitched their products in the background, I was deaf to what they were saying and was focused on the bigger picture; dedicating my time, sharpening my skills, and achieving my goal.
I heard from a number of chefs that when they started their careers the workload was brutal. While I can not say I am looking forward to the extremely long hours and even less sleep, I know it comes with the territory and I am prepared. Sometimes I have my doubts and I gradually grow worrisome, but then I see things like this…
The thought of a team of pastry chefs (normal people like you and I) planning and executing every detail of this piece is nothing short of amazing. Art and pastry go hand in hand, but it is sculptures like this that really set me back. It inspires me, it challenges me to do better; I must try my best. Again, I am merely a student, but I strive to be someone of influence.