Chronicles of A Pastry School Student

He said I Couldn’t Do it

This month was more of a challenge than last month. Between appointments with my doctors, catching up on makeup work and going to class, I’m beaten, but of course I’m not beat. Some instructors have been understanding, others not so much. I’ve been put in a position where I have to prove myself to the chefs as well as my classmates.

Nobody wants to just give me a grade because I was sick. Nobody wants to partner up with someone who’s a liability—unfamiliar with techniques, how to scale out recipes or how to properly execute a project. This month, one chef told me I was too far behind and couldn’t catch up no matter how hard I tried. He actually said, “You can’t do it. You’re too far behind.” I was floored, then offended. In all my years of education, I had never been told I couldn’t do something. In my head, I told myself to calm down and politely disagree. After an uncomfortable silence, I said, “I know I am capable of performing well and doing the work. What do I need to do to become current in this class?” I’m unsure if my face matched my tone, but that wasn’t important. He rattled of a short list of projects and threatened to drop me if I missed another day—doctor’s appointment or not. He was nonchalant. I tried with all my might to not give the Chef the evil eye, but I’m almost sure that my eyes went evil as we spoke and for the remainder of the month. I silently vowed to perform at my highest levels no matter what. I rescheduled three doctor’s appointments and one procedure to my doctor’s dismay, but there was no way I was going to fail a class this semester or any other semester for that matter.

3-D Pumpkin Cake.

3-D Pumpkin Cake.

In the end, I did my best and produced good work. Some of my Chef Instructors were supportive, congratulating me on my resolve. Others who told me to quit the semester begrudgingly gave me passing grades. Though this was a rocky month, I managed to learn a lot more about different buttercream techniques, fondant, gum paste, cake carving, laminated doughs and cheesecakes. I’ve included a couple of photos from this month, the rest can be found under the Photos tab.

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