Culinary

Pastry Chefs Get All the Love!

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Pastry Chefs Get All the Love!

By Steve Walker-Duncan, M.Ed., CCC Department Chair, Culinary Arts Camosun College
By Steve Walker-Duncan, M.Ed., CCC Department Chair, Culinary Arts Camosun College

As winter begins to recede in our tropical corner of the Great White North, my thoughts start to anticipate springtime with its Valentine’s Day and Easter festivities. These occasions bring copious amounts of chocolate and sweet delights guaranteed to satisfy even the most indulgent, sweet-toothed chocoholic.

While students in the Professional Cook program learn pastry and baking skills all year round, this time of year provides wonderful opportunities to explore those culinary techniques—ones that are loved above all else. Primarily using the five fundamental ingredients common to the bakeshop, sugar, butter, flour, eggs, and milk, together with an array of flavouring components, apprentices learn to create decadent, beautiful desserts every evening for ten weeks in the ClassRoom Restaurant dining room program. (see below or visit www.camosun.ca/dining)

My food memories are strongest when it’s about desserts! Once I’ve enjoyed a fine meal, the likelihood is that it will be the dessert that evokes my most intense feelings and strongest emotional response. This is probably the case for a countless number of foodies out there. That’s why our apprentices expend such a considerable amount of passion and energy when they create spectacular dishes to conclude a dinner. We in the industry generally recognize and accept that pastry chefs garner a disproportionate

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amount of the glory for many meals enjoyed in restaurants because of this. (To all the pastry chefs out there, you know we love you!)

Diverse, yet complimentary, textures and flavours create the most satisfying desserts. Desserts offer cooks the opportunity to utilize a spectrum of ingredients from across the food realm. There are almost no limits to the creative process. Believe it or not, the use of unconventional ingredients such as salts, bacon, green tea, toast, beer, and even barbecue flavours are all fair game in today’s dessert universe.

Colours provide an important element when creating a dessert, too. Yet, it is not essential to display a rainbow palate each and every time to achieve a desirable impression on the clean white canvas of the plate.

RECIPE VANILLA BEAN PANNA COTTA WITH RASPBERRIES!

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