Well, it’s officially La Rentrée this week – all the kids going back to school, a full staff at work, and a new batch of apprentis! I was very pleased to see a girl apprentice when I came to work on Tuesday. What’s even cooler is that she used to work downstairs in the boutique and finagled her way into an apprenticeship with no prior culinary training. Of course Le Patron is constantly asking her if the work is too hard or tiring, as though he doesn’t expect her to be able to handle it. She’s got some spunk though, and already knows how to handle him. Plus she’s already familiar with the pastries, which definitely gives her a leg up on the other two apprentices (both young, and I mean YOUNG as in no facial hair yet, boys). Girl power!
So now that we’re fully staffed again, I have been put in charge of replenishing the supply of chocolates and confections for the chocolate boutique portion of the business. (Many pâtisseries in Paris have accompanying chocolateries. Notably, Arnaud Larher and Pierre Hermé have both recently opened shops devoted entirely to their macaron and chocolate creations.) Anyway, what this means is that I’ve been tucked away in the cooler garde-manger room making ganaches and pralinés, spreading them evenly into square frames, chilling them, and then taking them out so I can use the frames again. It’s one of those fairly boring tasks that I tend to approach with a zen-like state of mind, finding pleasure in the calm of the repeated actions and letting my thoughts wander. This morning, for example, I ruminated on possible titles for a cookbook I’m trying to write. Tomorrow I will give each square a thin coating of chocolate and cut them into perfect little rectangles. Looks like more zen time ahead.
Originally published on Croque-Camille.