"It comes full circle"

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

This post is a combination post about week 10 with the revelation of my big news after that.

(Can you tell how sleepy I still am? My eyes are all tired, still. heh)

Chef Thompson made a comment this week that this class has "come full circle" for me. I began the quarter week 1 helping on pastry, though I was officially a server, and finished out the quarter this week back on pastry, this time with my usual A La Carte partner, Stacy.

Noone had changed up the platings of the desserts, even though creative liberty was allowed. Being who I am, I couldn't do what everyone else did all quarter, even though the original decoration of the cookies was mine, too. I had seen these:

one day while squirreling around on pastry blogs and decided to try them out. I've searched for a half hour and can't friggin' find where I originally found it, so please message me if you know where they came from so I can give credit!!

So this is my version of the cookie.

The antlers are much longer and thinner because of the difference in cookie cutters. Chef Thompson's was tall and thin, not short and fat.

I also made some teeeeeeeeeny tiny ones to go on top of the butterscotch pudding.

One more week to go!!!! Only ONE MORE WEEK!!! Portfolio Review is December 15th, and there WILL be a trio of mini cupcakes there for you to sample, if you decide to come say hello. If not, you can come out to Roy's Hawaiian Fusion in Jax Beach in the next few weeks and purchase them off the dessert menu, because my big news is that I am now Head Pastry Chef there!

My friend, Natane, who I have mentioned in this blog numerous times before, was working pastry there ever since the previous Pastry Chef left 3ish months ago. She told them about me over and over until they finally told her to have me come in. I took in my resume on a Tuesday to the Owner/Chef Partner, Adam Hyatt, and had an interview right then and there. I was hired unofficially until I went online and took the corporate evaluation, and was officially offered the position that Thursday. I immediately drove my two weeks notice to Nippers, and grinned all the way home.

I am so thankful for my time at Nippers. I learned so much there, and being surrounded by such astounding rigidity and people with such work ethic only made me better. I have what I would consider a deep internal drive to work my hardest as it is, but Nippers gave me the tools and practice to work my hardest in the most efficient manner. I can tell that this is noticed at Roy's. I immediately get dressed when I come in and gather my tools, my sanitizer, my bus tubs, my tasting spoons, and pots and pans. I have a list of what I need to get accomplished that day, and have done my work outSIDE of work to make sure that I can knock out my list with speed and efficiency.

I have creative liberty at Roy's, and we have established a plan to replace items on the current menu with my own creations until soon all the items will be mine, with the exception of Roy's Signature Chocolate Souffle. (Amazing, by the way, and well worth the 20 minutes of waiting for it to come piping hot to your table, fresh from the oven.) There were times at the end of Nippers that I was second guessing myself, wondering if I was any good. I know now that I am. Natane messaged me several times during this whole process, giving me words of encouragement that she didn't even know I needed. They literally brought tears to my eyes sometimes. She just believed in me so much, and trusted in my capabilities SO MUCH, that she made me believe her, too.

Am I ready to be Head of Pastry at Roy's? Hell yes. Will I mess up here and there. Undoubtedly. Am I going to give it my all, though? HELL YES! In the last three weeks, I have pushed my anxiety aside so many times and just told it to shut the fuck up. I don't have the time for anxiety at work. I just keep telling myself I can do this. I AM doing this. I will NOT let Natane down. She recommended me so highly, and I want to prove her right. The people at Roy's are absolutely amazing. All of them. It is such a warm environment, with family being a focus. I have been welcomed there with such excitement and open arms, literally, which has been such a soothing balm to my spirit. I love going to work. I have such a love for the people there, truly, already. Chef Adam has such a positive attitude, and it just emanates from him. His passion for the food and coming up with new items shows in the end product. He works hard at building up his team, and is rewarded with a staff who has been with him for a great length of time, many for the entire seven years Roy's Jax Beach has been open. I think that speaks greatly to a positive work environment, and I cannot begin to give enough praise to that aspect.

I have already grown since I have been there. I plated 29 dessert trios at the same time the other night, after prepping two of the three items myself previously. I have taught myself how to temper chocolate and have created beautiful truffles. I have notebooks and scads of ideas and recipes spinning through my mind at any given moment. I have a COTTON CANDY MACHINE and and ice cream machine at my disposal, and instructions to let Adam know what else I want. Seriously! *Can you feel my giddiness coming through?? Sometimes words just are not enough, which is why I put this entry off for so long. It needed time to soak in before I could even begin to communicate how exciting of a venture this is for me.* I am just blown away with gratitude for this job. I am getting paid to do what I am most passionate about (besides my family, of course). I think anyone who can say that, especially in this economy, is extremely fortunate and I plan to never, for a single moment, take that for granted.

So here is a ginormous, massive, screaming from the top of my lungs, "THANK YOU" to the universe.

Weeks 8+9

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Week 8 I was serving again. I have come to the point that I am not nearly as anxious about this, and it's pretty much a breeze. Aunt Toshia brought in three of her kids and Harmony and Layla on Tuesday, and since she "never says no!" to my kids, they promptly ordered desserts only (Harmony ordered the whoopie pies

AND the gingerbread men with butterscotch pudding)
and sugary beverages. Oh well. I was in class until 6, what did I care? She got to deal with the aftermath. Haha!! It was a fun surprise, though, and the kids loved getting to see me at school.

Week 9 I was back on Garde Manger with Stacy. Everything went even more smoothly that the first week. The Duck Confit salad had been taken off the menu, and Stacy got to prepare the Amuse Bouche for the day instead, which Chef had prepped the items for. Tuesday, Chef had me mise out a batch of focaccia bread which I then made and baked on Wednesday.

We are getting SO close to the end and I am scrambling to finish up my final projects. There is other big news in my working world, but I will leave that for another post. :D It's pretty friggin' exciting though.

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