Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I Could Tell You the Recipe, but Then I'd Have to Kill You (not really)-- posted by Sarah Grace

I can't believe it. I actually finished culinary school!

I have had so much fun that I don't know whether to laugh or cry now that it's over! I was blessed enough to have a great class environment to work in, where pretty much everyone got along with each other and had a great time. I will miss them all terribly.

For our final in Advanced Pastry we had to make four identical desserts for Chef to critique flavor and presentation. I literally lost sleep thinking of what I was going to prepare. I wanted to make something using whole foods, since that's my thing, but because my last attempt at making a whole foods dessert didn't go quite as planned, my anxiety was heightened.

I decided to do it anyway. I converted my grandmother's cream cheese fruit pie recipe to whole foods, and since we had to make two sauces to accompany it, I decided on a lemon sauce and a raspberry coulis. I also chopped some raw macaroon almonds for a crunch factor. Taste-testing at the house went well, but then the trouble came when I thought of how on earth I was going to plate it!

For those of you who don't know me, let me give you some insight as to how artistic I am. A few months ago my grandmother sent us an email that determined artistic strength by the amount of time it takes to find a man's face in a picture of coffee beans. I have yet to find the face.

After a million test-runs and even more prayers, it was time to present it to Chef.... she absolutely loved it! I couldn't believe my ears as I heard her rave about the flavor of the buttery crust (made with freshly ground whole wheat pastry flour) and the great mouth feel it had. She said it was very European in that it was only slightly sweet, and the crust was pleasantly unique from the typical graham cracker or butter crust. She also encouraged me to continue making dishes with whole foods, as she has seen an increased interest in restaurant goers for whole food cuisine.

More exciting news is that one of my chefs has enlisted my help in marketing one of his recipes. I don't want to say too much, but I'm helping him convert his ingredients to "all natural" and we'll be exploring whole foods. We're planning to meet with the packaging company soon after graduation. I'll be sure to let you know where you can buy some of this mystery product!


Ali Cato said...

What an accomplishment! And it looks absolutley devine :-)!

The Allen Family said...

Thanks Ali!

Graduation was wonderful, and one of the most special things was that your mom and Tim helped us celebrate!

I so appreciate that your mom made it to the graduation and the dinner party at Al's Upstairs, even though she was working in Charleston during the day. Wow! And Tim showing up for dinner was the icing on the cake!

It was truly a night to remember.

Sarah Grace