Archive for the school n stage Category

3 more weeks!!!hurrayyyy!!!!

Posted in school n stage on August 25, 2009 by fenny widjaja

my stage is ending in 3 weeks…woo hoo!!! glad that i can make it this far. just to refresh your memory, i’m doing my stage in l’Hotel Plaza Athenee. dunno whether any of you have heard it before, but it is very well known here and it is one of the Dochester Collection. before i started my stage, i was told by the head of the Human Resources that working in Plaza is really “fort”. at that time i was thinking ‘ of course it will be hard. i know it is hard. but i can do it’. i shouldn’t  have been that overconfident, i should have believed her. it is hard. physically n mentally<—–i think it’s just me. being so far away in a foreign country and working in a place that speaks you totally don’t know is a scary experience +, people @ work are just co-workers, they are not you friends even though they do bises every time!——- never it crossed my mind that working there will be as intense as i am experiencing right now.

couple of weeks ago, i burnt the casserole @ work. still don’t understand how did that happen! thinking back, it was actually really funny. but @ that time it was no joke! i immediately lost my confidence, the chefs didn’t trust me anymore. they all like ” $@%#**&^&$#%  Fenny. attention uh” felt so useless. but i think last week i slowly gained back their trust. hopefully this week will be better. i have to learn my mistake, get over it, move on n never repeat the same mistake again.

even though i do not like the stage, i am still glad i decided to go on. i really learn a lot from them(think i keep repeating myself on this).i get to see how a real kitchen work. how they do their mise en place, what kinds of equipment  they use, how they store their products, etc. my sis told me experience is expensive. she is right.

i’m not sure though whether this litte experience is good enough for me to open my own place. but i decide to continue with my plan and gain more experience while managing my patisserie. actually, what keeps me from not giving up the stage is my dream to open my own patisserie. so it is really my goal for now. i already have a bit of ideas on how it would be like, my future patisserie, that is.. so just going to continue in my planing n in prayer. 

enough of the heavy topic. all patisseries that i know of closed last few weeks, except laduree n sadaharu aoki. so didn’t get to eat cakes for one month. since they are opening this week(am very happy to inform you), i’m going to start to visit them again, starting tomorrow.


love n hate

Posted in school n stage on August 1, 2009 by fenny widjaja

i both love n hate my stage. loving it coz i learn many things that are not taught in school, i learn about kitchen layout, how they do stuff, basically all about labo de patisserie in the real world. don’t really understand why am hating it though….maybe because i am stuck in a confined area for 10 hrs everyday, having to ask chef  every time what to do, don’t really talk since my french sucks. n working makes me feel more homesick.

believe me. school kitchen and real kitchen are totally DIFFERENT. an example: made creme anglaise and tried to strain it. ask my favourite chef to help me hold the chinoise. halfway through the process, his comment was, ” (in french)what’s this?this is school way of doing. get rid of the chinoise.use mixer.then it’s good.”

think i’m more used to the system in the kitchen now. more confident in doing things. physically stronger, understanding more kitchen terms.

2eme semaine (2nd week)

Posted in school n stage on July 17, 2009 by fenny widjaja

this week passed by is already weekend. starting to enjoy intern. the sous chef still as strict as usual, but i am beginning to understand why he has to be like that. everyone also has different ways in doing things. one person says “do it this way”, and the other says,”no!no!no!that way”. then both of them argue in french which i don’t understand.  never a dull moment.

we do arm-shakes here. since i am usually doing stuffs, some chefs who come into the kitchen usually grabbed me in the arm and say “bonjour” or “salut”. they are the ones who don’t do the “bises”. have gotten everyone’s name by now. well, almost all.

i pity Vincent (we call him by his first name). he is under sous chef and is in charge of the stagiaires. as you can imagine, we call out his name all the time. then he says, “attend,attend(wait,wait). merde (shit)+other french cursing words,(in french)i am only one and people are all calling me. this is not working. one by one.” he’s never angry with us. worst case scenario, put both his hands on his face n says “mais non!pourquoi tu fais ca?!” or “qu-est ce que tu fais?!”

im just helping around and weighing up recipes. not really doing much. bt i think it is a really good experience working here. get to see the kitchen layout, the equipment n how they store their products.

stage-1st week

Posted in school n stage on July 11, 2009 by fenny widjaja

i started my stage 1 week later than my friends because my mom came to visit and i wanted to accompany her. hearing that all of them are enjoying their internship, i had high hopes on mine. turns out wrong! i am doing stage in a really expensive hotel .on the orientation day, there was a misunderstanding about what i had to wear. had to wear formal jacket and i didn’t, so the HR lady told me that they had to postpone my orientation and send me off to the kitchen instead. i met the sous chef before during my interview and thought he was very nice. again, i was wrong. he is very mean. he doesn’t like noise and mess.@ the end of the day, sous chef showed me the roster and turned out that my schedule is tuesday – friday, BUT IT WAS MONDAY!i shouldn’t have worked that day!!! he shud have told me to go home that morning if i wasn’t in the roster! i have more important thing to do, like, accompanying my mom!!!!! was a bit frustrated and guilty to mom coz she was leaving on wednesday and starting work means i can’t be with her since i start a@ 7.30 till 6.

wednesday was the worst coz my mom was leaving paris and couldn’t send her off. broke down in tears that evening. friday(yesterday) was my last day this week. felt much better.getting used to the kitchen. made few mistakes, but i learnt. 4 days of work is the limit. i worked 5 days, so it was a  bit too much for me. tired physically n mentally. every morning when i wake up, my body is aching. felt like having had a workout.

all the chefs in the patisserie area are men. 5 stagiaires, 3 korean girls, a french teen and me. the ‘bise’ culture isn’t what i used to doing, but by the end of the week,i find it to be a very friendly gesture! i had to stand on my toes though coz am too short. just don’t really like doing it by the end of the day where cheeks are a bit sticky…the kitchen smells really nice. many times better that the school kitchen. very clean. think that’s why the sous chef has to emphasize on cleanliness…must learn from him! i learn how to be more organized and work neat.  

 i am glad that i decided to have stage for 3 months. i don’t know if i will survive 6. vraiment tres fort! hopefully next week is going to be better

final exam

Posted in school n stage on June 29, 2009 by fenny widjaja

i had my final exam in ESCF ferrandi. during these 2 n half days, each of us  had  to produce:

1st day: tarte aux pommes, chaussons aux pommes n pithivier,an entremets, moka montage(nightmare!you will know why).they basically covered evrything that we had been taught until today!

on the first day,  chef told us to start, didn’t know where to start, really. just following what the rest were doing. it felt different coz i had to do everything alone, usually we did it in pairs. chef had calculated the time the day before, but we were about 1 hour behind!practical exams are quite scary. you can only have it fail or success n you can’t really re-check your work before submitting them. only the oven will tell how well you are doing.building the moka was a pain but managed it. didnt really score the pithiviers deep enough, need more apples for the tarte aux pommes. chef was like ‘where are the apples?’…didn’t have lumps in the bavaroise for the entremets…thumbs up. 1st day was exhausting enough. but 2nd day was worse!

2nd day: eclairs n religieuses, moka finishing, entremets finishing, creme anglaise for ice cream, moulding ice cream,chocolats(more nightmares + mess!)

really stressed out with the eclairs n religieuses.pate a choux piping was ok, but my pastry cream a bit too runny n my fondant is a disaster…but now i know what to improve on…finishing moka with piping…turned out better than i expected, entremets turned not bad. my chocolate wasn’t very shiny.found my strong point!!!!not trying to boast here, but i think i am quite good @ making chocolate cigarettes coz i didn’t really have any problem making it…my friend told me that i got a good score for creme anglaise too^^.


tarte aux pommes


the last day:marzipan flower,demoulding ice cream…nothing to say…we were not in the mood anymore…

from the exam, i can see what i am good @ n what i’m not…i still have lots of space for improvement.i believe this is just the beginning of my journey…

this week’s highlights

Posted in school n stage on June 6, 2009 by fenny widjaja

had the first exam since the course started. b.o.u.l.a.n.g.e.r.i.e. i had a trial the week before n my result wasn’t very good.i didn’t have enough time to bake the croissants n pains aux chocolats…T_T..

i read some notes my friend gave me(big thanks!!^^..i’m too lazy to write notes…) the night before exam. n that’s the only preparation i could do other than praying for the best and had a good night sleep(which i hadn’t had that night…)

exam started at 6.30 am. everyone was on-time. we had briefing and then started the exam. for boulangerie classes, we usually do it threes or at least in pairs. but we had to do it alone during exam.that added the pressure. but everything went well. all of us did our own breads quite calmly. better than expected. we had done everything @noon. which was early coz the time limit is 12.30. the boulangerie chef was very pleased with our works. he said that we did better than  some of his students who had been in school in 2 years!! that’s really a big compliment…


each of us had to make:baguettes-4kg flour, shaping brioche,10croissants,9 pains aux chocolats, 1batch speciality bread. i made an incorect scoring for my speciality bread(picture bottom right. that’s incorrect!)


i had my interview for internship in l’hotel Plaza Athenee!!!!the moment i had been waiting for. i was quite intimidated coz it is a BIG hotel (i mean BIG in reputation…not so sure about the size)the building itself is really pretty. bright red flowers on the sides of the entrance and on the balconies, red canopies, can’t remember what else is red.will check on that. i got treated really well by the staffs and my interviewer. didn’t ask me difficult questions. maybe she thought that i wouldn’t be able to answer them anyway since i understand better than i talk in  french. but all goes well n i even got to see the pastry kitchen!i hope i made a good impression and do well during intern!!

plaza athenee

here’s is a note they gave me for my 1st day orientation(^_^)(^_^)(^_^)

felt really happy, i ate a lot that day 

deliziefolieice cream @ deliziefolie-pistachio and raspberry

al tagliopizza @ al taglio…they price it by the kilogram. didn’t know which one i got. but really fatty.

jacques genineclair au chocolat @ jacgues genin. a really good chocolatier located in 133 rue de turenne. expensive for an eclair 4.80 euros. but it’s all worth it!

soup for the stomach

Posted in dates with M.Goût, school n stage on May 25, 2009 by fenny widjaja

more food. decided to have something light for a change(yeah…right…). went to have soup in lebarasoupes. cute small soup bar. there was only one lady serving at that time. but she managed to keep her smile. i really like her.

there were 7 soupes to choose from, one of the is gaspacho type.  i went for the -carottes,gingembre,ananas- soupe. the lady asked me whether i wanted it cold or hot (another cold soup offered other than the gazpacho). it was quite a hot day n i would like to  have something refreshing, but my mouth processed faster than my brain. so i said “chaud”(regretted it when the lady already scooped a ladle of soup and asked me kindly to have a seat).a bit pessimistic of how the soup would taste like. i had my first spoon and liked it immediately. i thought probably be nicer cold, but having it hot was as good. could taste the sweetness from the carrots, the tanginess from the pineapple and the zing from the ginger.drool*


i tried to eat as clean as possible coz i pitied the lady working alone. but failed to do so…the poppy seed went evrywhere.but managed to tidy up before paying.

in conclusion, please….can i have some more…?