Sunday, November 1, 2009

What I'm reading

I felt bad that I hadn't yet read The Life Of Pi by Yann Martel. I've been hearing about this wonderful book since its winning the Man Booker in 2002, and Yann Martel is an author I deeply respect, notably for his incessant promotion of culture to our country's leaders in Ottawa. In 2007, following a prime ministerial snub of the Canada Council for the Arts, he started sending, every 2 weeks, a book to our Prime Minister Stephen Harper to show him that culture is important and vital. Harper has never, to my knowledge, acknowledged.
The book is inspiring, touching, intelligent, poetic, philosophical, amazing. My boyfriend was reading it in French (translated by Martel's parents) and I realized that we also owned the original English version.
Read this book and you'll be changed.

Meeting Rose !

Last week, I met Rose Levy Beranbaum. I always get nervous when meeting people who are important to me, and even more so when I stand out : out of the 40-something people present, I was one of maybe 5 men, and I was the tallest. I also tend to sweat a lot and babble which only adds to my awkwardness. And to top it all off, being a natural groupie, I came bearing gifts. My goals were to 1) not be disappointed in meeting a hero of mine ; 2) make it into Rose's blog and 3) not make a total fool out of myself. Done, done, and I think... done.

Here's a link to Rose's blog :

When I told her my name, she hesitated and then remembered me from having posted a comment on her blog concerning Nespresso coffee machines. I don't think she realized or remembered that I had previously posted several other times on several other topics, but who cares, right? I rang a bell ! She signed three books for me, one of which is for my sister in Switzerland. And we chatted for a while, actually. Almost 15 minutes, which seemed to annoy a lot of people.

All through her presentation I kept thinking at how funny and cool she really is. I had seen her on YouTube doing her demos and in interviews and always thought that she seemed shy and a little intimidated by the camera. But in person, and despite a crowd of almost fifty people, she joked a lot and seemed relaxed and totally at ease. Like the great teacher that she is. I didn't learn any new techniques or tips per se - I've read and seen almost everything from her - but I still consider that day as pivotal in my slow but sure journey to becoming professional baker.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

What I'm reading

Hate to say it, but the movie Julie & Julia prompted me to purchase Julia Child's book My Life in France. I liked the movie, enough to probably see it again when it comes out on DVD. Can't say I loved it though, but that had to do with the character of Julie's husband Eric. He ate like a pig and that completely turned me off. If I spend time and money and energy preparing a meal for my partner, I'd expect him to show me (and the meal) the respect of not cramming the food in his mouth like a caveman. I loved the Julia Child half of the film, because honestly, who else than Meryl Streep could have played Julia ? Brilliant !
Anyway, so after the movie, not only did I order the cookbooks, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, volumes 1 & 2, but one half of the inspiration for the movie, Julia's autobiographical book that she wrote with the help of Alex Prud'homme, her grand-nephew. The book is just like Julia : bubbly, delicious, romantic, lively. Makes me want to 1) cook, 2) eat, and 3) return to France ! Someone in my circle will be getting it at Christmas this year...

I have a follower !!!

I actually have an audience... of one ! Welcome to my blog, NB !
Well, I wasn't selected as a Heavenly Cake Baker by my fellow blogger. Boo hoo ! Just as well, because as much as I love and need to bake, these days I simply don't have time. Although yesterday, I did take the time to bake cookies just so I could smell the vanilla ! B ate HALF the batch - that would be around 25 oatmeal raisin cookies before bed. This morning he's actually complaining of a stomach ache.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Barista Barista

I'm a barista now ! Yesterday and today are my official training days. My job is to prepare salads, drinks - in a BYOW establishment, I'm limited to coffee and San Pelegrino - prepare the (industrially-made-and-chemical-tasting) desserts and heat the bread buns (i.e. pizza dough rolled into buns). Yesterday was a quiet day, and I had the lunch shift. I made an astounding 3 CAN$ in tips (woo hoo). Today will be busier, as we have a lot of lunch reservations.
The hardest part of the job is honestly the army of superiors hovering around and taking notes. I feel like a science experiment.
Haven't blogged for a while - stuff is brewing, pardon the kitchen pun.
Will post news when they arrive...