Guys, part 3!! It feels surreal to say that I only have one semester left of culinary school.
This past semester was unbelievably crazy/insane/unique/amazing/I definitely needed a 5-week holiday break. My main classes included baking, world cuisine, and beverage management. (psssssst…guess who got their bartender’s license??)
Fair warning: There’s a rather ridiculous overload of pictures coming your way. So much food.
FYI, about 85% of it went straight to my boyfriend, Jason and I don’t think he was mad about that. Gotta get those brownie points where I can. ??
Oh my gooooooosh, this croquembouche was SO.MUCH.FUN to watch come together!! I was mesmerized.
Danish day was hands-down my favorite day in baking class.
With donut day coming in a veeeeeeery close second.
Another super-fun day in baking class was when we made our signature desserts to sell in the school cafeteria. My dessert was a coconut chocolate shortbread tart with a meringue topping, a mocha ganache, and a raspberry reduction sauce.
I was a little excited about how pretty it turned out and probably gushed to Jason a little too much about how pretty desserts are the beeeeeeeest.
Also…it sold out in less than 20 minutes. What???
Okay, onto the SUPER-lengthy part of this post. Get comfy, guys…
I know I mentioned it briefly here and there in blog posts, but for those of you who didn’t hear…my culinary program has a required internship for all culinary students and this entails going to work at a restaurant or bakery to get 54 hours of work experience. I knew from the beginning I wanted to do mine at a bakery, but wasn’t entirely sure of where.
Then I found this little gem called McKinley’s Bakery & Cafe in Fort Worth, TX. And when I say gem I mean GEM, you guys. Everything about this place wowed me. They do all their baking from scratch, they don’t use preservatives, and even do special diet baking as well. You can definitely taste the authenticity in their baking and I honestly mean that.
I reached out to them and asked about internships and they were more than happy to accept me into their bakery almost immediately. Plans started falling into place rather quickly and before I knew it, it was the middle of October and I was on my own in Fort Worth.
Most mornings the bakery wanted me in by 4am and yep, that did require waking up around 3am and yep, it was kinda rough.
The walk from my hotel to the bakery in the morning was about 5 minutes but I usually made it there in 3 minutes or less because I was always sprinting. In case you were wondering, yeah, walking by yourself at 4am in downtown Fort Worth is slightly terrifying.
My first day they quite literally just threw me into everything. In only my first hour I was making dozens of pies and learning how to decorate sugar cookies.
Conveniently for McKinley’s, I was there working for one of their busiest weekends of the year which was Halloween weekend so they said the extra set of hands was extremely helpful. I rather enjoyed making scary sugar cookies too.
At one point during that first morning the manager told me I was working too hard and insisted I take a break and first thing I did was excitedly Snapchat Jason to tell him this bakery was LEGIT and I was in my zone.
So many pies, so little time to eat them all. The chocolate silk pie was my total favorite. It was absolutely insane. And that was out of approximately 71 pies I made during my time working there.
My best friend Caleah, whom I hadn’t seen in 8 years happens to live in Fort Worth so it was SO awesome to get to see her when I wasn’t working. We spent evenings catching up and the day before my flight home she and her family made me an absolute INSANE Cuban-style dinner.
I had one full day off and I spent about half of it sleeping and the other half at the Starbucks across the street.
My diet mostly consisted of Panera Bread and coffee. Lots and loooooooots of coffee. Again, there WAS a Starbucks right across the street…
McKinley’s Bakery was ideally situated in a mall outlet, so whenever I wasn’t working I took it upon myself to shop. >>>
Just a little…
The bakery sent me home with extremely good feedback of my work and told me I could come back to work with them anytime. In addition they forced me to take a huge box of assorted cookies which I promptly delivered to Jason and his family once I got home.
McKinley’s chocolate chip cookies = top-notch in case you were wondering.
In total I was in Texas close to three weeks. Easily the longest time I’ve ever been away from home by myself and the longest time I’ve ever been separated from my boyfriend. I missed Jason so much it was slightly hard to cope sometimes but we talked every single day and he was incredibly supportive and encouraging to me when I needed it.
I got to see him pretty much the moment I got home from the airport and I’m guessing distance makes the heart grow fonder or something? I could barely stop hugging him when we saw each other for the first time. I’m apparently a sap now, guys.
I think it’s safe to say that 2016 was definitely my year and I feel beyond blessed at all the opportunities and good things that came my way. ^^ that guy up there being one of the absolute best things. ♥
In closing this mini novel I’ll leave you with this: As far as plans after this final semester…I’m not going to reveal too much right now because I’m still waiting for a few things to fall into place, but your thoughts and prayers are still greatly appreciated!
Guys, as always, thank you all for the sweet messages and comments you’ve continually left me the past year regarding my culinary school journey! It means SO much more to me than you could ever know! Thanks for hanging with me. ♥