I Have A Whisk And I'm Afraid To Use It!

Decorating By MamaBerry Updated 9 Aug 2008 , 5:44am by shisharka

MamaBerry Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 3:34pm
post #1 of 9

So, I'm looking for new work at the moment.

My current job is the Titanic after the iceberg has hit and my supervisor and I are the only ones left. icon_eek.gif I've been applying for any job that has the word pastry in the title but here's the kicker.

I've applied for a rest. pastry job that I just had an interview for and the problem is it's mostly brulee and puff pastry. I don't have a working knowledge of it due to my focus on cakes and chocolate for the past year.

I've been asked to trail in the next couple of days or week, depending on my schedule, and I don't know what to do.

This job is stable, includes benefits but is just slightly out of my league as far as my skill is concerned.

What should I do? Should I just tell them I'm not qualified? I saw the menu and it looks okay but what about the desserts in the future?

8 replies
shisharka Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 3:55pm
post #2 of 9

I am assuming you would not be required to make the puff pastry from scratch, right? âCause that IS a real pain!!! Waaay too much work. Granted, you cannot beat the melt-in-your-mouth buttery taste of the hand made thing, but in my amateur 10-year puff pastry experience Iâve done in a total of three times and Iâm not too enthusiastic about making it from scratch any time soon. Using the frozen sheets is a piece of cake (pun intended). You cannot go wrong with them â may require a couple of tries to figure out the best temperature for the dough to work with and to rise best (that is how long to thaw it â overnight in the fridge works best for me at home). I make puff pastry snacks and deserts at least once a week, use several different brands, and while there is a slight variation in taste and texture, results are pretty consistent.

The Crème Brulle⦠itâs just a fancy fluffier custard, with some torched brown sugar on top. As long as you never get the cream or the water in the baking pan to the boiling point, it will turn out fine.

Go for it! Donât let doubts close the doors of a good opportunity â after all, anything can be learnt, too!

PinkZiab Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 4:07pm
post #3 of 9

Well I wouldn't lie. If they ask "Do you know how to make puff pastry?" You kind of need to tell them the truth, because what happens when they tell you to get to it? Puff is not the kind of thing you want to learn when it counts lol because as easy as it is to make, it's just as easy to mess up. Same thing with creme brulee (and brown sugar isn't usually used on it, by the way). I'm not saying being a pastry chef is the hardest thing in the world, but it's not a job you can jump into without some experience (not necessarily schooling, but most people who don't attend school work their way up in the pastry kitchen starting at the VERY bottom to learn as they go). Heck, even WITH a pastry degree, I still have to start pretty low on the totem pole lol.

PinkZiab Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 4:11pm
post #4 of 9

I should add I'm not saying you shouldn't trail, but you should just be upfront about what you are or aren't capable of. Trailing is not just for them to try you out, but you can get a better idea of what the job will truly entail (most of the better kitchen will have you trail at least twice before they make a decision anyway). Good luck and keep us posted!

MamaBerry Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 6:08pm
post #5 of 9

Thanks!

Oh, I do not lie. I don't have it in me.

I told the interviewer/chef that I'm really rusty on all things puff pastry and my real skill lies in chocolate and cake decorating. He said, "I was about to ask you about the cake portion. How do you feel about buttercream?"

I told him I'm used to making buttercream from scratch and my fav is Italian Meringue Buttercream. I mentioned that being a stag(iere) allowed me to be a team player, etc.

All I kept thinking about was what I didn't know and also to make sure I didn't lie.

I've made quiche from scratch, yes, the puff pastry too. I'm mostly self-taught and my culinary math skills are there but I made sure to tell him I was ready to work along side someone. I told him I was not yet ready to lead the troop but after learning the map of the kitchen I could pull my own.

Sidenote: I have the worst esteem when it comes to the subject of what I know even though I've been to school for many of the subjects I've taken on as a job.

I'm supposed to trail but the only days I have off are the weekends and my husband is off those days. Talk about a weird situation.

BTW, I know about the no use of brown sugar for creme brulee. I have my own torch and I make it for my husband. Though each time I do it I say in my best Bevis voice, "Fire! F-Fire!, F-F-Fire!"

foxymomma521 Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 6:18pm
post #6 of 9

Good Luck MamaBerry!

PinkZiab Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 7:41pm
post #7 of 9

Then honestly, I would not worry. it sounds like you have your head on straight and you are very capable. Go ahead, trail, and show them what you DO know--let them worry about what you MIGHT not. But since you have been very upfront with them, I think you should give it a shot! Good luck!

MamaBerry Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 7:48pm
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by PinkZiab

Then honestly, I would not worry. it sounds like you have your head on straight and you are very capable. Go ahead, trail, and show them what you DO know--let them worry about what you MIGHT not. But since you have been very upfront with them, I think you should give it a shot! Good luck!


Thank you but can I borrow your FCI brain for a month?
*grin*

shisharka Posted 9 Aug 2008 , 5:44am
post #9 of 9

Interesting⦠The âno brown sugarâ note puzzled me, why not? Thatâs how I make it most of the time â I like the richer taste of raw sugar better in generalâ¦

I guess my perspective on puff pastry is skewed because I come from a country where it is something quite mundane (so are flourless tortes, lace cookies, meringues and phyllo dough)⦠Iâve grown up with it, I donât understand all the fuss that comes with it here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaBerry

I've made quiche from scratch, yes, the puff pastry too. I'm mostly self-taught and my culinary math skills are there



Good luck with the trailing - stick with the above frame of mind!!!
Keeping fingers crossed it works out for the best! thumbs_up.gif

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