Divine Intervention: Private Lessons in Pastry

In my last post I had intentionally tried to obscure the fact that I honestly wasn’t enjoying my internship very much. Well, I wasn’t. It had nothing to do with the people, the food, or even the nature of the work itself…mostly just the pace. I felt frantic for too many hours out of an 11 or 12 hour day, and was starting to have anxiety attacks before every shift.

This is what an internship is all about though, right? A learning experience? Well, I learned definitively that I don’t want to work in a restaurant kitchen. At least not one of this size and scope. I just ain’t that tough, kids.

In terms of getting through my relatively short internship requirement, though, I was committed. And, in the spirit of having a rounded experience, I asked the pastry chef if I could do a coupe of shifts with her to finish out.

This is where the divine intervention part comes in. Last week as I was counting down my remaining shifts in the savory kitchen (there were to be 8) I went in for what had been my regularly scheduled shift to find…I wasn’t on the schedule for that day. Nor for that week, even. Neither for the one following. God bless new interns!

And so, wanting to make sure I kept whittling away at my required internship hours and get that all sorted out as quickly as possible….I fled. Did I mention the anxiety part? Yeah, as far as I was concerned, if nobody was expecting me to be there then I didn’t need to be there, so I got out before anyone could stop me and make me put on ill-fitting pants and pry living bivalves out of their homes.

But I did still have about a third of my hours to fulfill. So with a few phone calls I got officially moved over to the pastry department for my last shifts. (My not being on the schedule turned out to be pure administrative oversight, i.e. divine intervention.)

Pastry is, by comparison, (please forgive this…) SWEET! Possibly it’s just the difference between being actively in service and being in prep/production, but I have no trouble spending 11 hours hanging out with the pastry chef, listening to Madonna, and making toffee. (Or granola, or concord grape sorbet, or buttermilk panna cotta, etc.) It’s not that it’s easier, nor that the cleanup is less exhausting. Just that I can work at a pace that doesn’t cause my adrenaline to max out.

Crossing over happens here and there, but not too often, apparently, given the number of people who’ve stopped by pastry to ask whether I was coming back to savory or what.

Answer? Nope! Pass me the cookies.

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3 Responses to Divine Intervention: Private Lessons in Pastry

  1. Patsy says:

    So glad to hear you are happy!!!! I have asked Brian about you several times just to make sure you were still alive. You are wayyyy too talented to not be in a place in your life that brings you satisfaction. We hope to be in NYC in Nov. maybe we can stop by for a sample. Love, Patsy

  2. EvaB says:

    Sounds like Top Chef is not for you.
    I find when talking to people about how I can make clothes they ask me if I want to be on Project Runway. It’s good to have a definitive answer for such things 😉

  3. Mo says:

    Yippee for pastry (I am currently on another countrys computer and cannot find the apostrophe or exclamation mark, so excuse me). Who needs those bone roasters, anyhow. So excited you are working with Nancy, cant wait to catch up . . . .

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