Thursday, April 23, 2009

School beckons

While I was on my way to school for orientation, I felt flutters in my stomach. Maybe it’s the feeling of excitement and anxiety all rolled into a fluffy ball. Or maybe it’s the huge sense of surrealism that seems to be lifting my feet and body off the ground. “This is so unreal” That thought just kept running through my head.

Apart from the flutters, I was worried that I would lose my way and not get to school on the time scheduled. I was so relieved when I was greeted by a lady with a jacket with a badge that read “Le Cordon Bleu”. I later learn that she was Nina who would be the coordinator of the day’s events.

I thought I was early but when I entered the reception hall, there was already a crowd forming. We were told to have breakfast which was tea and coffee with little pastries like mini blueberry and chocolate muffins and apple puff pastry. A guy sitting next to me, introduced me to himself and a few others that he was chatting with. There, my time of anxiety and fear just vanished as I started chatting with like-minded friends, my “potential best friends”, as Nina puts it.

The class was so multi-cultural; I’ve met people from Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, China, Thailand, Korea, India, Germany, South Africa and Brazil. It was a pretty amazing experience and I hope to be able to share and exchange thoughts and ideas and learn about their countries and culture.

The talks begin shortly after the mingling. It began with the history and provenance of the school. Le Cordon Bleu which is the literal meaning of “the blue ribbon” in French. The Le Cordon Bleu holds the highest regard in the world of culinary art. That speech made me feel proud and excited to be part of this exclusive community that has earned itself universal recognition and respect. Expectations of students were then explained along with many housekeeping stuffs.

The most inspiring talk for me was when alumni Gena, came to speak to us of her experience in Le Cordon Bleu Sydney. She too, took the patisserie course, and she has just started out her own patisserie in NSW just about 2 years after graduation. Her story was encouraging and inspiring for me- about how she had only intended to take up the basic course to further her interest in baking but ended up falling in love with it so deeply from day 1 that she knew that she had to do complete the rest of the course and pursue this as a career. I hope that I would feel the same way after the 9 months. Or better still, after the first day.

Chef A*ndre S*andison, one of the patisserie tutors, introduced us to the course. He looks like a very kind, encouraging and approachable chef. Looking forward to take his classes.

Next was the tour of the school: quite a highlight of the day as we saw the kitchens that we will be learning it. The equipment in there looked kind of intimidating to me. All of them supersized from what I’m familiar with. I’m just crossing my fingers that I wouldn’t been too clumsy with them.

The campus is quite huge and I think I would be getting lost quite a bit in the first two weeks at least. Thank God for my newfound friends for I might just have to rely on them quite a bit. Saw some interesting masterclasses on various cuisine like Japanese, Indian and Lebanon that I’m interested in. And I can’t tell you how great it is that the rest of my friends were just as (if not more) excited than me about that!

Orientation ended after we received our timetables and schedules as well as our coursebooks leaving some people in delight and others in dread. As for myself, my classes are from Thursday to Saturday, the morning session which starts at 730am. It suits me fine since I’m more of a morning person but I’m sure many others do not feel the same way.

It’s back to school next Thursday and the topic for day 1 is scones. Looking forward to that!

More next time on the uniform (which I’m sure many esp Grace is interested in) and tool kit..


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