(Photos show some of the products I’ve made during my internship)
Beginning the day: My day begins at 5:15am as I drag myself out of bed. Being honest, I think the early mornings were the hardest thing to get used to about my job. However, I’m lucky really, because for my first 3 weeks I started work at 5am, so my day started an hour earlier than it does now.
I quickly eat my breakfast and I head off to work, only a 10-minute walk from my house. We start the workday by setting up shop. This consists of putting out the desserts that were made the previous evening on the night shift. We then go straight into mise en place. I have been very lucky in the jobs that I am given in work. I really feel that even though I am merely an apprentice I am given a lot more responsibility because they are trying to teach me as much as possible in the short period of time that I am working there.
In the beginning they slowly trained me in with the simpler stuff such as making fruit tarts, which consists mostly of chopping strawberries in half and making some vanilla cream… Easy? I think so.
I then got to move on to making some of the fondants and being allowed to put fondant on the eclairs, which I surprisingly found more challenging than I should have! I wouldn’t say I’m an expert yet, but that fondant swishing with the wooden spoon has improved immensely. My very first time working with fondant was a little bit of a disaster. More than half of the eclairs couldn’t be sold I did such a bad job…. The head chef wasn’t too impressed with me.
However, now I get to make all the sponges for the cakes, I’m allowed to glaze the cakes, make the macaroons and even decorate the cakes. Some of the work I find repetitive, but I guess you have that in all jobs. One thing I never realised I find quite fascinating is chocolate. I really enjoy tempering chocolate and glazing the nutcrackers and Florentines with dark, milk and white chocolate. By just heating the chocolate by a degree too high, the chocolate won’t set the way one might desire. Its fun, and who doesn’t love being covered head to toe in chocolate, its most peoples dream.
Another thing I get to do with chocolate is the chocolate bands for the chocolate marquise cakes. In the beginning I found it challenging to get the chocolate covered cellophane to fit around the cake perfect, but with some practice I eventually got there.
The day comes to an end at approximately 3pm every day. Sometimes it can be a little bit earlier (when I’m lucky) but its frequently a bit after 3pm. I’m always wrecked after my workday, who ever said kitchen work was easy?...
(I did not make this, but this is Boulangerie Jades speciality wedding dessert: Croquembouche)
But my workday does not end here….
As I mentioned in my previous blog, I take care of kids as part of my accommodation deal.
The Afternoon shift: I collect the 2 boys, aged four and five from school at 3:30pm. Some days it’s a bit if a rush, and I take them home and make dinner for the family and sometimes I must put them to bed depending on their parents work situation. I get on well with the boys, but I really do have an appreciation for working mothers after my experience in London.
Night-time: I try to be in bed by 9pm every night so that I can get a full 8 hours of sleep. This doesn’t always go to plan…
So that’s a quick summary of my daily life Monday to Friday. I don’t work many weekends because while I’m on London I’ve used my time wisely. I have little to no nights out at the weekend. I’m far from living an exciting lifestyle in most people’s eyes, but I can assure you I’m thoroughly enjoying my time here. I use my free time at the weekends to do a Pilates instructing course. To be honest, I feel that I could have been a little lost with out having some sort of commitment at the weekend because though I get on well with my work colleagues, no one meets up outside the workplace. It gives me something fun to do and something I really enjoy during my free time, as well as keeping my back pain at bay, which I discussed in my previous blog. I would recommend for anyone moving away from home, to join a group of society to help with your social life because finding friends in a big city is challenging to say the least.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my London experience so far and take some of the things I’ve mentioned on board.
Thanks, for reading,