What an awesome day! I spent the morning at the Grand Hyatt Muscat'in more detail Summer Baking Class with the lovely Chef Lionel. If I had to define Who I Am in a kitchen setting, I would have to say that I'm a pastry chef trapped in the body of a lazy ignoramus. I'm a recipe-stickler, never wanting to deviate or experiment, so I like the scientific precision of baking...none of this spontaneous, reactive, unpredictable, let's-throw-in-a-stick-of-cardomom cooking for me. That way hunger lies.
But my desserts always went wrong, probably because I tend to become quite tense in my quest for the perfect pudding and forget really important stuff; and after a few too many disasters I gave it up. (It was Maurizio's birthday cake that did it. Unintentionally Flourless Chocolate Cake. Also eggless.)
So, it was a bit of a dream come true to have a chef explaining the recipe in minute detail while creating his gorgeous desserts, being able to question him on the potential pressure points, getting clarification and demystification on a number of processes and ingredients. I'm no longer afraid of gelatin, for a start. My morning's menu is covered in notes made from Chef Lionel's lucid and passionate narration (all in an adorable French accent, mais oui). And in interesting gastronomy tidbits that I want to understand in more detail, like matching flavours according to whether the ingredient is hydro- or lipo-soluble. I'll let you know how my first attempts at recreating Chef's creations come out. Attempts plural because I'm feeling so inspired I might not even give up after one try.