Saturday, May 31, 2008

Another try of White Castle

The first time I had a White Castle burger was at the end of December 1999 during my lunch break. I bought it from a vending machine and came in 2, so I ate one and took the other home for my husband (my boyfriend at that time) since he had never tried it either. From that point on, we both decided that we wouldn't buy any more of their burger. It was really bad, soggy and tasteless. We guessed it might be because it was not fresh, but we still didn't want to buy it anymore.

One day at the end of last year, out of the blue Y told me that she likes White Castle a lot. She said their burger is very good and fresh, she can even eat up to 3 burgers in one sitting. Wow, I was very surprised since she is a skinny girl and based on my bad experience almost a decade ago I didn't know what to say.

Then this year I saw a lot of White Castle's advertisements on TV and that made me think of their burger. Last Sunday my husband and I finally stopped by a White Castle and bought several items to go: chicken rings, hamburger, cheeseburger, and their new chicken italiano. All of them were surprisingly excellent, way beyond our expectation! The bread was soft, the meat was tasty, and the onions made it even better. Their small size is another good thing about these burger, it made me feel less guilty for eating fast food :-)

White Castle: Chicken rings and honey mustard White Castle: Hamburger (sliced)
Chicken rings and Hamburger

White Castle: Cheeseburger (close up) White Castle: Chicken italiano (sliced)
Cheeseburger and Chicken italiano

Overall, we're glad that we decided to give them another try. I'll try their breakfast items on my next visit one of these days.


White Castle


Umaimon gourmet food fair at Mitsuwa Marketplace

Mitsuwa Marketplace: Display - Kukuru - takoyakiWe love to go to Mitsuwa, especially when they have a special event since there will be a lot of food that they don't normally carry. Last Saturday we went for the Umaimon gourmet food fair. During that time, they had a takoyaki booth where several "tako-yaki meisters" came straight from Japan only to make these special octopus dough balls at the store. These men made them very fast: poured the batter into the round molds of the takoyaki pan; sprinkled pieces of octopus, red ginger, spring onions on top; waited for several minutes before flipping these balls. Finally they placed several of them into each box, covered them with sweet brown sauce (okonomiyaki sauce), mayonnaise, powdered seaweed and bonito flakes.

Mitsuwa Marketplace: Kukuru - takoyaki (making) Mitsuwa Marketplace: Kukuru - takoyaki (making)
Mitsuwa Marketplace: Kukuru - takoyaki (making) Mitsuwa Marketplace: Kukuru - takoyaki (making)
The making of takoyaki

We came pretty early on that day so there was no line, lucky for us, otherwise we would have to wait for at least 30 minutes. This takoyaki was pretty good, especially if you ate them while they were still piping hot. It was crispy outside and a little runny inside, spicy and sweet at the same time, so yummy! Even though this was delicious, we still prefer the one from Otafuku in Manhattan since theirs was more crispier, runnier and tastier -- just better in our opinions :-)

Mitsuwa Marketplace: Kukuru - takoyaki (uncovered)
Kukuru - takoyaki

In addition to takoyaki, we also bought that day's special: the whole shark fin in salt ramen. It was more expensive compare to the other food at the food court. The taste was a little bit too bland, but still enjoyable, especially since there were enough amount of the shark fin itself, even though I would be happier if there were more :-)

Mitsuwa Marketplace: Chibakiya - whole shark fin in salt ramen - from China Table Tokyo Hanten (close up)
Chibakiya - whole shark fin in salt ramen from China Table Tokyo Hanten

I also got crab cream and corn croquettes from the special booth, they were fantastic, crunchy outside with tasty and creamy filling.

Mitsuwa Marketplace: Kuriyama hokkaido croquette - crab cream and corn (sliced)
Kuriyama hokkaido - croquettes: crab cream and corn

From the regular food court vendor, I ordered a couple of cream yaki, hoping that they will taste better this time. The crust looked promising, but unfortunately the inside was still a little uncooked and mushy, same problem as last time. The ajitsuke age (fried bean curd wrap) was as good as usual, sweet and tasty.

Mitsuwa Marketplace: Cream yaki - from Oishinbo (another view) Mitsuwa Marketplace: Ajitsuke age - from Sanuki Sando Udon
Cream yaki from Oishinbo and Ajitsuke age from Sanuki Sando Udon

For the dessert, I ordered the green tea parfait, it was a perfect combination of creamy green tea and vanilla ice cream, crunchy flakes and sweet red bean paste, so amazing! Some of our friends who also came to this fair ordered the strawberry parfait and said that it was very good too -- vanilla ice cream, flakes, fresh bananas and strawberries.

Mitsuwa Marketplace: Green tea parfait - from UCC Cafessa (another view) Mitsuwa Marketplace: Strawberry parfait - from UCC Cafessa
Green tea parfait and Strawberry parfait from UCC Cafessa

Another special food that I liked at this fair was the one that I called squid crackers, sorry I don't know how to read Japanese so I don't know its official name. This thing was so thin and so crispy, just awesome! Last year when we went to this same fair, I only bought one package which I regretted later. So this time I decided that I would not make the same mistake and bought 5 packages :-) Originally I wanted to buy more, but their expiration date was in 2 months. This cracker was so addictive, once I ate it I couldn't stop eating only one piece.

Mitsuwa Marketplace: Display - squid crackers Mitsuwa Marketplace: Squid crackers
Squid crackers on display and opened

I also bought more food to take home:
- Komeko dango (skewered sweet dango): sesame, cherry blossom, red bean, mitarashi sugar-soy sauce -- chewy, it was okay
- Sanshoku bento: basically it was rice covered with 3 colorful toppings -- very good and flavorful, it was awesome
- Stick candy sweet potato with skin -- sweet and crunchy, it was fantastic
- Butter and plain dorayaki -- fluffy and moist at the same time, it was delicious
- Inari okowa (red bean rice / tea okowa rice): nanohana green, chestnut, crab flakes -- sticky, sweet and tasty, it was delightful.

Mitsuwa Marketplace: Shinkineya - komeko dango (close up) Mitsuwa Marketplace: Kaisen - sanshoku bento (another view)
Shinkineya - komeko dango and Kaisen - sanshoku bento

Mitsuwa Marketplace: Stick candy sweet potato with skin (uncovered) Mitsuwa Marketplace: Furuya koganean - butter dorayaki and dorayaki (sliced)
Stick candy sweet potato with skin and Furuya koganean - butter dorayaki and plain dorayaki

Mitsuwa Marketplace: Shinkineya - inari okowa (uncovered)
Shinkineya - inari okowa


Mitsuwa Marketplace
595 River Road
Edgewater, NJ 07020
(201) 941-9113

236 E 9th St
New York, NY 10003
(212) 353-8503


My favorite Indonesian desserts

Before we left for Chicago, E and Y gave us some Indonesian desserts that I haven't had in a long time: martabak manis (sweet thick pancakes) and bika ambon (honeycomb cake). Last month they told me one of their relatives were going to visit from Indonesia, and if I wanted anything from back home. Without any hesitation, I immediately requested for these.

I had put them in the freezer and decided not to eat them until we returned home from Chicago. Not because I didn't want to indulge them immediately, but I just wanted to make sure that my stomach was in perfect condition for tasting PH's creations. I have a pretty sensitive stomach, so I'm afraid to eat any food that my stomach isn't used to have anymore.

The martabak manis was amazingly delicious, the taste was as good as I remembered. This one was filled with chocolate, peanuts and cheese. It is also sprinkled with sugar and drizzled with condensed milk on top of the filling. Martabak manis is one of my favorite desserts since I was young, but unfortunately noone here can make martabak manis as good as this particular one. If you are wondering what it tastes like, here is the answer: the taste is similar to a pancake, but thicker, softer, fluffier, sweeter, tastier and richer :-)

Kue Bandung Jagalan: Martabak manis - coklat, kacang, keju (another view)
Martabak manis - chocolate, peanuts and cheese

I tried making these several times, but the results were still not as perfect as the original ones that are usually sold by street vendors in Indonesia. The ones that I made, the taste was good, but the texture was only okay. I thought it was because I didn't use the special pan for making martabak manis. My big brother, who loves me very much, even brought me 2 regular martabak manis pans and 1 small one, complete with the special range and pipe for it. The only thing I needed to get before I could use the range was the propane that is usually used for cooking if you go camping. Unfortunately when I made the martabak manis again using this pan, I was still not satisfied with the texture. I guess if I want to eat a perfect martabak manis, I need more practice or just wait until I visit Indonesia.

Rica Rico: Bika ambon (another view)
Bika ambon

The bika ambon was awesome, it was soft but chewy at the same time, rich and fragrant, I could smell the kafir lime leaves in it. The best bika ambon I've ever tasted back in Indonesia was the one that was bought from Medan. This one was not from Medan, but it was still very good. I've never tried to make this cake myself since I heard that it's not easy to get the perfect texture -- that "honeycomb" look. No wonder I haven't found anyone who sells bika ambon here.

It has been several years since I ate a very good martabak manis and bika ambon like these. I love them a lot, especially the martabak manis. My husband like them too, but not as much as I do. Thanks again guys, I really appreciate it!


Friday, May 30, 2008

Lunch at Bistro 110 and Dinner at Old Town Brasserie, Chicago

Bistro 110: ExteriorWhen I received my class schedule from the school about a month ago, I noticed that I would have lunch from Bistro 110 and Everest, then dinner at chef Art Smith's house who owns Table Fifty-Two. From what I read on the internet they have positive reviews, so I asked my husband if he would like to go to Bistro 110 and Table Fifty-Two. Unfortunately he couldn't get a reservation at Table Fifty-Two, so he did some more research and came up with Old Town Brasserie. He decided to have lunch at Bistro 110 since it was located near our hotel (Park Hyatt Chicago) so he could just walk there, then had dinner at Old Town Brasserie before picking me up at the school.

Here's what he had to say about his lunch and dinner.
One of the best attribute of Bistro 110 was it's location, next to Michigan avenue and overlooking the Old Water Tower park. He actually got a window seat, which gave him plenty of sunshine for taking pictures, also important. The staffs were also quite friendly, without being too overbearing. Glancing through the menus, he went for the 'safe' choices (and a few recommendations from our research).

First came the bread basket, which included a warm baguette (nice), section of butter and roasted garlic. Good start so far. Then came the French onion soup, which unfortunately was disappointingly thin. Don't even bother with this.

Bistro 110: Bread, butter and roasted garlic Bistro 110: French onion soup
Bread, butter & roasted garlic and French onion soup

For the main entree, he ordered croque monsieur with a side of pommes frites 110. The croque monsieur was apparently another bad choice -- seems they have trouble with classic French bistro staples. The brioche was thin and plain, and overall didn't taste too good. He didn't finish this at all.

The pommes frites were crispy and thin. It was very interesting, and tasted pretty good. The problem was because of the crispiness it was a little hard to eat and some pieces were flying around. He also didn't want to get his hands dirty, which made it even tougher for him to enjoy (imagine using fork & knife).

Bistro 110: Croque monsieur (close up) Bistro 110: Pommes frites 110 (close up)
Croque monsieur and Pommes frites 110

Unnerved, he decided to go all the way with dessert. After asking for recommendations from the waiter, it came down to really 2 choices: the creme brulee or the chocolate cake. The creme brulee was apparently made famous when they first opened, i.e. their signature dessert. However, the chocolate cake (gateau "paradis au chocolat") was the new signature dessert. Given his disappointment with Bistro 110's classic French fare, and after hearing the explanations, he went for the chocolate cake. Thank goodness. It was really, really good -- the only dish that he actually enjoyed. The cake was moist, not too sweet with good chocolate flavor, and the caramel sauce let you control the sweetness. He said it literally melted in his mouth and one of the best he's had.

Bistro 110: Gateau paradis au chocolat (another view)
Gateau paris au chocolat

Old Town Brasserie: Exterior (another view)The dinner at Old Town Brasserie, though, went a little better. Since he had a 5:30 PM reservation, it was quite empty except for the bar area in the front. After asking for some recommendations from the waitress (and cross checking with my recommendations) he made his choices.

First off he was given an amuse bouche of parmesan cheese gougere. For appetizer, he had the terrine d'artichauts et coeur de palmier (artichoke & hearts of palm terrine). Very nicely plated, but he found parts of it too mushy while others were crunchy -- resulting in an uneven texture, and the flavor was a little bland.

For soup, he had the quite famous duck consomme. The consomme had a very strong flavor, maybe a little salty, that you can feel the duck fat on your lips. The truffle ravioli and vegetables gave a nice balance to the flavor, but duck was clearly the main flavor.

Old Town Brasserie: Amuse bouche - gougere parmesan cheese
Gougere parmesan cheese

Old Town Brasserie: Terrine d'artichauts et coeur de palmier (close up) Old Town Brasserie: Duck consomme
Terrine d'artichauts et coeur de palmier and Duck consomme

The main entree was an easy choice, he had the duo carre d'agneau et boeuf (rack of lamb and beef). He originally wanted the lamb cooked medium, but when told the chef recommended medium rare, he went with the recommendation. It turned out to be a wise choice. The lamb was really tender and juicy, in fact this was the first time my husband truly enjoyed rack of lamb. The beef was also well braised and very tender. The accompanying ratatouille and sauce complemented the meats very well. He finished this one without hesitation and highly recommends this dish.

Old Town Brasserie: Duo carre d'agneau et boeuf Old Town Brasserie: Duo carre d'agneau et boeuf (close up another view)
Duo carre d'agneau et boeuf

To finish the meal, he had the hazelnut souffle, which he said was also a good choice. I couldn't get a good description of it from him other than how much he enjoyed it. They also gave him some shortbread cookies and pates de fruits, which he brought back to the hotel for me to try (PH won, of course).

Old Town Brasserie: Le souffle - hazelnut (close up) Old Town Brasserie: Shortbread cookies and Apricot pates de fruits
Hazelnut souffle and Shortbread cookies & Apricot pates de fruits

As soon as we were back at the hotel, we went straight to bed since we had to wake up early to head home. I still couldn't believe that the 2-day Pierre Hermé class has over and I just had once in a lifetime experience, WOW! Thanks a lot to my husband for everything, especially for driving me all the way to Chicago only to attend my dream class. I love you, you are the BEST!


Bistro 110
110 East Pearson Street
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 266-3110

Old Town Brasserie
1209 N Wells St
Chicago, IL 60610

Table Fifty-Two
52 W Elm St
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 573-4000


Dinner at Custom House and Deep dish pizza from Lou Malnati's, Chicago

After droping me off for my first day of Pierre Hermé class at the French Pastry School, my husband went back to the hotel for more sleeping. I guessed he was still tired after driving for about 14 hours 2 days ago. On the way, he decided to pick up a sandwich from Fox & Obel for his lunch, unfortunately he said that it was a disappointment. The store itself, however, was pretty good.

Fox & Obel: Gunthorp's ham and white cheddar (unwrapped)
Fox & Obel's Gunthorp's ham and white cheddar

Custom House: Exterior (another view)For dinner he went to Custom House, I remembered he made a reservation through Opentable after reading positive reviews about it. Here's what he had to say about his dinner.
The first thing you'd notice about the interior is how clean and open it was. It was located in the Blake hotel building, so you might occasionally see hotel guests dining in.
The waiter told him that they had just lifted the ban on foie gras, so they were offering the foie gras brulee on the menu again. Of course he ordered this, and he said it was amazingly good. Rich foie gras covered by a thin layer of torched sugar, and sprinkled with macademia nuts shavings. The combination of taste & texture was just perfect on the mini brioche toasts. This was his favorite.

Custom House: Foie gras brulee (another view)
Foie gras brulee

For the main entree he chose the bone in short rib with an extra side of potato gratin. The short rib came braised in a crock pot, with two horseradish cream puffs. The waiter recommended this, but my husband didn't find it special, skip unless you like braised ribs.
The side of potato gratin though, was really good. Thin slices of potatoes with rich butter and cream.

Custom House: Bone in short rib (close up) Custom House: Gratin
Bone in short rib and Gratin

For dessert, there were several nice choices from the menu, but they also offered a tasting dessert, which he went for. There were 4 components to this dish, with mixed results. The vanilla bavarian and beignet was really good, a little like panna cotta. The smores looked really nice, but tasted a little bitter. Lemon pound cake with candied ginger and vanilla ice cream was just average. The rhubarb jam shortbread cookies were surprisingly good. Overall a pretty good finish.

Custom House: Sweet tasting
Sweet tasting, clockwise from top left: Vanilla bavarian, beignet; Smores, toasted marshmallows, dark chocolate; Rhubarb jam shortbread cookies; Lemon pound cake, candied ginger, vanilla ice cream

Lou Malnati's Pizzeria: ExteriorI read that Lou Malnati's and Gino's East have the best deep dish pizza in Chicago, since Lou Malnati's was located on the way to the French Pastry School I asked my husband to stop by there to buy a deep dish pizza before picking me up that night. The pizza was good, but personally both my husband and I still like the thin crust pizza more. Sorry Chicago, New York wins this one.

Lou Malnati's Pizzeria: Deep dish cheese pizza - individual
Deep dish cheese pizza, individual size

What a nice way to end the night...


Fox & Obel
401 E. Illinois
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 410-7301

Custom House
500 S. Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 523-0200

Lou Malnati's Pizzeria
439 North Wells Street
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 828-9800


Thursday, May 29, 2008

My second day of Pierre Hermé class in Chicago -- Part 2

Coming back from lunch, Chef Jean Joho talked a little bit and introduced his team. Apparently both Chef Pierre Hermé and he were originally from Alsace, France.

Pierre Hermé: Him and Chef Jean Joho
Chef Pierre Hermé and Chef Jean Joho

Then Chef Joho left and PH continued with his demonstration on putting the finishing touches on the Vanilla Tart and Tarte Ispahan -- the results were stunning!

Pierre Hermé: Putting a finishing touch on the Vanilla Tart Pierre Hermé: Vanilla Tart
Finishing the Vanilla Tart

Pierre Hermé: Putting a finishing touch on the Tarte Ispahan Pierre Hermé: Tarte Ispahan
Finishing Tarte Ispahan

He also put the finishing touch on the new creation, as well as on both of the Emotion Depayse and Emotion Ispahan. They looked amazing!

Pierre Hermé: Putting a finishing touch on the Emotion Depayse Pierre Hermé: Emotion Depayse
Emotion Depayse

Pierre Hermé: Putting a finishing touch on the Emotion Ispahan Pierre Hermé: Emotion Ispahan
Emotion Ispahan

Before going for the afternoon break, PH started to assemble the Revelation and put it in the refrigerator to let it set.

Pierre Hermé: Assembling the Revelation
Assembling the Revelation

During the break we got to taste Java, one of his chocolate that was brought from France. I'm originally from Java island in Indonesia, so I was proud to see that name even though I'm not sure if he named it after my island :-) The tea paired with it was 2004 vintage ancient tree pu-erh.

Pierre Hermé: Java Pierre Hermé: 2004 vintage ancient tree pu-erh
Java and 2004 vintage ancient tree pu-erh tea

When I returned from the break I realized that the end of class was near, I was kind of sad, but at the same time happy that I would be able to finally taste all PH creations that were made by the Master himself.

Pierre Hermé: The classroom Pierre Hermé: The classroom
The classroom

PH put a finishing touch on the Revelation, before finally concluding the demonstration by putting the finishing touch on Ispahan Entremet, his signature creation.

Pierre Hermé: Putting a finishing touch on the Revelation Pierre Hermé: Revelation

Pierre Hermé: Putting a finishing touch on the Ispahan Entremet Pierre Hermé: Putting a finishing touch on the Ispahan Entremet
Ispahan Entremet

Pierre Hermé: The master and his most famous creation - Ispahan Entremet Pierre Hermé: Ispahan Entremet (another view)
The master and his most famous creation - Ispahan Entremet

I almost forgot to mention that he always washed his hands and cleaned the table after he finished with every single recipe -- a very good habit to follow.

Pierre Hermé: Washing his hands after he finished with every single recipe Pierre Hermé: Cleaning the table after he finished with every single recipe
Washing his hands and cleaning the table after he finished with every single recipe

By the way, in between the demonstrations, they took a class picture. I still haven't received the picture yet, but I'll put it up when I do.

He ended the class by saying "be yourself and do what you want to do, do not do what others want you to do and do not be someone else, then you'll be known for it".

Pierre Hermé: Wrapping up the class Pierre Hermé: Giving a very good advice to us
Pierre Hermé wrapping up the class

Then we went down to the lobby to taste all the products that were created during these past 2 days. Before that we were having the champagne from Alsace (the Rosé) while they were setting up the dessert buffet.

Pierre Hermé: Rosé Pierre Hermé: A rack full with the products
Champagne Brut Rosé and rack full of PH's creations

When I entered the room, I thought that I have died and went to Heaven :-) There were beautiful looking desserts everywhere!!! We were greeted by Ispahan Entremet that were on the table located on the right side of the room, followed by Emotion Ispahan.

Pierre Hermé: Ispahan Entremet Pierre Hermé: Emotion Ispahan
Ispahan Entremet and Emotion Ispahan

Then on the table next to them were Vanilla Tart and Tarte Ispahan.

Pierre Hermé: Vanilla Tart Pierre Hermé: Tarte Ispahan
Vanilla Tart and Tarte Ispahan

Next table there were Revelation, Miss Gla'Gla Ispahan Glace and Emotion Depayse.

Pierre Hermé: Revelation Pierre Hermé: Miss Gla'Gla Ispahan Glace
Revelation and Miss Gla'Gla Ispahan Glace

Pierre Hermé: Emotion Depayse
Emotion Depayse

On the left side of the room, there was the macaron table that was filled with trays of Macaron Ispahan, Macaron Satine, Black Truffle Macaron, Chocolate and Foie Gras Macaron.

Pierre Hermé: The macaron table - Macaron Ispahan, Macaron Satine, Black Truffle Macaron, Chocolate and Foie Gras Macaron
The macaron table - Macaron Ispahan, Macaron Satine, Black Truffle Macaron, Chocolate and Foie Gras Macaron

Pierre Hermé: Macaron Ispahan (close up) Pierre Hermé: Macaron Satine (close up)
Macaron Ispahan and Macaron Satine

Pierre Hermé: Black Truffle Macaron (close up) Pierre Hermé: Chocolate and Foie Gras Macaron (close up)
Black Truffle Macaron and Chocolate and Foie Gras Macaron

While next to this table was a table for the new creation.

Before we were able to try them all, we were given the certificates. Jacquy called each of us and took our individual picture with PH -- there was a professional photographer who did this job. I also asked Patty to take a photo using my camera, but unfortunately it came out blurry, as you can see here.

Then there was a book signing opportunity and I brought my PH10 -- the book was very heavy. I didn't know that the book signing would take place while we were enjoying the desserts, so I almost missed that. Luckily I noticed that he was going to leave and asked if he could sign my book before he left.

Pierre Hermé: Signing my PH10 Pierre Hermé: My signed PH10
PH signing my PH10 book

All the desserts were amazing, they tasted as good as they look! My favorite was the Ispahan Entremet and the Chocolate and Foie Gras Macaron. In the beginning I was not sure how the taste would be, combining the "savory" foie gras with the "sweet" macaron, but the result was out of this world. It was a sweet one and as PH said "there is no savory macaron". Luckily for us they lifted the ban on the foie gras in Chicago only 2 days before the class started (on Friday), otherwise we wouldn't be able to taste this macaron. By the way, both the Black Truffle Macaron and the Chocolate and Foie Gras Macaron are sold at €10 per piece and last Christmas in Paris they sold a total of 320 lbs (pounds), wow!

Since unfortunately we were only given a limited amount of time to try all of them, most of us couldn't finish each of the dessert by ourselves so we shared, one bite of each items except the macarons. Even though I had a very high sugar tolerance, at that time I started to have a sugar rush and I didn't have any water to "help" me. I was disappointed that I had to gulp them down without being able to fully enjoy them. The school should have given us a container in the beginning so that we can take back with us one of each items if we could not eat them there, that would've been much better.

After this we got ready for the reception that was scheduled to start at 6 pm. There were a lot of food prepared by the school and most of them were (more) desserts -- there was one big table filled with Pierre Hermé creations. We were a little bit surprise to see those since we thought that we were the only ones who would taste his creations, but we were happy when we noticed that not all the desserts we tasted were there -- only Emotion Ispahan, Emotion Depayse, Macaron Ispahan, Macaron Satine and Black Truffle Macaron.

Pierre Hermé: Wine Pierre Hermé: Bottled water
Wines, Champagnes and Bottled water

Pierre Hermé: Rocher Pierre Hermé: Caramel
Rocher and Caramel

Pierre Hermé: Ananas rôti à la vanille de Tahiti, crème glacée à la noix de coco grilée Pierre Hermé: Tarte au chocolat amer noir Saint-Domingue
Left: Ananas rôti à la vanille de Tahiti, crème glacée à la noix de coco grilée
Right: Tarte au chocolat amer noir Saint-Domingue

Pierre Hermé: Tomato gazpacho Pierre Hermé: Tarte aux fruits et à la vanille bourbon
Left: Tomato gazpacho
Right: Tarte aux fruits et à la vanille bourbon

Pierre Hermé: Saumon fumé maison Pierre Hermé: La fameuse tartine rustique de John et Betsy
Left: Saumon fumé maison
Right: La fameuse tartine rustique de John et Betsy

Pierre Hermé: Le buffet de Pierre Hermé - Emotion Ispahan, Emotion Depayse, Macaron Ispahan, Macaron Satine and Black Truffle Macaron
Le buffet de Pierre Hermé - Emotion Ispahan, Emotion Depayse, Macaron Ispahan, Macaron Satine and Black Truffle Macaron

Pierre Hermé: Braisé de porc en galette de blé noir, cole slaw de fenouil, pomme et noix Pierre Hermé: Potage vichyssois
Left: Braisé de porc en galette de blé noir, cole slaw de fenouil, pomme et noix
Right: Potage vichyssois

Pierre Hermé: Earl grey chocolate bar Pierre Hermé: La daube de bœuf à Michel (uncovered)
Left: Earl grey chocolate bar
Right: La daube de bœuf à Michel

Around 7 pm there was a small ceremony to officially end this event. Jacquy thanked Chef Pierre Hermé and Mickaël, then presented plaques and books to each of them. PH said that he was very satisfied and impressed with French Pastry School. Then Sébastien toasted everyone who helped make the event ran smoothly.

Pierre Hermé: Mickaël accepting the plaque Pierre Hermé: Accepting the plaque
Mickaël and Pierre Hermé accepting their plaques

Pierre Hermé: Giving a speech Pierre Hermé: Sébastien was giving a speech
Pierre Hermé and Sébastien giving speeches

Before we finaly said our good bye to each other, some of us took pictures with the Chefs.

Pierre Hermé: Him, Mickaël Marsollier and me
Chef Mickaël Marsollier, moi, and Chef Pierre Hermé

Pierre Hermé: Chef Jacquy Pfeiffer and me Pierre Hermé: Chef Sébastien Canonne, M.O.F. and me
With Chef Jacquy Pfeiffer and Chef Sébastien Canonne, M.O.F.

By the way, when I passed by the PH dessert table on the way down, I saw that there were still lots and lots Macarons and Emotions left. If only I had a container, I would ask for a permission to take some more home. I only hoped that they didn't throw them away. That would be a sin!

I couldn't believe that the class was already over, I guess time flies when you have so much fun. That night I left very tired but very happy. I couldn't wait to get home so that I could try out the recipes.

By the way, I took one of each Macarons back with me for my husband to try. He was blown away and loved all of them too. Even though they were not perfectly shape anymore, I could still take the pictures of them (again) -- except for the Chocolate and Foie Gras Macaron which was totally crushed.

In closing I would like to say:
* Thank you Chef Pierre Hermé for these 2 wonderful days, you have taught me a lot and you might not know how much you have inspired me all this time. You are the best!
* Thank you Mickaël for helping in preparing all the stuffs needed for the demonstration so that the class could run smoothly, as well as in finishing the products so that we could taste them. You are very friendly!
* Thank you Jacquy, Sébastien, Anne and all the staff at French Pastry School for organizing this once in a lifetime opportunity, as well as for selecting me to be one of the lucky attendees. You all are very nice people!

With this I end the story about my 2-day Pierre Hermé class in Chicago. I hope you all can share my amazing and unforgettable experience through these posts, I've tried to write as much details as possible. My husband has reminded me not to write a "novel", but I couldn't resist posting the important stuffs, which in my opinion means everything. :-)


Pierre Hermé Paris

French Pastry School
226 West Jackson Boulevard
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 726-2419