Thursday, May 8, 2008

My journey to meet Pierre Hermé in person

I’m very excited and I cannot wait, I will meet Chef Pierre Hermé in 10 days!!! I will be able to try his amazing work of arts for the very first time, and watch the master at work. So far I could only see them on his books or in the MegaHouse miniature replicas (which I collect).

Pierre Hermé: My PH books Pierre Hermé: My MegaHouse Pierre Hermé Paris Collection - In box
PH books and MegaHouse Pierre Hermé Paris Collection

Anyway, this journey all started around October 2007 when I got an email from French Pastry School regarding the special class that will be taught by Chef Hermé himself. Right away I went to their website trying to register for that class. Unfortunately I could not register for this class directly since the registration was handled differently. I had to email the school if I was interested to get additional information – which I did right away and got an immediate answer the following day.

Here is some of what was in the email “The class with Pierre Hermé will be handled a bit differently. If you are interested in registering, please let me know and I will add your name to the list. More details about the class will follow soon (like the cost). Later this year, we will select participants using a lottery. We'll let you know the outcome of the lottery via email.” As you might already guess, I emailed them back asking to put my name on the interested list. Since the cost was unknown, my husband and I decided to have a budget for this class of up to $1,000, considering I couldn’t fly to Paris at this time because of our family matter.

I did not hear anything until the end of January, so I decided to email the school again to check if there was any update regarding the lottery result that was supposed to happen at the end of December 2007. I got the answer saying that they postponed the lottery until the end of February 2008 since they needed to finalize the detail for this class. Great, I had to wait a couple more months.

I checked their website for the Pierre Hermé class almost everyday to see if they had new information for that class. Indeed they had, there’s the cost for the class as well as the schedule for that 2 days. Since the cost is more than double my original budget, I had to talk it out with my husband whether it would be worth it to attend the class. This class will only be demonstrations, not hands-on experiences. He is always very supported of me and knows that this class means a lot to me, so he urged me to attend the class if I was selected.

Finally on March 3, 2008 I got an email from them, saying “Thank you for your interest in the Pierre Hermé class this coming May. As you know a lottery has taken place for this exceptional class. Unfortunately, you have not been selected through the lottery to attend the class.” I was very disappointed but I did not give up. I decided to email them asking to still put my name on the interested list and to let me know in the event they decided to have more seats available or if somebody has a cancellation/withdrawn interest. In addition to that, I kept praying to God everyday and visualizing myself attending this class in Chicago (if you know ‘the Secret’ you’ll know what I mean).

After that, I was busy with several pastry orders and attending the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show. Meeting Chef Thomas Keller was a good consolation, but I really wanted to meet Chef Pierre Hermé.

Guess what, on March 14, 2008 I received a phone call from the school asking if I was still interested in attending the class. Apparently a spot had opened up – maybe my request to be on the waiting list made a difference, maybe the prayers, maybe the Secret. I was speechless!!! (This happens rarely since I’m a very talkative person). As soon as I came back to the reality (still on the phone), I registered and paid for it to guarantee my seat for that class. As soon as I hung up the phone, I called my husband, screaming and laughing over the phone. I did not need to tell him anything – he knew right away. For the rest of the day I kept smiling and thanking God for this wonderful opportunity.

Thank you for reading this very long post and sharing my excitement. I will definitely post again about the class after I come back from Chicago. Have a good night!


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

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