Friday, October 22, 2010

All Good Things Must End Some Day

Graduation is, like so many big occasions, a time of endings and beginnings. There is the anticipation of life beyond school, the excitement of taking out newly learned and honed skills into the world, and there is often also the gleaming vision of going out to win fame and fortune, or at the very least make a substantial impact on the world. But these feelings of greatness are also usually accompanied (if only in the slightest twinge) with a feeling of loss for what will be left behind. Most often we miss the people we encountered, but we can also miss something significant that a certain experience gave to us: the enjoyment of trying something new, the continual and immediate pressure to strive and perfect, comradery, or the escape from the life one has into something new.

Judge's Plate (clockwise from top right): Charlotte royal; pain au chocolat; lemon cookie; passion fruit bonbon

We have several graduations each year at the school. They are always attended with enthusiasm as students celebrate with friends and family their accomplishments. For the pastry students, the final project includes the making of four desserts: a cake or pie; a Viennoiserie; a petit four; and something chocolate, such as a bonbon or chocolate dipped confection. Students also are required to make a stand on which to display their final creations. As is standard for all FCI projects, there is a theme. And students may use pastillage (sugar-based dough that dries hard when left out); poured, pulled, or blown sugar; and/or chocolate to make their stand. The final projects are some of my favorite items to see on display, as they demonstrates the culmination of all the student has done during the past six (day program) or nine months (evening program). The student, too, gets to see how far they have come, thinking back to the first time they made croissants or tempered chocolate.

Here are some recent photos of what students have done. The first group is from a day class. Their theme was places. The second group is from an evening class. Their theme was space. Click on photos to view details.


Clockwise from right: New York City (Columbus Circle); New Jersey (New Jersey Turnpike); Guatemala

Clockwise from top right: New York City (Seagram Building); New Jersey (Jersey Shore); Chicago; Dominican Republic


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