Chaîne Online News

Actualités en ligne / News On-Line

Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs Competition

South Africa's Stacey Lee Chan, Winner of the 2010 Final

South Africa’s Stacey Lee Chan, Winner of the 2010 Final held in Finland, takes advantage of her prize by attending a patisserie course at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris

Here is her story …

After finally getting all organised and using my prize that I won in Finland, I was off for five weeks in Paris to go to Le Cordon Bleu and do an intense basic patisserie course.

was the correct way of describing it! On the day of our orientation we received our uniform, knife kit and programme for the week. Then we were told to get into our new uniforms because our first lecture and practical started in an hour!

We progressed from week to week starting with pastries and slowly working up to cakes, fondant work and even some chocolate coating of our cakes.

Most days started at 08h30 and could possibly only end at 21h30 with just a few hours break in between. I was very surprised to know that out of the 40 of us doing the course only six maximum had worked in the catering profession. The rest had just decided to up and leave their previous job to come to Paris and do a pastry course.

I do admit that often when I used to wake up in the morning to these beautiful days in Paris and just smell the fresh breads from the little patisseries all around I had to pinch myself to the realisation that I was staying in Paris, doing a patisserie course. How many people actually get to do that?

Before I knew it we were half way through and were given our half month practical marks. All the information we needed for our written exam and the ten recipes that we had to learn off by heart for the practical exam in the last week. Now it was time to get down and start studying for the exams and when you haven’t had to study for a few years it takes the brain a little longer to absorb all the info you need to!

The written exam and practical went really well, thank goodness, so much so that all 40 of us graduated at the end of the month.  We had a little graduation ceremony and received our certificates and marks. I couldn’t believe that the five weeks had gone so quickly. I was really sad to leave all the friends I had made, the networking was amazing. By the end the ‘INTENSE’ course had turned into an AMAZING, UNFORGETTABLE and MEMORABLE course in which I’m so glad I had the opportunity to take part.

A huge thank you needs to go to the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs as well as to Le Cordon Bleu who made this trip a reality.

Stacey Lee Chan

Vice-Conseiller Culinaire, Bailliage of Johannesburg (South Africa)