It’s that time of year. The big Summer Clearance that we all love.
My assistant Gilberto wanted to learn how to bake bread. We all know I have zero patience so I wouldn’t be his best teacher. We needed to find someplace and someone who would be nice to him. Luckily we found Le Pain Quotidien. Fun Fact: If you’re visiting New York City. Ask five different people on the street how to find a Le Pain Quotidien. All five people will correct the way you say it and all five will say it a different way. I signed my assistant and I up for Baking 101 at Le Pain Quotidien down on Bleeker Street. I’ve always been familiar with Le Pain Quotidien as a great place to grab a coffee and light lunch. Their pastries are fantastic and their lunch and brunch options are always fresh and not over seasoned and heavy. I had no idea they offered baking classes. I’m certainly glad they do. First off, the class is in an open kitchen which always makes for some characters who stand and stare with curious and …
It’s no secret I live in New York City. I do and I don’t. Everyone thinks if you live in New York City that you actually live in the city in some glass high rise with a doorman. No, I don’t. I live in some box of an apartment in Astoria, Queens. It may not be Manhattan but you know what it has that Manhattan doesn’t? Character.
Remember the Cinnamon Basil Ice Cream last week? Me too. You know why? I wrote it down on here.
I went to culinary school. To get a job as a pastry chef. To do what I love. To present my gift of pastry to the world. What they don’t tell you in culinary school, I will tell you here. Your gift of pastry skills and hospitality skills in general will be used to appease angry assholes that want you to kiss their ass. When I left school I quickly found out that culinary school should have taught me how to kiss ass. First off, your talent, nobody gives a shit about. How fast can you give me what I want? That’s what the guest and your boss wants to know. Second, the pay is pathetic considering how much school and training costs. People want what they want and want it now. Quantity over quality. This is what we’ve become. I’ve had guests where I work demand chocolate covered strawberries in January. I’ve let people know that it’s not wise and offered better options that I could do. No. They want strawberries and they want them now. …
When I first moved to New York City I was living off the 1 train in the Bonx. Not that this has any relevance to the story. It was a trek up to the Bronx but I didn’t mind because the 1 train was absolutely fantastic for people watching. I still occasionally ride the 1 train to entertain myself. Hey tourists, riding the train is an experience don’t fear it.
One place I have heard so much about, especially in the summer here in New York is Governors Island. For some reason to me it felt as though it was a day trip. Not even close but it does feel like you took a road trip out of the city. I am totally in love with the island.