The Countdown Until Graduation

On Tuesday Chef Luc Debove M.O.F returned. For those of you that have been following the blog, you will know he taught us for chocolate week (remember we made around six hundred chocolates in four days!). This time he is here to assist us with pre-preparation for our graduation buffet that will be taking place in a few weeks.

Yes, the six months is almost over. At the end of October we will be saying good-bye to our beloved instructor Chef J, everyone at Maison Christian Faure that has taught us, and for me the city of Montreal, as I will be returning home to the UK. But, the end is still weeks of sleepless nights away, and I’m trying to live in the now (as all those new age books say you should). I just wish I’d stop waking up in the middle of the night thinking about how I can recreate the Heston Blumenthal recipe I read before going to bed online. I admit pastry is now officially dominating my life.


Well, back to the week with Chef Debove. On day one, Chef arrived with a long list of new and inventive recipes that were to push us beyond our comfort zone. I’m not saying we have become complacent, but by now all of us are comfortable whipping up a crème Anglais, or feuilleté but Chef Debove takes these classic French recipes and adds a twist. All week he kept us on our toes as we rapidly ran around (Vite, Vite, Vite) trying to keep up with Chef.


For most of the week we worked in teams. After almost six months together we have developed a rhythm of working as an équipe. In month one, I wrote how we had formed a team but now I can honestly say we are a strong team that watch out for each other. There is no competition between us (I’m not just saying this to get out of moping the floor) as we are all too busy focusing on making the best quality pastries we can before we have to move on to the next recipe.

Oops! Wrong photo – This is a photo of us out for dinner after a busy week, but really we do work hard.

This week Ms. M and I were together. She likes to work fast and efficiently, so we work as a tag team in an Olympic relay race. Ms. J and Ms. N are the yin and yang of pastry. Ms. J, the disaster is still always covered in flour and chocolate, hands whipping around in the air as Ms. N. calmly and methodically works through the recipe. And a happy Petit Garçon spent most of the week assisting Chef Debove. This was great for him as the boy is planning to move to Paris to do his ‘stag’ (apprenticeship) in a patisserie and we are all planning to come and visit him. He just doesn’t know it yet!

By the end of the week we had made a plethora of scrumptious desserts: Cake pops, St. Honoré, Religieuse, dessert sandwiches, entremets, and the list went on and on . . .


A job well done we all collapsed in laughter and smiles for the photo. with Chef Debove. It’s a poignant picture as I realise that it is the last picture documenting our work as a bon équipe.


It’s been a slice . . .




3 thoughts on “The Countdown Until Graduation

  1. Demonchy

    Well, Cailin, too bad that goods things must come to an end :-(
    It’s been a real pleasure to follow your special journey throughout the “French Pastry world”…
    I wish you all the best for your return to UK


  2. Laura B

    Caitlin, I have been following your blog and it’s been amazing, I’m only sad I couldn’t have continued the journey with you all. So nice to be able to follow along via pictures and updates. The week I spent with the group was wonderful and I have since recreated some of the treats at home. Congratulations on graduation – what will you do in the UK with your new pastry degree?!

    Liked by 1 person

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