Welcome to a tour of the Maison Carratie kitchens! I had too many pictures for one post, so I've split it into two parts and posted one after the other.
where all the action happens
No, not in the pastry kitchen, but at the coffee machine! At times, it felt like everyone spent more time making themselves little espressos than actually working. The girls in the shop would continue to make everyone espressos throughout the day as well, keeping all the workers on a constant caffeine high. Typically, David would have 4 espressos, a Red Bull and a soda.
the pastry kitchen
All these photos will look a little grim because of the fluorescent lighting. This is where I spent the majority of my time. I would usually work where those cakes are piled on the table. When I came in the morning I would set buckets out on the shelf below the table, one for trash, one for fruit scraps for Chef's chickens and one with a cleaning solution and a rag. I would then microwave the nappages, rouge for strawberries and jaune for everything else, so they would be ready for the day. The nappage always sits on top of the microwave, as seen below.
After that, I would collect any tarts and pastries from the shop that needed to be refreshed. Any strawberries would need to be picked off, replaced and new nappage applied. Full tarts, like the fruit tart, would need to have new nappage applied as well. Clockwise from the top (as displayed in the shop): Diamant Rouge, Royal, Strawberry Tart, Tarte du jour (absolutely fabulous pistachio frangipane with sour cherries and crumble) and Mille-Feuille Caramel.
Then I would make new tarts according to what the girls from the shop specified on the order form. I was perpetually in charge of raspberry tarts, strawberry tarts, carmela tarts and fruit tarts. Once I finished them, I would help decorate the remaining pastries that Alexi and David would be working on. Below are the chocolate flowers and a marzipan plaque that we would put on pastries for people's birthdays or anniversaries.
We would then move on to the production list for the day. Alexi would take inventory on Tuesday of all the pastries in the freezer then decide with Chef, what needed to be made. Here you can see all the Diamant Rouge lined up in the freezer.
Last week, we made Caranougats, Mille-Feuille Diamant Rouges and Madisons. No production is supposed to take place on the weekends, though I feel like there has been a lot of run-over during my time here. Yesterday we stayed later because David didn't finish making macarons on Friday like he was supposed to.
Continue to part 2...