Apparently life had to get bizarre again to get me writing a new post. After a year of pastry school, internship at a hotel and working for a small bakery just until i made sure they were crazy, i finally decided to build my own brand, be my own boss.
This was not my initial choice, since i wanted to experience different kitchens and build up my knowledge before i dive into the industry with a name. But...
Things did not go as planned. See the main problem, in Turkey, is you either have to deal with mostly ignorant cooks (not chefs) in a hotel, or have to work in a bakery owned by someone who absolutely has no idea on baking. There are lots of boutique bakeries popping up n every corner, but inside they're such disasters that you have a hard time not blowing your boss' head off...or better yet chopping it with your chefs knife:) yes things get wild... You frequently find yourself fantasizing about these sorts of things with a smile on your face:)
Of course these all would be bearable for the experience, but what you sadly realize is that the experience is not there to be gained. No one knows anything, no one cares about the proper ways of anything, or the importance of proper ingredients. And the list goes on... Main mindset is "bakeries are profitable" rather than "we love baking".
Was the only option building my own business? Of course not, i could always go abroad and work to find the kind of experience i'm looking for. Leaving this country has always been my dream anyways... So i could pack things up and go... And that probably would have been the smarter choice.
So what kept me back? Well my main goal was always the States. But i also have an almost-7-year very very precious and fun relationship. And for me, such a long distance means accepting that you are breaking up. It cannot be a relationship if you only see eachother twice a year. But i also didn't want to push anyone to anything, arrange it all and let him suddenly find himself in the States:) i could go on and on about this, so let's leave it at that.
I am building my own business. Since april. Yayyyyy:) But the period from april to now has mostly been building in my head:) Made some contacts, arranged a couple of wholesale customer, planned, planned, planned, got scared, got a confidence boost by my boyfriend, and planned again. Applied to a support program by the government for entrepreneurs. And the place has been chosen and the construction has started. It will probably be ready by mid-september. I will write in detail about the whole project on my next post.
I'm all confident, excited, supported by everyone... Then life happens. And he gets an interview with Google. Goes through the first one successfully, and then the second one, and now waiting on the third one. Hopefully he will land a position in Europe soon. Fingers crossed, really crossed:) I want him to get it, and really do believe he will get it. But also cannot keep myself from thinking: was it gonna be me who stays behind, while everyone else goes? Seriously??? How stupid am i to build a business in a country i hate?! How bizarre?!
So my current state of mind: Fucking Positive!
PS: getting into detail about everything would probably turn out to be a small book, so i hope this will be an intriguing summary to keep you following:)
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
It's been a decade since my last post and i feel like 'just another one' of those failed bloggers, but i've written a post each day on my mind, you just didn't see it:)
I've started that culinary school i've been talking about for the last two years, the very expensive one:/ There seemed no other options for the moment, so i said what the hack:) So, it started on february 1st and i've recieved a 4-months education in the simplest form.. My answer to anyone whose willing to take this way: The only thing i bought, and you will have bought with this money is a diploma to open up a little path for you, other than that it's a barely-mediocre education, so on that part don't get your hopes up. You still have to educate yourself, but the stamp you get is powerful in Turkey for the moment:) PS: With this you also get the cutest stamp of being a spoiled brat from MSA :P
So let's get on to other things it's brought into my life.
I've had the chance to meet a rising star chef from NYC, watched him like a 5-year-old as he did his magic with liquid nitrogen. Then a friend denied him the pleasures of talking about food ( Sorry that
most of you didn't get this sentence, but the ones who did probably had a good laugh:) )... I've found two great friends that make time pass by so easily that you always end up saying: Damn, it's midnight already, we haven't even watch our movies yet:/
We had a hot hot lecture of biscuits from Biscolata guys Oscar and Haley. At that exact moment i realized what i've actually paid for, and felt reaaaallly good about it;))Here's also a link to their commercial, for those of you who don't already know:
I now have started my internship at a well-known (worldwide) hotel's pastry kitchen. For diplomatic purposes i'll keep my opinions to myself for now, i'm sure you would all be understanding. It's been 10 days or so, and what i feel when i get home everyday is like somebody beat the bleep out of me all day through. My feet hurt, but not so much as my back... Kinda feels like my spine has been used for a Jenga game, and one of the vertebras is about to slip and lead to a destruction:) But i'm sure i'll get used to it, or to a good massage after it... Yet the pain is also most satisfying as it is from actually doing things. I've never even touched a dirty dish, or wiped the floors... For the 8 hours i work, i'm almost always baking baking baking... cakes, financiers, brownies, pannacottas, creme brules, etc... and ofcourse chocolate:)
Besides all that, i've also had a couple of orders in the last weeks. I'm making my fortune out of nasty nasty cakes and cupcakes. Bachelorette business is good, i may soon rule the bachelorette parties in Istanbul with my cupcakes, so here are some pics of that, too...
apart from how tiring it is, everything is good. Can't wait to finish this internship and actually start working... I apologize for such an unorganised post, but i will spend more time on posting and writing fun and interesting ones again...
Eat chocolate, be good and i will see u later:)
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Thursday, January 20, 2011
When i realized i am now able to clearly define the situation, i imimediately wanted to share it with everyone who listens. It's about the lack of acceptance of culinary work as an art form. Sadly in Turkey, a chef is just some underdog prepping the food in the kitchen... Although there's been some change in this perception in the last couple of years, it's still the restaurant owner who gets the main focus and in most cases is mistakenly referred to as the chef. Yes, we do start to hear more about chef's restaurants and quality food. We are beginning to learn more about what the perfect form we are to expect in a plate is. But, this improvement is not actually (not for all cases, but most) the result of enhanced knowledge, but of the guidance of trends. It's now trendy to go eat at a classy restaurant and know the chef's name. But, what actually happens is that, the names we know are not the chef's names. And this becomes more shameful, when the one making this mistake is a food magazine. Restaurant owners are included under articles like Istanbul's best chefs, among real chefs who've spent their years in this art... ( This is my actual observation that got the MSA executive chef to immediately like me:) )
Anyways i could complain for hours about the subject, but you all got the point. So, let's improve it..
There's a strict distinction between a baker and a pastry chef. In Turkey we see this distinctions only in Hotels or Hotel restaurants. Everyone else is a baker except hotel chefs. Chef, actually, is not as cheap a term as we use it in here...
If we say a chef is the scientist, then a baker is the industrial partner. Industrial partner has to make his main product better, while chef develops the new methods for him to do so...
To simply explain; a pastry chef has to think of presentation ten times harder, while a baker has done his job when he's got the flavor just perfect. A pastry chef has to come up with new techniques and have a variety of them on hand, while the baker needs to have the highest experience on his technique to make the specific product on the spot each time...
These examples do not propose any less respect for either occupation, but merely defines the distinction inbetween. A perfect product by a baker takes us to our childhood, while a perfect product by a pastry chef takes us to a whole new world. And either is as much valuable yet different for me. I sincerely hope we- as a culture insanely based on food unlike any other culture- will get to this same level of almost-worldwide knowledge in culinary arts...
So, a decision awaits... Will i be a pastry chef, or a baker?!