The very talented Viviene Perenyi of At Down Under took us through a food photography course where I learned some great tips. We split up into groups and photographed fruit, although I was a little biased and decided the lemons were the prettiest!
|Viviene teaches us about food photography|
|My bowl of fruit photo|
|My favourite photo|
Next we had the lovely Alessandra Zecchini (she created Sweet NZ!) to teach us how to make fondant roses in a simple way. I did feel like a bit of a cheat being there but I hadn't used those techniques before so I definitely learned something new PLUS I had lots of fun and isn't that what it's all about?!
|Alessandra takes us through fondant flower making|
|Yay! Pettinice fondant, that's what I use too!|
|My fondant rose creations|
On day two the head Patisserie tutor, Sebastien Lambert at Le Cordon Bleu Academy (where we were lucky enough to have our whole conference) took us through a pastry course. He showed us how to make pastry, roll it out and press it into a tart tin all while winning over our hearts. This was SO good for me, I have never worked with pastry before so I was trying to take in as much as possible. There was a little bit of pressure on as I had THE Julie Le Clerc opposite me (who is the loveliest by the way!) but I think my tart looked okay in the end. I'm super excited to try making something with pastry now. Oh and I forgot to mention how adorable Sebastien was with his legit French accent, though it was hard for me not to laugh as he is the splitting image of my husbands best friend!
|Getting ready for the pastry course|
|Getting excited about the pastry course|
|This is Sebastien, isn't he a cutie!|
|Showing us how he squashes the pastry to mix it together (a pastry revelation!)|
|Showing us how to throw flour (which I still can't do)|
|Sebastien explains that you should prick the pastry with a fork and|
THEN turn it over
|Tadaa! My pastry creation! (not bad for my first time huh?)|
|The lovely Julie poses for a photo with her pastry case|
|The whole gang!|
|Say Pastry - "Pastry!"|
Lastly Steve Barrett of Peoples Coffee offered a coffee tasting complete with a chocolate macaron (probably made by Sebastien) to accompany the delicious coffee. He explained the difference between espresso and filter coffee and the importance of fresh coffee beans with the right ratio to water. I am not usually a black coffee drinker, it's usually "blonde with one leg" as they say (milk and sugar). But that is pretty much a swear word to Steve and once I tried this amazing coffee made correctly there was no need to add anything! I could taste berries, peaches and all sorts! It was a revelation of some sort for me! Steve was so generous in giving our entire conference a packet of Peoples Coffee to take home, I'm so excited I get to share delicious fresh coffee with Mr S!
|Steve talks to us about good coffee|
|Smelling the difference between whole beans and ground beans|
Mmmm the smell of fresh coffee!
|Filter coffee at its finest|
|Filter coffee with a finer filter than we'd had before|
|Nothing beats a macaron with some great coffee!|
So there we have it! Technically from now on my photos should be better, my roses should look neater, my pastry should taste tastier and my coffee should be fresher! No one's perfect though! We'll just wait and see how I go. First things first, I'm "taste testing" some more People's Cofee! Stay tuned for the last of my series of blog posts from the conference, hopefully you're not sick of my photos yet!