Monday, 23 May 2011

Afternoon Tea

Last week it was time to host our superior patisserie afternoon tea. Its strange to think it was only a few months ago, back in september, that the prospect of producing it seemed mind-boggling and now its been prepped, baked and eaten! Here are the vital stats. We made everything over 2 days, 14 hours of kitchen time. There were 16 of us in total, working in two teams. We made 21 different types of cakes as well as 3 types of scones and preserves.  There was at least 30 tea sized versions of every cake as well as their larger counterparts. The scones numbered in the 200+. We hosted the event for about 70 people. Okay, so thats the fact and figures out the way, here's a picture before the wordy bit.

Although we did have to work quite hard to get everything ready in time, doing solid seven hour stints in the kitchen was quite enjoyable. Sometimes I think its better to work right through because its not until you have a break that you realise you are tired. Its also much more realistic as to what will be expected of us in the real big bad world once we finish. On the first day we had a briefing, split into groups, allocated jobs and then set about doing all our mis-en-place. By the end of the first day we had pretty much everthing made up ready to be put together and be pretty-fied the next day. I also had a raging appetite for something savory and ate perhaps the largest bowl of pasta that I have ever laid my eyes on.  Thanks very much to bonne bouche and their abmormally large portions, a carb overload was definately required. On the second day we finished everthing off by glazing, piping and decorating with various fruit, chocolate and sugar charms. In our team we also had to make up all the scones so that they were still hot for service. We had a nice little system going and, before we knew it, a kitchen overrun by scones!

Scones as big as your head!

Normally the tea party is done in bigger groups (the last one had 30) and although we got everything done in time, the main rush was getting it all across to the hotel. In the end we had to recruit stray students to grab trays and run them across. Dispite the last minute panic we got everthing set up in time, ready to host. Through the event we served the various tables, explaining what was what and topping up the supplies. My mum, dad and aunt all came so I enjoyed playing the role of chef, hairnet and all.

Overall it was really enjoyable, its nice getting into bed at night feeling both exhausted and excited. I'll try and scan the menu in at some point but here are the last of the few pictures I managed to take. There were also some press about so I might try and scout down some reviews too. 

Under a month left now! 

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