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Live & Learn

Lots to write about. Let’s see if I can remember it all. I’m glad posting two to three times a week was not my New Year’s resolution…because it was broken the first day of the year.

Today was pretty great. Got my car back after it was in the shop since Wednesday!!! It’s so nice to not have to rely on people for rides. Went to lunch with Evan after I got my car back. Sushi. But really, when it comes to us, what else?? So. Good. As always.

Ok, first off, if you haven’t seen Pitch Perfect, go see it. Now. Or soon. It’s amazing. It’s a comedy about collegiate a capella groups. Hilarious. In fact, here’s one of my favorite parts, the (or one of) turning point of the movie:

I really don’t know why it took me so long to watch this movie. But after all the talk about how great it was, especially after one of the guys was talking about it in one of our restaurants (which let’s face it, if a guy liked it, it had to be good). So I watched it; it’s now on the favorite movies list.

Nice little heart warming story for you all. It’s stories like this that make me love what I do, and remind me why I went into this business. The other night a friend of the manager at our restaurant downstairs was coming in to celebrate her birthday. The manager came to me and asked that I make a special dessert for her, something extra special. The thing was, she was gluten free. Which really narrows down my choices to do anything, especially on the fly like that. Usually we have some notice and can prepare something like:

IMG_3688Vegan Cupcake and frosting with vegan Jello

Now that picture is of a vegan dessert I had to make, but the point is, with enough notice, we can make something other than the ‘go to’ gluten free dessert; Berries ala Victor (vanilla sauce).

I told him that my only choice, especially with my choices of ‘nice’ desserts coming from room service, was creme brûlée  He said that was fine, just as long as it was super five star/five diamond – the Broadmoor way. So after a ‘third time’s a charm’ kind of deal with this plate, I made a couple changes to our room service creme brûlée  added some gold luster dust and piped chocolate on the plate. This is what resulted, and I must say, after all the re-dos, I was happy with it:

IMG_3844Creme Brûlée with Raspberry Sauce and Chocolate Deco

A couple days later I went down to the restaurant to talk to the manager about the dessert, to see how she liked it. This is where the warm and fuzzy feeling story comes in. He told me that she was out for dinner with her brother, to celebrate her birthday. Her husband is overseas and so holidays and birthdays are hard on the both of them, and that this was rare. When the manager told her that she was getting something special for dessert, she had mentioned that she really hoped it was creme brûlée, that anything would be great, but that she secretly wanted creme brûlée (her favorite). They had dinner, watched all the dancing that was going on that night with the live band, and the manager brings out her dessert, creme brûlée. He told me that that was the icing on the cake moment for her for the night. He said that she started crying, because of the given circumstance with her husband and all, and that getting this dessert was just amazing.

When he was telling me this, I wanted to start crying. But I didn’t. As my chef said in school, “No crying in the kitchen!” (thanks Chef Erica!). Ok, it was that and the fact that I didn’t want to cry in front of all the guys working on the line down there. :D But seriously, I was so glad that he told me that, and that I could do something for someone, as simple as a plate of creme brûlée for dessert. It’s easy to forget for us in the kitchen that something that can take us maybe 10-15 minutes to put together can mean more to someone else. This is something I’ll definitely remember.

When I work nights, I make a special dessert for one of the dinner menu options for the restaurant. It’s their Dessert of the Day, and Carrie and I can make what ever we want, as long as it’s presentable and tastes good. This week I decided I should start being a little more adventurous in what I did, mainly because I found some recipes on Pinterest that I thought could work for the restaurant. Yesterday I wanted to try this Blood Orange Lemon Bar recipe that I found. I knew I was going to have to make some modifications, but figured it wouldn’t make a huge deal. Well…it did. Did not work out as planned. I mean it tasted ok…it’s just that neither I nor my manager were comfortable sending it downstairs. So what I really want to do now is make it at home, per the recipe (like using real blood oranges instead of puree and having to alter the sugar), and see if it works. Because it sounds amazing. If you’re interested, I got the recipe from this blog.

Today I made a chocolate creme brûlée for tomorrow night. It’s going to end up being a S’mores Creme Brûlée. I’m excited. As I baked the creme brûlée off tonight, it looked like it was going ok. Baking creme brûlée makes me so nervous, and I have no idea why. So tonight I made the creme of the brûlée and tomorrow I’m going to add the brûlée along with meringue (marshmallow effect) and graham cracker crumbs and a couple graham cracker pieces. I’m. Excited. This better work. Or they’re getting Baileys Pie on Thursday. If you want the recipe for this, I found it here.

In February the Broadmoor is hosting the 11th Annual “Salute to Escoffier” dinner. Look here for details. This is the first time that I’ve been apart of this dinner, and along with the desserts I know our kitchen will make, we also have the option of doing showpieces. Something French themed, but not bread…because well, the French chef down in the bakery will be taking care of that! And trust me. His work is amazing!! I’m excited to see what he comes up with. I decided to go with a French storefront type piece. Something like this:

IMG_3850The Art of French Baking

It’ll be made out of chocolate, pastillage and painted images. I’m hoping this turns out ok. I have a couple different visions of it, so I’m really hoping something cohesive comes out of it. I mean with the little time that I’ll actually have to work on it, what with only having just barely a week to work on it, along with being in Penrose for the next month, give or take.

Oh yes. Last bit of news that I have. I’ve [been] volunteered to go work in Penrose for a month or so because one of the girls is moving home, next week. She works on brunch, all week, which means that will be my new life. Make all of the brunch desserts in Penrose, get help plating from one or two people on Saturdays, then be at work at 5am on Sundays to finish up prep and set up the dining room. I’m. Terrified. Now I have gotten better about taking the ‘take it one step at a time’ approach, but still. Penrose? I mean…Penrose?! Yes. Freaking out slightly. I know once I learn how to do everything I’ll be ok. And I was promised that once our new chef gets hired, which should be between March and April, I’ll be the first priority – to get brought back to banquets. I mean who knows. Maybe when the new chef gets here I’ll want to stay in Penrose…we’ll see. I still get nervous thinking about it. Well come next Wednesday I’ll know what it’s going to entail. At least I won’t have anymore super late nights. So there’s a plus. That and I’ll get to put the Penrose on my resume. The only five star/five diamond restaurant in Colorado. So again, there’s that.

Well I suppose that’s all for right now. I’ll be sure to post pictures of the S’mores Creme Brûlée when I finish it tomorrow, as well as the showpiece when (if?) I get it done.


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