This was the week that each of the team went their separate ways in order to gain specific experience in the area of their own expertise.
We had work experience scheduled in local gastro pubs, a baking course in Stellenbosch, local supermarket’s food to go and front desk training at the Taj Hotel.
Our three students were embracing their shifts at the Cape Grace Hotel with gusto and returning to our guest house each evening with tales of new skills and new friends.
We were also treated to a show round of an in-flight catering facility which was just mind blowing and something I would recommend to ALL caterers at some time in their career.
The key point here was the incredibly high levels of hygiene and detail which come into place when making meals to go onto airplanes. The words of Riaan Blignaut MD will remain with me for a long time “airline food will never been the most exciting food in the world but it will ALWAYS be the safest”. Just to put it into perspective, I couldn’t take my Camera in as they don’t allow any glass on the premises! I did manage to persuade them to let me use a small camera so we do have some record of the visit!
Friday was a 4.00am start for us all because we had an invite by the owner Patrick Moreau of Cassis to visit one of the best Bakery/Patisseries in the Western Cape. Our fatigue soon departed on entering a wonderland of baking smells and sights. Our arrival was planned to coincide with the departure of bread and pastries which had been prepared that night being sent out on delivery across town. There were loaves and rolls and cakes and buns and tarts and macaroons and more. All looked just picture perfect as if ready for a cook book photo shoot.
We then observed some of the practices in place for the following day, tons of puff pastry being handmade and also Macaroons and a variety of breads and rolls.
Reward for the early start was a French style Brunch at the Cassis Café in the Garden Centre Mall. We endeavoured to sample as much of the menu as possible, managing to consume Croissants, Croque Monisieur, Pain au Chocolate and some gorgeous little potato puffs made from choux pastry plus a variety of pastries and macaroons and a cooked breakfast! All agreed it was well worth the early start.