Monday, March 1, 2010

Chef John Kraus

We had quite a pleasant surprise for class today -- we were given the opportunity to audit a class with the much esteemed chef John Kraus of The French Pastry School in Chicago ( He is a an amazing teacher and is in town for the large cake competition in Austin where he gave demonstrations and classes. The class we are auditing is 3 days long and covers Petits Fours including tarts, macarons, financiers, madeleines, pate a choux, ganaches, etc. It falls right in line with what we were learning in class at this point so PERFECT timing. I feel very fortunate to be able to learn from chef Kraus as he is one of the best in the nation. Some pictures of things that were worked on today--

These were called Exotique-- which is a coconut fondant cakey-pudding type petit four

Closer view in fleximold. These will be topped with a glaze and a pineapple salsa!

Hazelnut/carrot cake petits fours. These will be glazed and finished tomorrow.

These are called Soleil (which means 'sun' in French) which will be filled tomorrow.

Another view. These are made with a special piping tip that I need to invest in ...very cool.

Pate a Choux sprinkled with LARGE sugar crystals and will be filled tomorrow.

Another view.

Q&A with Chef Kraus. He is very personable and easy going. He actually left the French Pastry School this past December after 10 years on staff. He will be opening his own bakery in Minnesota called Patisserie 46. Too bad so far away....or I would hand him a resume asap!!!

I couldn't resist....I asked chef to sign my program..HA!

Most everything done in class today was either making up batter and chilling overnight or baking petit fours to be filled/embellished tomorrow. Can't wait for day two. Also...we will be tackling French macarons which I am super excited about. Hooray! Stay tuned for more...

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