My shift at the restaurant begins at 9 a.m.
Our two-person pastry team, which is made up of myself and my coworker Calisha Sambrano, works in a section of the open kitchen each day.
I start preparing bread for the day.
We start by making our bread dough by weighing it out and balling the mixture into shapes. We leave them to proof (rise for one last time) before baking.
I also prepare our ingredients and supplies.
We also start our mise en place, which is when we prepare elements of specific desserts we’re serving at the moment and put together our supplies for sorbets, ice creams, and other bases for the work week.
We change our desserts and the mignardise (the bite-sized desserts served at the end of a meal) quite regularly to give us an opportunity to be creative and try new things while using the fresh local produce that’s in season.
Around noon, my coworkers and I enjoy lunch together.
The restaurant staff makes us our lunch, which is always super delightful.
The chefs serve us great food and even cater to our allergies and dietary needs. For example, I’m the only vegetarian and our sommelier is lactose intolerant, so the food we get is made with our dietary restrictions in mind.
For lunch, we might get meals like butternut-squash soup or focaccia.
After lunch, we start with the actual service.
Service is like a well-oiled machine run by our amazing head chef, Stephane Proche.
I prepare to serve the bread, butter, and desserts during this time. Since pastries are brought to customers toward the end of a meal, we use the time we spend waiting for dessert orders by continuing with our prep work.
La Table De Castigno offers a surprise menu so the client can choose between the grand immersion and petite experience options. For pastries, this includes a maximum of two desserts and four mignardises.
I focus on preparing our two main desserts.
On this day, the restaurant’s two desserts were A Tart Tatin Revisited, which comes with caramelized apples, a spicy sponge, and a Granny-Smith-apple gel accompanied by house-made ice cream.
Secondly, we had a cotton-candy cloud-inspired citrus dessert, which has a yuzu parfait, lemon curd, black-lemon gel, chestnut-génoise sponge, and streusel with a vinegar être to pour over the cotton candy.
I love that both options are as interactive as they are delicious.
We also have four mignardises. The mignardises are given to every client after dessert, along with coffee.
After returning to work, I have dinner.
After putting things in place for the second service the staff has dinner together. Some of my favorite staff dinners have to be mussels with a blue-cheese sauce and fries, lasagna, and French tacos, which are made with a tortilla folded around cheese and fries.
As part of the pastry team, we also make a staff dessert at least once a week. Our kitchen staff also eats any cut-off or edge pieces of pastries as well as leftovers. We rarely throw things away.
Once the second service is over, we clean the kitchen for the night.
After the second service, we clean the entire kitchen’s floors, counters, and walls.
Lastly, we make a to-do list for the following day.
The time mostly flew by because I spent it working on things I am passionate about.