Lesson #4: Escoffier’s Toque

It is said that the folds of a toque blanche (chef’s hat) is indicative of how many different ways the chef can cook eggs.

If that is the case, then I deserve no less than ten folds.

I crack three eggs and whisk them with a fork:
they form into a yellow pool
and coagulate                                                                                                                                       on a hot
pan of melted butter.
I eat them in my underwear and singlet.

Omelettes should be eaten bra-less
On a Sunday
Or Monday morning —
Whichever you consider to be the beginning or the end of the week.

A crisp asparagus breaks the lining of an under-cooked yoke and makes it runny.

I cannot poach an egg without the aid of cling wrap;
it’s like using a condom, in a way.

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Lesson #1 : How (not) to tie a tie

 

        The only iron that I own is a hair straightening iron.
        It sits on top of a plastic storage box, next to some rose-scented pink garbage bags.

My first lesson in Pâtisserie is how to tie a cravat. It must first be folded into creases in a manner which is not dissimilar to the process of lamination. Butter is used to laminate puff pastry and croissant dough.
                My neckerchief of cobalt blue is steam-pressed into five tapering folds.

According to Zola, French laundresses in the late nineteenth century were pretty, coquettish labourers. Her linens were always freshly ironed to mask her weakness for dancing and alcohol.

        A pâtissier is no less a whore than a laundress, I learn quickly: we tempt with beauty; and we sell decadent and empty pleasures.

        My boyfriend does my laundry.
        He irons and folds my chef whites like thin Origami paper.