Salam and hi friends,
It's was a 3 days' of adrenaline rush, of hot mama's hands, symptoms of diarrhea and a whole lot of fun and learning.
I'm talking about the Squire's Kitchen first ever Diploma course in Asia which were held from 6-8th May 2009 at the ICCA Kota Damansara. Our Instructor is non other than the wonderful Rosalind Chan, an International Sugar Artist Instructor and owner of the ICCA chains.
The Squire's Kitchen 3 day Professional Wedding Cake Diploma Course.
I had signed up for this class much soon as I heard about it, but was a bit weary and not expecting anything new, other than learning how to make use of some new tools etc. I had also just completed my Wilton 3 earlier in the week, so the lag from that was also still there. So I drag myself to the class, wondering whether I'd made the right decision. Little did I know it was going to be a 3 days full of fun, friendships, laughter, and surprise and plenty of nervousness and stress...
During the introduction process, I'd already feel scared. Why not? Apparently, everyone's an expert. Among them were Chef Yom (quite famous especially at Bagus and she's a WMI), Calvin of Blackforest Tavern (also another expert, that he said that he doesn't need to introduce himself. Sorry Calvin, i know only your work, not your face, so u still need to do a bit of intro.hahaha)
There's also Norizan, Azie, Kanaga, Lai Peng, Angeline (all WMIs), Aniza of TrulyScrumptioustreats (Niza, I cant open your site!), Renuka, and these that the names (for the life of me I cant remember) Chef Yom's friend, Azie's friend (from Johor), Norizan's friend (from Penang) and Angeline's friends (if you gals are reading this post, please tell me their names!!)
I'm honored to have been in you gals and guy's company...
We were provided with a box of tools, and Rosalind taught us how to use them creatively, also we learnt some dusting and how to better decorate our cakes (Rosalind, if you ever conduct a class on Acquiring Creativity, let me know please!!)
1st day she was Canadian slang and all, but by the 3rd day, we managed to turn back to her Malaysian roots, with the lahs and mahs..hehehe..sorry Rosalind! The girls were so naughty and cheeky that at one point I heard Rosalind said " I give up lah with u people" and it's was only the 2nd half of 1st day!!
Rosalind saying something funny (which I cant remember coz i was operating on a zombie mode, from lack of sleep and whole lotta of other things)
Even had the time to peek at this pakcik on a scooter. It was a birthday cake ordered for the YAB DPM for his birthday. Cute!! Happy birthday Datuk Muhyiddin Yasin !! (apology if I had this spelled wrongly). Hope you'll lead our beloved country into greatness!!
I've already had 2 sleepless nights coz I was still thinking of how I want to decorate my cake. Rosalind had advised us to bring about a picture so that we can at least follow that. But I was determined to use my own imagination (which I'm pretty sure now I lack) and thus the sleepless nights. I still cant imagine how my cake will turn out. I'm a pretty simple person. I like my cakes to be simple but looks delicious. I like it sophisticated yet stunning. Simple but gorgeous!! How ahhh??
So, on the 3rd day, while I was busy eating my nasi lemak (so glad I had that coz I didnt have anything else after that!! My next meal was to be at 10 pm) Rosalind wrote down the timetable for the day, where we had to finish by 4.30pm and the cakes will be put on display etc.
"I also have a surprise for you..." she announced sweetly. I thought she's going to give us presents of something. "It's going to be a Competition. Your cakes will be judged by the end of the day, not onl by me, but also by 2 other external judges. Madam Amy Beh and Mr Michael, an x Malaysian Institute of Baking Chef. Be ready!! And that my dears, is your surprise..."
My nasi lemak nearly dropped to the floor!! What?? Competition?? What competition? I signed up for a class, where we lazily do our work and assembly our cakes messily and the end. I didnt sign up for no competition.
Ohh...gosh!! I'm in trouble for sure. Everyone else's cake looks pretty set to me. They know what they're doing. Seemed like I'm the only lost soul here.
My hands and knees were shaking that I cant hardly hold anything or stand-up straight. I feel like peeing but I cant't coz i'll lose 5 minutes. I dont even know where to start.
By 11 am, I had to take that 5 minute break coz my palms were sweating and I cant hold the fondant properly. It got wet and sticky!!! ARGGGHHHH...
So, while sitting in the small confined area, I was contemplating a quit plan. Should I say I'm having diarrhea or period pain (the famous school time excuse)...but my posItive side is saying, don't quit. just do what u can. Try!!...Ayoyoyoyo....stress level very high at this point.
The whole class was very quiet, we could shatter glass with the silence. Nobody paid any attention to Rosalind anymore, even though she tried to crack jokes. The silence made me more nervous...
But in the end, I managed to finish my cake. I did it!! Though it was a bit plain and pale in comparison to others, I proud to say it's 100% mine. Didnt get any help from nobody.
Everyone else's cake was stunning and very complicated. I must say salute to you people for managing to do a very difficult looking cake.
Here. the judges were busy judging our cakes.
We managed to finish before midnite...that's an accomplishment!!
We sat down waiting for the judges verdicts on our creations. We were to be judged on the following criteria : Creativity, Degree of Difficulty, Color coordination, Sugar Flowers, Interpretation of the Theme (which is wedding cake), and Overall Appearance and Presentation.
The passing categories would be Novice, Meet Requirements, or Competition Level ( highest mark).
I prayed hard I wouldn't be in the novice category. If I did, I would probably be the only one..Malunyaaaaa!!!!
The judges had plenty to say about each cake, but all in all, we all fell in the Meet the Requirement Standards. The experts must have felt a blow. They didnt look very happy (Geng..you cakes all look outstanding to me, I would never, in the near future, be able to one like yours).
But me? I'm pretty happy to meet the requirements...hahahaha...At least I'm not embarrassing myself...
Chef Yom, I didnt get your cake pix. Missed it in the midst of chaos!!
Here's looking at the finished products. Congrats everyone!!
Rosalind said that ICCA is going to hold a Cake Decorating Competition next year. I'm going to enter that!! In the meantime, anyone knows where I can take a creativity class?
It had been a lovely course. I learnt a lot from Rosalind and others. I'm hoping to go another class of hers, but this time I'm gonna be ready!! No more easy peasy pace for me.
Here's a BIG THANK YOU TO ROSALIND AND THE REST OF ICCA STAFF, EDLINA, VIVIAN, DORIS, SHIKIN, MOK, AND OTHERS (sorry didnt get your names)
TO MY NEW FRIENDS, WAS NICE TO BE IN YOUR COMPANIES. PLEASE DO KEEP IN TOUCH!! WE'LL MEET AGAIN SOMEDAY, InsyaAllah.
To myself, I'M CHALLENGING ME TO ENTER A COMPETITION NEXT YEAR...