…and thats how the cookie crumbled.

Posted on 24 June 2013 by Mădălina

Sometimes life just throws a curve ball your way—a curve ball that I just had to swing at to get where I am today.  My curve ball meant that I left the culinary industry behind, from a professional scope.

Where did I leave off? It has been forever since I’ve updated this section and checked in with you guys.

Let me backtrack a little bit to my final semester at culinary school:

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By now, you might have realized that I don’t color inside the lines. My final semester in culinary was no different– I pretty much broke all of the rules of the much regimented curriculum. Half way through my last semester, somewhere in between petit fours and macarons, I began applying for summer jobs. Intention was to land a summer gig, and return to culinary in the fall after summer vacation. Things didn’t quite go as intended:  After several grueling interviews, I landed a job at one of the top leading chocolate distributors in North America.

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I learned quickly that I had the gift of gab and a passion for people—apparently these are two qualities that make a great sales gal. I was living the dream—22 and all I was doing was driving across the greater Toronto area selling chocolate to all the top restaurants and the who’s who of the food scene. I got back stage access to some of the best restaurants in the city, and had sneak peeks at what everyone was doing. Umm, hello! Dream job anyone?

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Being pastry-savy, part of my role required me to be hands on. That was my value add: I got down and dirty in the kitchen and helped chefs tweak recipes with all the cool product I was selling. I got to travel to the US to really step up my culinary knowledge. I was dangerous.

I felt super glam: I had priority valet at the most prestigious hotels in Toronto every time I went to meet with the chefs. I had backstage access to almost every patisserie, restaurant and commercial bakery that was in my patch.  My kitchen always had samples of every new up and coming chocolate product in existence. Sales were up, life was good.

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The only drawback, I soon found out, is that in the grand scheme of things the food “scene” is terribly small. Everyone knows each other and every once in a while people just shift around. The players are all the same. It was at about this point where life conveniently threw me another curve ball: I was offered another role. I don’t think anyone saw this coming—I did a total 180, and accepted a sales role for a major tech conglomerate. This was a huge. I went from big fish in a small pond, to the exact opposite. I went from helping people with their soufflés, to influencing enterprise IT infrastructures.  Did I sell out? Perhaps. Do I miss it? Sometimes. Am I happy? Absolutely.

Anyhow… I still have this little blog, and I still love everything about food– it just happens to be from a different angle. Thanks for listening to me vent about my culinary school journey. Who knows, maybe one day i’ll be back at it.

Below are some photos that I snapped at different events

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Chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate.

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Mise en place! Double and triple counting our measurements.

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Lemon Meringue Tart, with a twist!

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Entrement with a glitter glaze.

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Master pastry chef, MOF Stefane Treand

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Magic with sugar and chocolate!

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Demo, demo, demo…

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Fancy chocolate brownies

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Comments:

1 Comments For This Post

  1. Elisabeth Pohl Says:

    Hi Madalina: I came across your website and thought you might be perfect to be part of an event that I am chairing. But after reading your latest blog was a little sad to read that perhaps my timing is off as you may not be interested to help us out.

    We have a fundraiser in November at Roy Thomson Hall and one of the elements of the evening is a children’s cake decorating event. You sound like you have great energy and I wanted to ask if you might be interesting in participating somehow in the evening. If you would like to chat I would love to hear from you. Bye for now. Liz

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