Welcome to Barcelona
Sep 13th, 2011 by

Since I arrived here, I have been spending at least a couple of hours a day walking around. Sometimes I have a specific destination in mind like an apartment to visit, or sometimes I just want to be outside getting a feel for the city. At first on these aimless rambles I stayed pretty close to my hostel for fear of getting horribly lost again, but slowly I’ve gained confidence and have now started to get myself lost on purpose just to see if I can make it home. This city is well equipped for such rambles as there are lots of big city landmarks and the signage is tourist friendly.

I have also become fascinated by the integration of new and old buildings and the detail work that has been put into many of the buildings. After having most recently lived in New York City, where the standard protocol seems to be to get buildings up as fast as possible and as tall as possible, and Orange County, California, which has the same ideals about speed and makes an effort to make every building homogenous, Barcelona is a relief. There is some semblance of thought and city planning but frequently a new building will be built next to a century old building. The new building does not emulate the old one, but is made in the style of the time and some how the looks never seem to clash. Take this photo below, where the new and the old buildings live side by side.

The other thing that is frequently seen, is buildings that no longer serve their original intended purpose; instead of ripping them out and starting over, the buildings have just been adapted to fulfill new needs. For instance I think this building may have once been a church but now it has a bank at the bottom.

It’s the details of the city that I love the most. It’s just fun to walk through a city with so much detail, even many of the sidewalks are tiled.

One more picture: This is the BACK of a music hall near my school.

Sep 11th, 2011 by

I made it to Barcelona!! I have been here for a few days now and there are so many things that excite and interest me and that I want to share but I have a full year in which to entertain you. So, I guess I will have to start slowly and from the beginning.

First, three suggestions for international travel. 1. no matter how altruistic and innocent your intention, 7 inch chef knives are not allowed in carry-ons. The female TSA agent will not care that it was the first knife your parents gave you when decided to make pastry your career. She will also not care if you cry. This is a rule with no exceptions. Sorry. 2. When moving to a new city where you don’t speak the language, after an extended airplane trip during which it is unlikely you will sleep, please make sure that you get the address of your destination into google maps correctly, unless you are as pathetic looking as me in which case a lovely english speak gentleman will stop and look up your destination on his smart phone. 3. Do not pop the blisters on your palms that appear from dragging a 50 lb suitcase for miles, it will make you look very scary to prospective roommates and it sort of hurts too.

I hope this helps you on your next trip to abroad. The next essay will be entitled “Welcome to Barcelona” which is I know what you really want to hear about any way.

A New Adventure
Sep 10th, 2011 by

As many of you may know I am moving to Barcelona, Spain next week to study at an dessert school called Espai Sucre. I will be taking a year long class entitled “Restaurant Style Desserts” from which I hope to refine my plating skills and flavor combinations. I am hoping this will enable me to take my career to the next level but I am also really excited about living in a different country for awhile and immersing myself in Spanish culture and the Spanish language. I don’t know how much I will be able to tell you about the actual class work that I am doing or the things that I am learning about because much of that will be proprietary information but I hope you will check back on my blog regularly as I will begin posting pictures and essays about life in Barcelona.

Also, I love getting comments but because of the amount of spam comments each posting receives, I frequently miss your comments. Please, feel free to email me at rtmwright (@) gmail (.) com if you have any questions or comments or would like to suggest a topic. Thanks Taylor

My First Restaurant Dessert
Jun 11th, 2010 by

My boss is back; we worked out the kinks, and last night my rosemary ice cream candy bar debuted on the main restaurant dessert list.


So there were a couple of changes from the last time we did this dessert. We changed back to the candy bar motif. however, I think that calling this a candy bar is a stretch, but oh well. The cookie that used to serve as the base is now chopped up and mixed into a crumble with some of the candied pinenuts. This fixed the problem that sometimes it was difficult to get a fork through the cookie. The lemon in the cookie that I made for last week was so nice that it has been moved to a tuille that shoots up out of an apricot compote. The chocolate glaze, which was part of the original but which I had eliminated last week, has returned to drip down the sides. The pinenut brittle, sprinkled on top, finishes the dish.

Sunday Suppers
May 6th, 2010 by

At the restaurant where I work, Sundays are a special day. In an effort to get people to come out on one of the slowest nights of the week, we offer a special 5-course tasting menu, called Sunday Supper. This is a menu devised by the kitchen staff and is unique every week. The dishes are based on our food heritage, things that we read about and want to try, or whatever other inspiration we find in our daily life. The official website says Sunday Supper is ” an opportunity for the kitchen to explore new ideas and ingredients and a chance for our patrons to experience new dishes not on the regular menu.”

I am in charge of the last course: dessert. My boss has given me almost free reign as she considers this kind of innovation and experimentation to be a good way to allow young cooks to develop their own philosophies and styles. Obviously my ideas need to be pre-approved and she reserves the right to veto and change things if they don’t meet standards but for the most part these my desserts. My attempts at deliciousness. So, feel free to follow along week to week and leave comments and suggestions because I would love to know what you think.

Protected: Onward and Upward
May 6th, 2010 by

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