Doughnuts! The sinfully tasty and delightful sweet ball of dough that makes us smile even at the thought of them. Why? Because they are simply glorious. This morning I awoke early with butterflies in my tummy: I was excited. Never before had I been to a cooking class and today was the day I was to go to Cooking School for the very first time. As I sipped my morning coffee and watched the Venetian crowd slowly awake from their deep slumber I found myself reminiscing about when I was a child and would await the first day of school. I would have put out my outfit the night before, sharpen my pencils, polish my shoes and prepare my rucksack. All would be ready and I would barely sleep the night before, thrilled by the notion of seeing my friends and teachers again.
Today Friday June 17th, however, I was to I attend a doughnut making class. Yes, you heard me, doughnuts. Delicious, pillowly, gentle and succulent balls of dough. The class was at The Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savories run by two wonderful women: Hadley Hughes and Clemence Gossett. Cooking classes often daunt and frighten people. Some are run by snobby chefs who instill fear in their students, adopting a harsh teaching method.
At The Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savories, however, you are welcomed into a kind and safe environment. Nobody is here to judge about how your stir or cut your vanilla pod, quite the contrary! The space that Clemence and Hadley have carefully created is one in which their students can comfortably learn, ask questions, and feel at ease whilst they learn the glory of culinary delights as well as an exceptional amount of helpful tips. In today’s class we paired up with whoever was standing next to us and worked as a team. I was teamed up with a lovely lady and together we commenced to make: 1) Cake doughnuts 2) Yeast-risen doughnuts and 3) Beignets. We also made Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream for plumping our doughnuts and Chocolate and Vanilla glazes for smearing generously over our delightful doughnuts.
Clemence eased us all through the class calmly – everyone worked with a smile smeared across their face. Who wouldn’t when dealing with sugar, vanilla, and all things nice? At one point I was a bit nervous and Clemence looked at me and said “don’t be scared. Just do what you’re doing confidently”. Such a simple truth that can be applied to everything in life. What is the worst that can happen? If you fail, you try again. This is a lesson that we should apply to our every day lives and this is the reason that I admire so very much the work Clemence and Hadly have done and are completing. There is no doubt that much work goes into creating a cooking school. Many sleepless nights and lots of dedication and good humour is required to run a successful business. Hadley and Clemence, however, boast that extra “something” or “je ne sais quoi” which few people and businesses have – they are charming, knowledgable and confident. They are genuine – there are no airs put on nor any attempt to impress – they are the real deal, making a wonderful team.
Surrounded by such happy people, so positive and warm I realized (yet again) how important it is to enjoy the process of everything you do in life.
As I marched out of class with my enormous box of doughnuts I felt a sense of regained self and trust in the universe. It reminded me that when you feel that things are going badly, or wrong – attempt to remind yourself that your own mini-world is part of a bigger picture. Carry out a generous act . For example: offer somebody a doughnut you just made (which I did!)
Don’t let negative incidences or people snowball into dark clouds in your life. Cut those influences out. Immediately.
Celebrate your life and others. Smile. And have a doughnut. Better yet, go to a cooking class at The Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savories. You will thoroughly enjoy every moment!
Happy “Gourmandise” Friday everyone.
A very Gourmand Jenny