I’ve learned many things since moving to Paris (except for French, I still need to learn French).  One of the things I’ve been thinking a lot about today is, taking a moment to appreciate people.  So many times we fly through our days, we complain, we pick out people’s worst characteristics, instead of focusing on what makes them great.

So, on the eve of my last day of school, I thought I’d put together a little electronic yearbook to celebrate the many talents and personalities of Ferrandi Pastry B 2012:

Chef Thierry Jamard

Our fearless leader/teacher/mentor.  He begins every day with a smile and laughs through our mistakes.  The great thing about going back to school at my age is that you recognize a great teacher when you see one- and Chef is a GREAT teacher.  I have learned so much from him and admire his unending patience and zen.  Anglo B was a lucky team to have Chef Jamard guiding us through this intensive course.  Bravo, Chef!

Avi (Israel)

Another teacher (although a former one) has the ability to put things in perspective and always look at the positive side of things.  I was amazed by his chocolate papaya sculpture- so creative and so beautiful! I imagine him shining in an amazingly chic shop of his own.

Chloe (Malaysia)

Chole is the life of the party.  She brings boundless energy to the kitchen and always keeps us laughing.  Just when things seem to be stressful, you can count on her for a giggle.

Elise (USA)

Elise is one of the most caring people in the kitchen.  If you have her on your team you know she’ll make sure everyone is taken care of.  Not only that, she has an amazing design sense.  I can just picture her setting trends back in NYC.  I’ll put her on my “one to watch” list.

Herat (Bahrain)

A.K.A The Bread King of Bahrain.  We can all take a cue from Herat’s bold plan to open up a pastry factory in his home country.  Even though he’s young he’s a natural networker and I have a feeling that one day, if we’re all out of work, then we’ll be knocking on his door to get a job.

Isabelle (Germany)

With a natural flair for the dramatic, Isabelle throws herself into every creation as if it were her next show.  She takes such pride in every piece she makes and has an innate sense of what flavors work well together.  She’s at her finest in the kitchen and I can’t wait to visit her seaside shop one day.

Jing Yi (Australia)

Her work is beautiful and elegant.  Jing Yi has found her true calling in pastry.  It will be exciting to see where this career takes her- executive pastry chef at a fine hotel, running her own charming shop…  she can do it all!

Leilani (South Africa)

Dedicated and hard-working are two words I’d use to describe Leilani.  Her chocolate bon bons were some of the finest in our class.  I often find myself saying to her, “I’ll work with you any day.”  Leilani will open up a shop and be a brilliant boss and colleague.

Phoebe (Australia)

What I admire most about Phoebe is how fearless she is.  After all, who else would undertake the daunting task of making R2D2 out of chocolate?  She’s quirky and will bring a flair of creativity and unique vision to all her future endeavors.

Renye (China)

Le Artiste! Renye has a vision for all of his pastries.  He is the resident artiste.  He is also the king of non sequiturs and I will always remember our inside jokes about Julia Roberts and being abducted by aliens.  I know that he will land in a kitchen that appreciates his absurd sense of humor and his innovative artistic vision.

Wayne (Taiwan)

Wayne is the guy you want on your team.  I had the pleasure of working with him for a month and was impressed not only by his chocolate-tempering skills, but by his sweet nature.  He’s a team player, with a quiet vision for the future.  I think he will surprise us all with pastry plans.

And now, I’d like to raise a virtual verre to all of you in Pastry B…

Here’s to 5 months of pastry-cream filled memories!  Bonne chance on the next part of our Parisian adventure!