Paris Pastry life School

I graduated! + Snapshots of my internship

By on 25.04.15

Wednesday the 26th of November I officially graduated from Ferrandi. After 5 months of doing the Intensive program in French Pastry and 3 months of interning we all got our diplomas. So question is, what am I doing now? In this post you’ll read all about where I interned, what I did and what I’m currently doing.

I believe I never posted any pictures of my stage, neither did I write where I interned. So here we go.

For 6 months I interned at the Four Seasons Hotel George V. There, I have been interning for the gastronomical restaurant Le Cinq for all 6 months. This was not my choice -in fact, I had no preference-, they decided to put me there. And I loved it. I wouldn’t want it any different. I had some restauration experience from my previous job, so I knew a LITTLE bit how it works. (that job was a buffet style restaurant, so more production opposed to sending out dishes)

When I started in August, it was a great mess. Renovation, a temporary pastry lab shoebox room and a constantly moving stock room. It took me 2 days to understand “the map” of the kitchen and hotel. (it was complicated) Until the end of my internship, the renovation didn’t completely finish and isn’t finished at this very moment.

My French sucked. Really sucked. I thought I understood a lot, but I really didn’t. The guy that was training me didn’t speak any English and kept telling me it wasn’t good enough shit (c’est la merde) or that I was not fast enough or asking what I was doing at all. By the end of the week I was exhausted. Mentally. Trying to understand French was way more exhausting than expected. Also my French was a lot worse than I thought it was. Anyway. This is what the mignardises looked like when I started.

George V - 029

Determined, I started week 2. To my surprise this same guy started talking in English to me!! It seemed like a great reward, for not doing tooo bad in week 1(??). An even greater surprise, I started to get compliments. At first I wasn’t sure if these people were serious or not, and did I even understand the French sentence correctly? I like to think they were serious about how they liked it. I also explored how tolerant they were with speaking English. So at that time four of the guys tried to speak in English to me if I didn’t understand, which was very nice.

Some progression of the mignardises below.

George V - 031

George V - 040

I started getting used to working there, my French slowly got a little bit better. But more importantly, I knew what to do. Then, it all changed. New chef, new desserts. During the process of all these changes in the kitchen, I learned a lot about the industry and people in general. I’m sad I didn’t take more pictures in the beginning, before the changes… Here are two old desserts.

Mure / Chocolate / Tea

George V - 035

This baba below made me appreciate baba!!!! Before this one, I only ate baba au rhum in school and I found it disgusting. Way too sweet and just rum flavor. Here it was a tropical baba, so delicious. I ate one almost every day 😀

Mango / Passionfruit / Pineapple

George V - 055

The style of the new desserts are completely different compared with the ones before. It used to be more classic flavor combinations and somewhat pastry(petits gâteaux/small cakes)-like, the current desserts are unordinary flavors with unordinary looks. So what do I mean with this? Take a look.

New mignardises in the beginning.

George V - 065

Porcini mushrooms / chestnuts

George V - 062

Chocolate / Caramel (okay not an unordinary flavor)

George V - 069

Yeast / Yeast / Sugar (I would say this is unordinary)

George V - 072

Grapefruit / Basil / citrus

George V - 133

Marinated pineapple / Passionfruit

George V - 094

Then the mignardises changed, different plate and different mignardises. Below you see a green sphere, it’s made with molecular gastronomie techniques.

George V - 088

Pineapple lollipops

George V - 102

Mini tarte tatin

George V - 107

Pre dessert – Olive oil / pear / parsley / tarragon / grapefruit

George V - 098

Regular plates for mignardises are too mainstream, lets put them on chocolate instead!

George V - 123

George V - 128

Test: which one of the 3 to pick?

This is pretty much where my 6 months of interning ended. As you can see the first pictures are quite different compared to the ones after the change. Now that I think about it, it was like I started a whole new internship. Just with the same people still around me.

I’m very happy about how my internship turned out, even though at times it was complicated with the renovation and the change of the chef. I really appreciate the guys who had to take care of the little horribly French speaking intern, that was me. They made me want to go back to work happily every day.

I realized that the people around you is a very important aspect of a job. Especially if you work many hours, these are the people you spend most of your time with!!

George V - 136

So.. What am I doing now?! If you follow me on Instagram, you might know. After my internship I had a nice holiday in Hong Kong and Taipei, then another two weeks in the Netherlands before I returned back to Paris.

Here in Paris I spend another two weeks of eating/drinking/spending time with friends who were leaving town T_T. Then it was time to do something. It felt weird to have done “nothing” for about 6 weeks. I felt sort of stressed, because of not working. Normally I do not stress. At work, no stress. Without work, stress.

After those two weeks I started working again. At…… Le Cinq. You would think it’s like I took a long vacation from working there as a stagiaire and starting there again. It has certainly not felt like that. I have different working hours now and I work with a different team. I feel like I’m in my third job. But in the same hotel.

Here are two desserts from since I started my new job!

Frasier in modern way

George V - 147

Crème brûlée / wild strawberries / coriander

George V - 145

Voilà. That was my super super late update of my internship!

  • Fun

    It’s better late than never! 🙂

  • May-Ling Tjon

    Well done . I can see your progress

  • Elva Yohana

    Hi, i have a question. I am quite confused with some people saying that the international program only offers certificate, and a diploma can only be obtained with the normal french program. Is this true?

    • Gail Ho

      Yeah, the french program has either a CAP which is equivalent to a high school diploma. Or BSc. The international program gives a diploma but it’s not a certified French school diploma like CAP or BSc. So it’s considered a certificate in France. Doesn’t really matter in the end… It’s just a paper!

      • Elva Yohana

        Good to know that it doesn’t matter. I really want to enter Ferrandi and to have an internship in Paris, and if it’s possible to continue working there afterwards. But i am worried because some people say that without the French certification you cannot work in France. I am relieved to know that enrolling in the international program instead of the french program have no such disadvantage.

        Really thank you for your reply~

        • Gail Ho

          With the international program you will have an internship for sure. School helps with that. You even need the internship to get the diploma as it is just part of the program.
          To work in France you need a European citizenship or working VISA, not a French certification for school. The only time you will really need the CAP is when you want to open your own pastry shop in France!

          • Elva Yohana

            Oo.. I see. Thank you very much for your reply! I now have a clearer understanding~

  • Maria Lethycia Moreira

    Hi! im finishing my program at Ferrandi in Pastry, in the international program too… and im thinking to take an intership at Le cinq… could you please, pass me your email? I have a lot of questions, and i would love to know more details about your experience! thanks!
    i will leave my email here too:

  • Priyanka Patawari

    I’m from India. And, I was looking forward to get enrolled in Ferrandi. But, since the fall inke was full, they’ve told me to apply for the February 2017 intake. Hence, because of the interim of 8 months I was thinking to apply to Le Cordon Bleu, Paris. What would o? Is Le Corden Bleu equally good?

    i would love to here from you!
    My email Id:

  • Houtin

    Looks like awesome work!!!
    Just one question, did you work 2 shifts per days, like from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. ?
    I am actually staging at a m.o.f. lab. In Perpignan and look for a palace experience later…

Gail Ho
Mahé, Seychelles

Hello! My name is Gail, I'm a pastry chef currently working in Seychelles. I've studied industrial design engineering and the french art of pâtisserie in Paris. I've been working in Amsterdam, Paris, Biarritz and now in Seychelles.