Madeline Barry Winter 2020 Blog

by Madeline Barry, March 6, 2020

This winter term I staged at many different places. I went to a handful of small specialty bakeries where I learned many new techniques regarding both baking and decoration. I went to restaurants in the Boka Group as both a line cook and pastry cook. I even tried out culinary service companies, catering companies, corporate restaurants, and wholesale bakeries. All of these experiences brought great learning opportunities with different menus, techniques, and company cultures. Getting all of these experiences in both culinary and pastry was a great decision to learn about myself. I was able to see the environment I will be happy and motivated to work in.

One stage that stuck out a lot to me was for Flagship. They are a culinary service company for Facebook. This was far different than anywhere else as there were no tickets or special orders. Every day in the week had a theme and everyone was given the opportunity to be creative with that. On the day I was there, the theme was a pasta bowl. One thing I made was a deconstructed cheesecake that resembled a bowl of spaghetti. I was given the task of creating 500 pieces of 2 different desserts for each meal service. This freedom and creativity was something I have never experienced before. With the ingredients I was provided and in the time restraint, I could create any items. The chefs were outstanding teachers who were patient and very willing to teach. The company culture focused highly on communication and learning from everyone around you. I was able to incorporate many techniques I learned in school while sticking to a concept and being creative at the same time.

If I could give advice to any other students, it would be to stage at anywhere you are interested in or see an opportunity. Even if it is out of your comfort zone, take the chance as you always have something to learn from it. You won’t know what is out there unless you reach out and experience it.

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