Master Class Preview At Pastry Institute Of St Honre

By Alice Yong

Impossible is nothing if you wish to produce an exquisite dessert plate like the one above. The newly opened Pastry Institute of St. Honoré will show you how. Headed by Master Pastry Chef Frederic Oger, full and part-time courses are available.

Tucked away upstairs in a roomy space at TTDI Plaza, the Pastry Institute of St. Honoré offers full-time 3-month Basic Certificate, 6-month Diploma and 9-month Advanced Diploma courses. Practical training can be arranged for students with the institute’s associate restaurants, bakeries and hotels.

Passionate home cooks who wish to learn the art of baking, French patisserie and confectionery can also enrol in the Part Time Master Class programmes. According to Chef Frederic, the hands-on programmes are held on Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 4pm.

He assured that each class is limited to 12 students only so they can enjoy personal attention and hands-on approach during the Master Class. At the opening, I had a quick taste of how a typical class is conducted when I worked alongside Chef Frederic. He patiently demonstrated each step of the recipe before inviting me to replicate the same task on my own.

It was a good experience as you pick up tips and techniques from the chef as you go along. Sometimes a recipe or cookbook can only take you so far…such part-time courses are ideal for occasional cooks like me, passionate home cooks who wish to hone certain pastry skills or even newbies who have no inkling of what goes on in the kitchen.

Honestly, I was intimidated when I saw the fancy recipe – Plaisire Apricot Passion…it sounded so high brow but the chef was quick to ease my fears, telling me it was a simple dessert which can easily be made in the home kitchen.

The dessert required different components prepared separately: candied apricot halves, caramel tuile, vanilla chantilly, passionfruit ice cream, coulis, crumbled sablé, caramelised popcorn and micro edible herbs and flowers.

It was almost like magic as slowly but surely how all the various components came together to form the elegant dessert. Going by the current trend of presenting food in a semi-circular fashion like a crescent, the final outcome was a visual feast for the eyes.

I could hardly believe I managed to pull off such artistic plating but under Chef Frederic’s tutelage, it wasn’t mission impossible. Well, except I discovered I suck at making quenelles out of the passionfruit ice cream!

Besides Dessert a L’Assiette (plated dessert), you can learn the art of candy-making, designer cakes, speciality breads, macaron, healthy pastries and classic cakes.