Thursday, April 29, 2010

SNOW DAY

Stay home. Have some hot chocolate. Cochrane Hill is closed. Lauren got stuck in the neighborhood.
Please email or call the bakery for an update what's going on wuith Friday and missed deliveries.

(403) 990-9565



FRONT OF THE HOUSE (APRIL 29TH)
BACKYARD

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

100% GLUTEN FREE DINING

Shirley Braden, one woman army when it comes to make people understand that eating Gluten Free is not all that difficult and can taste just as good as regular food, has reviewed a restaurant in Asheville, NC that serves 100% gluten free food only. WITHOUT ADVERTISING IT!

What the...? Population 75000. Plus some tourists who visit the Biltmore Estate nearby.
Calgary? The city clocks in at a mill plus people these days. No GF Resto here. Well, read it all in Shirley's Blog and I  hope Mr. M.P reads this. It would work great in Calgary, I know it.

http://glutenfreeeasily.com/posana-cafe-review/



SHIRELY BRADEN, GFE

Saturday, April 24, 2010

GLUTEN FREE.

I cannot be the only one.

GF PATISSERIE'S Tiramisu (they do not make it often enough) is so good, that I personally feel there is no difference between any regular one there and their Gluten Free version.
It may be that I am biased, it may be that the Mascarpone and Illy Espresso overpowers anything different in the cake, but really, I think it's just plain excellent.

To test if anyone else can taste a difference, I offered a bowl of Tiramisu to the hardworking people at Hall's Auction, just to make sure I have not lost my taste buds. They did not say much, they were too busy eating it.....the whole bowl. Not enough feedback here. The sugar did them in I think.

So I lined up one more true taste test.
BRUNO! He is coming over tonight for dinner. And he does not hold back with his opinion about Italian food. If it's no good, for sure he will let me know. Stay tuned.











Friday, April 23, 2010

GLUTEN FREE HAMBURGER BUNS




I cleaned our BBQ yesterday. Removed all the ashes from last year's grill season (we use coal), brushed off the top and bought some more parts for the weekend.

I am sure many of you are eagerly awaiting the summer as well. Victoria has ramped up production of the Hamburger Buns, since even in the winter, people have purchased many of them. No surprise really, I even started to use the buns for Isabella's breakfast and school lunches.

Besides making the perfect GF Hamburger, tell me, what do you use the buns for?




ISABELLA'S SANDWICH FOR SCHOOL

PULLED PORK SANDWICH
FRESH!




Monday, April 19, 2010

ALLAN DAVIS GF PATISSERIE IMPOSTER - AT IT AGAIN

Hard to believe. You may remember the story from January, where I posted this:


Allan Davis was using Victoria as a reference. Well, it's happening again. This time he is trying to talk a bakery in Quebec into hiring him  based on his modified credentials. How strange is Allan Davis?
Unreal. Once more, to all people in the industry, please know this:  Allan Davis has never worked at GF Patisserie. I am not sure if he ever worked for the Calgary Flames as their personal pastry chef. Yes, it's on his resume.....









Saturday, April 17, 2010

COOKING WITH BRUNO


Bruno. Chef extraordinaire is on YOU TUBE! He shot a series of cooking clips and I present you his first, raw, unedited video, where he is preparing Red Snapper. Who of you has attempted to make Red Snapper at home? This is your chance to learn it.

Last night we also discussed this idea about an underground supper club idea for you. Bruno will cook, I will serve. A bit too soon, as we have not even found a location yet, but we are going to do it. Once at least. Maybe more. All gluten free. Pasta included.

Here is Bruno:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjd8aSGcOx8



Friday, April 16, 2010

SOME CHINA MUSINGS

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a question on GF Patisserie's Facebook page about Wal Mart. Besides an overall negative response towards that company, I got the sense that a lot of people have a very distorted image of China. Slave wages, human rights, pollution and many more opinions that I feel are partially warranted (pollution) but many comments were taken straight from FOX News it seems.

I happen to love China. Warts and all. No country is perfect. China has it's challenges, but every emerging nation did in it's history. I would like to remind my American friends that your country had to go through a civil war to get united....a fact so many conveniently forget to mention. Not to say anything about your challenges on relations with each other.....even TODAY.

Anyway, back to China. During my second last trip over there, a friend who tagged along, asked one of my suppliers about the human rights situation in China. At that moment I really wanted to be invisble and not in the same car, but it was my supplier's answer that really stunned me. He is a smart man, successfull in business and a great host every time I do business with him. After reflecting for a moment on the blunt question, he basically said to come back and back and in a few years we can witness that the people of China will enjoy the very same human rights every other free country does.
 He said much more of course, but many of you might not agree with his comments, so I won't repeat it here, in summary he is very right about it. And he is a Chinese citizen. Who lives it every day. I am still stunned and grateful for his insight.

Slave wages. Two of my rules when buying from a supplier are that there is no child labor (though I started waiting tables at the age of 14 myself and nobody protected me....) and that I get to speak to some of the workers with my translator by myself.
This request does raise eyebrows, but is always granted. This way I find out how they are treated, how much they get paid and if they are happy with their jobs. The average wage in a factory is 300.00 USD, free food and accomodations. Office people I spoke with, earn more.  Every New Year they get a bonus in relation to the factory's earnings. Two thirds of the folks I speak with are happy to have a job, though more than 50% want to better themselves and start their own business one day to earn more. For this, they are willing to work three times harder they say.

My personal opinion is that we, the consumers, are as much at fault about third world conditions as the countries themselves. We all want deals. Cheaper, better, lower prices. So companies around the developed world do whatever it takes to make us happy. Trust me, it is much easier to beat up a supplier about price, than it is to tell a client you are raising your prices to adjust cost factors. Next time you get dressed, ask yourself how much you are prepared to pay for those clothings.

Pollution is the one thing I have a big challenge with. Not only do factories not care, it's the people as well. Litter is everywhere, all the time. It will take at least another generation with plenty of education and guidance from their government, but until then, I am watching helpless as not much changes.



ELECTRIC BICYCLES AT CARREFOUR

FRESH VEGETABLES AT CARREFOUR


ONE OF MY SUPPLIER'S WAREHOUSE

COFFEE SHOP IN SHANGHAI

ONE OF MY HAPPIEST SUPPLIERS

A PROUD CARPENTER

RUBY, WHO WORKS IN A SHANGHAI OFFICE

ANOTHER MASTERPIECE RESTRIKE

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

WHAT I ATE AND WHAT I DID NOT EAT IN CHINA





Ah. Dining in China. With a new supplier. Who does not know me. Or my limits when it comes to food.
Always an adventure. One for the team, they call it over here. Well, you can take one, I won't. I am the team. So, no thanks. No bugs or larvae, or stuff like it.
All else I ate. Even the fish head.

This dinner was in Qingdao, a city by the ocean, so emphasis was on seafood. FRESH seafood.
Enjoy the pictures.

















Saturday, April 10, 2010

WE LOVE HAPPY CUSTOMERS



Most people know that we do birthday and special occasion cakes at the bakery.  Two days notice and you get an awesome two-layer cake with your choice of filling and buttercream.  Always made fresh, theres no buttercream sitting in buckets at our store! Always Italian Merginue buttercream, the best flavourings, and in-store made fillings like fresh lemon curd, caramel, or Callebaut ganache.

Birthday cakes have always been that special additional item that exists because someone asked one day.  We were hesitant at first to put them on offer, but its made for a lot of happy customers.

Imagine our surprise when people started requesting cake toppers and cupcakes for weddings!  Over the last year we've done a lot of cupcakes, a few toppers that were buttercream only decorated with fresh flowers etc.  Just the other week we got to do our first fondant covered cake for Meaghan in Swift Current, SK.  It traveled five and half hours to get there, and from the picture it looks like it survived!

It would be fun to just do cakes, since with limited tools and time theres only so much that can be accomplished.  (And you only get better as you go..) Nonetheless its still nice to be able to make the gluten-free world a better place.  Kudos to all those brides who take it upon themselves to enjoy their day worry-free!

So the picture above is the lovely bride cutting into her cake with the groom, the picture taken by one of the attendees (I'm still waiting to see photographer pics!)  They actually got married in Las Vegas back in January, and chose to celebrate the reception Easter weekend with their friends and family. Congratulations!

--LAUREN

Sunday, April 04, 2010

CHEFS AT WORK

We had guests in from the US this weekend. They stayed at the Palliser Hotel, my personal favorite in Calgary.
Great common areas, classic decor and fine service. This morning I picked them up for their return flight and was early enough to get a chance to watch staff at work, setting up Calgary's finest Easter Brunch.

So much work must go into this 5 hour affair, behind the scenes as well as the things we, the public gets to see. Chefs all over, prepping the display, getting their respective departments into shape for an onslaught of 250 diners. Crepe station, Omelette cooker, carving boards, ice sculpture and food, food, food.

I introduced myself to the fine pastry chef, while she was setting up (at my opinion) the most important display at any brunch, the dessert buffet..... Eggs I can make at home, but Pot au Feu? Palliser is it! Though I knew she was probably tired from working overtime to get this spread together, I was able to pitch her on GF PATISSERIE.....maybe soon you will be able to get gluten free bread options at Calgary's finest hotel.



CALGARY'S LANDMARK HOTEL

HECTIC LAST MINUTES BEFORE BRUNCH STARTS

GORGEOUS DISPLAY PIECES

ICE SCULPTURE


MY STOMACH WENT INTO ACID OVERDRIVE JUST FROM LOOKING...

CREPES WITH ALL SORTS OF TOPPINGS


ISABELLA ALMOST GRABBED ONE.

I ALMOST GRABBED ONE OF THESE......

READY FOR THE PARTY


OMELETTES

GREAT ATMOSPHERE



ISABELLA JUST GIDDY RIDING THE ELEVATOR TO THE TOP AND BACK