As a part of her North American Travel Scholarship Application, Grand #2 listed a French pastry making class as one of the things she would like to do on her 7-day Eastern Canada trip. After unsuccessfully locating a class or a private chef experience during the dates that we would be in Quebec City I quickly turned to the concierge at The Great George in Charlottetown who was happy to help locate a private chef to conduct a pastry making class.
In my exchange with Chef Stanton I learned that a class on croissants would not be possible because croissants can not be made in two hours – it takes much longer. He suggested that we do a pastry class that could be completed in 2-hours and I agreed.
After a brief stroll through the charming streets of Charlottetown, we arrived at the entrance of a catering and events venue and when we said we were there for a class with Chef Stanton we were ushered back into a commercial kitchen preparation area. Arranged on long, stainless steel tables were frosted plastic buckets filled with chopped dill, shredded cheddar cheese, butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Rectangular trays held round mounds and pre-rolled rectangular sheets of dough.
Chef Stanton explained that we were going to use the dough to make a savory and a sweet pastry. Grand #2 wasn’t so sure about the savory but was won over with the idea of the sweet! We each folded a personalized quantity of cheddar cheese and chives into the awaiting mounds of dough, gently kneading. After rolling the dough out and cutting out 24-perfectly round savory biscuits we placed them onto a baking sheet and into a heated oven.
While the fragrance of cheddar melting with chives filled the kitchen we slathered a layer of soft butter onto an awaiting rectangle of dough followed by a layer of brown sugar and a light sprinkling of cinnamon. Satisfied with our efforts we gently rolled the dough, beginning at the shortest end, inward. After slicing it in equal thicknesses we placed the sugary swirls onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
Twenty minutes later and after sampling our savory biscuits the sweet rolls were ready to pull from the oven whereupon Grand #2 generously spooned icy frosting into their seams and over the tops. The first bite revealed what we had believed in our hearts: these were some of the best we had ever tasted.
Faced with almost two dozen savory biscuits and less than a dozen sweet rolls we began to ponder what to do with the pastries that we would not be able to consume. Filled with largess, Grand #2 suggested that we surprise the staff at The Great George with the treats since they had helped us to find Chef Stanton. After thanking the chef we made our way past the charming buildings of Charlottetown and into the lobby of The Great George where Grand #2 presented her offering of gratitude to the staff who were still talking about her amazing pastries the following morning.
Mary Beth I have a passion for creating and experiencing unforgettable moments and sharing those with others. I hope that this story has helped you experience one of those moments.