Attending Le Cordon Bleu was one of the most amazing experiences possible and I learnt to cook some truly wonderful food. But shortly after, on an extended trip to India I decided to attempt my life-long aim of becoming a vegetarian, and since then I have never looked back. Obviously, that meant I could no longer cook and eat the kind of food I’d learnt to prepare in the Cuisine part of the course. But I could still enjoy making patisserie – and it’s a very good way of making friends!! However, since my daughters have come along I simply cannot make fine French sweet things for them to eat. How would it be possible to make proper patisserie without any butter, eggs, milk or cream? So ironically, whilst I learnt to make these fine pastries under the amazing tutorage of Claire Clark (who later became head pastry chef at the great French Laundry in California – I’m stupidly proud of this fact!), my daughters have never eaten a croissant, pain au chocolat, mille feuille etc. Most parents have the luxury of stopping for coffee in any old cafe and buying their child a hot chocolate or a croissant. Mine have had to make do with an apple juice or water with a homemade biscuit or a breadstick (only certain brands though!).
So, I will attempt to make fine patisserie that is dairy and egg-free for my daughters to sample. Maybe they can have what everyone else has….