- My first term at Leiths completed – check
- Theory exam completed – check
- Practical exam completed – check
This week has been a mixture of emotions, nervous yet excited , on edge yet relaxed so let me explain why . This week has been exam week at Leiths . First of all it was the theory exam last Friday , I wanted to get to school feeling ready and pumped up so for the whole journey from North London, I listened to banging house music so I could really get into my groove . I arrived to see my classmates in the demonstration room reading out quotes / questions / words that we had learned from this term on flashcards,everyone was helping each other out with answers and it was great team work .The exam itself was a mixture of questions about everything we have learnt this term , for example
‘what pastry would you use for an eclair ?’ to ‘ list how to make a chicken stock from scratch to put in the freezer ‘ , the list is endless but I wouldn’t want to give it all away… I finished after 1.5 hours and I walked out of the room and straight into the pub for a glass of well deserved wine and a catch up with all the Leiths students ! There was a buzz that half the exam was complete and now everyone could concentrate on the practical for the forthcoming week.
The practical exams for the whole school are this week , the list below is what we were given to prepare and cook .
Salade Tiede with 2 poached eggs
Seabream – Descaled / gutted / filleted
Vanilla Bavarois x 2
Pate sucree pastry biscuits
Raspberry coulis made with sugar syrup
This was a difficult but delicious menu , the exam started at 10.30, it was a lot to cook in four hours but it showed every practical skill that we had learnt this term . I had an unfortunate start , my custard for the bavarois split and the problem is , if that you loose crucial minutes at the beginning , you end up playing catch up for the rest of the time .This also meant that the time plan that I had so carefully thought about ,prepared and written over the previous two days went totally out of the window ! My heart was racing and my hands shaking ( like a contestant on masterchef ) I took a deep breath and thought ‘ this is only a custard for gods sake, sort yourself out Alex !’ On the second attempt , my custard was perfect and so was happy to crack on with the rest of the exam . Honestly I have no idea what happened to the four hours , it seemed like I blinked and they were gone . I remember the examiner calling out that we had five minutes until the last service for our dishes, I was like speedy gonzalez, got told not to run through the kitchen but I couldn’t help myself, I wanted to get everything served . We were allowed a five minute grace period but after that , if we hadn’t served , we had to walk out of the kitchen and serve only what was on our benches . Am so pleased we were given that grace period , as I really needed it !
I left the kitchen at 2.34pm and let out the biggest sigh of relief . It was done , the exam that I had worked so hard for this term was completed .
It is now the beginning of the easter holidays for me . I have just under four weeks off , but no rest for the wicked , I have got lots of work experience lined up , I will be working in the kitchen of a michelin star restaurant in London and I am as excited as a kid in a candy store ! Cant wait to get stuck in and gain valuable knowledge that will be so crucial for me .
Last but not least , I just want to say a massive thank you to all the teachers and staff at Leiths and I hope you all have a great Easter .