New Internship, New Lessons

By Kieu Tran, NYC: When I first came to New York, nine months seemed like a really long time. And as cliche as it may sound, time really does fly. I have a little under three months left and one of my biggest priorities in the last month was to find an internship.

I finished my first internship earlier this year. I interned at Michelin star restaurant The Modern. I could not have asked for a better internship and experience. I learned production for bar and dining room desserts. I got to experience plating during service. I was lucky enough to be a part of a team who was willing to teach and mentor me in terms of procedure and technique. I am truly grateful to have had the opportunity to meet and join the Modern pastry family for the past few months.

It was bittersweet leaving the internship. I was really nervous at first interning in a kitchen. Thoughts of maybe I’ll mess up, maybe I’ll get stuck doing grunt work, maybe I won’t be good enough played through my head. What I realized at the end was that I needed to have those fears. I needed to learn that I am capable of working in a kitchen in terms of speed and technique. I needed to gain that confidence in my ability and self. I left a group of really wonderful people who taught me to believe in myself and trained me to be a better pastry chef.

I also left the internship knowing that I needed experience in a bakery. I wanted to learn things I couldn’t necessarily find at school. For a few weeks, I was trying to find that fit. Chefs Move even sent Chef Lisa to New York to help me scavenge. We went to a lot of dessert and bakery places. We even had a long walk and talk through Central Park during the snow, which was something I always wanted to experience.

Chef Lisa’s visit pointed me into my current internship. She gave me the motivation to figure out what I wanted, to seek out the best internship for myself and to just do it.

I am currently interning at Silkcakes under premier cake Chef Judy Lai. I have a cake decorating internship. So far I’m learning to open my eyes to detail, the very smallest of details matter. I’m learning to create a cleaner product. I’ve learned that if you do something right the first time, you don’t have to waste time to do it over. I’ve been there for one week and it’s helped me to do better in school in terms of my chocolate project. I made a conscious effort to work with speed but producing a clean project. I made a good grade so I’m guessing it paid off.

I really love my internship and school is going really well. I’m in level two and were heading into individual dessert 2. I’m really excited about learning how to make soufflés.

I look forward to telling you more about desserts and my new internship soon!