Monthly Archives: June 2019

Certificat De Formation- Au revoir à bientôt

Today marked the fourth and final day in the kitchen, the very last time we stepped inside running around looking for chef or Alban. The last day we recreated traditional French cuisine in a French kitchen in Brunoy. In my eyes, today will be marked as a bittersweet moment. This morning wasn’t like any other previous morning, Europe was going through an extreme heat wave since the beginning of the weekend and today we woke up to a nice cool breeze. Our commute remained the same, we arrived at 8:45am and changed into our chef uniform. After we all came out, we walked into the kitchen to begin the todays production.

Group A went straight to Chef Nicolas and were given their daily production sheet while group B made their way into the pastry lab with Chef Sandrine. Group A menu consisted of an entrée and a plaque principale. The entrée was a smoked salmon and a warm salmon along side mashed potatoes, vegetables and a summer green salad. The plaque principale was made up of lamb wrapped around a sheet of brick which was wrapped around a shredded potatoes sheet alongside a lamb sauce. Sounds yummy right? It was and here are the pictures to prove it was!

Entrée- Smoked Salmon, Warm Salmon, Mashed Potatoes, and summer salad

Group B did an outstanding job today, they were in charge of making desserts for the day and when it was time to eat dessert they looked truly amazing and trust me they all tasted amazing too. Today it was all about the puffs! They made eclairs, cream puffs, profiteroles, what looked like a flat croquembouche sitting on top of puff pastry. Both teams did an amazing job today in the kitchen and I would like to applauded everyone since we pushed through and persevered regardless of how hot its been the past couple of days, the kitchen often felt like we were stuck in a steamer that was inside an oven. I will never take for granted the AC in NYC as well as ice!

When both teams finished we all walked over to the dining room and greeted our professors and some of the school faculty. We were ready to sit down since we always did that once we came out of the kitchen but this time we stood in front of the chefs and faculty for some final words and to be presented with our “diplomas”. Bittersweet. This was the moment where it seemed to hit us, were are going home in two days. Unlimited ice, AC everywhere from public transportation to public buildings to our very own homes, it is time to go back home. This moment will be cherished. After that we took group pictures and ate amazing food! We cleaned up the kitchen and took some more pictures and then we were dismissed for the day. We all changed and headed towards the door where the heat of the afternoon hit us full force. We all made our way to the bus stop carrying our diplomas proudly with a full heart and stomach. C’etait le moment d’y aller maison.

Thanks for reading and enjoy your “last” day tomorrow!!

Sincerely, Citlalli Martinez

3rd day at Brunoy


Today to say that the least was an interesting day. I cannot believe we are almost done with the Thomas Ahrens International Study Program! The days flew by so quick. Today we met at 7 a.m. at the lobby of the hotel. Then, we headed to the school very motivated to learn more pastry/culinary skills. It was our third day at Institute Saint Pierre. Let us take a glance at what the day consists of.

Different types of macarons.

In the pastry lab, we made macaroons. Macaroons are very common in French culture. Professor Sandrine said that the macaroons are usually eaten the next day because they can be steaky. Today we made different types of macaroons. We made orange blossom, chocolate, passion fruit, and salmon with ricotta cheese, exotic and lemon. We didn’t get to try the lemon macaroon because the cream did not set, but on the bright side, we should be having them tomorrow! I decided to do chocolate macaroons although it was a challenge. On the bright side, all the macaroons came out amazing!

Macarons in process.

In the culinary lab, they made veal wrapped with chicken roulette, potato, cauliflower with spinach, and a sauce. The sauce contained veal stock, raspberry coulis, raspberry vinegar, beer, and sugar cane. Which was very amazing! Everyone loved the sauce especially Professor Nicolas. He said the sauce was très très bien! They also accommodated Christine because she is allergic to nuts and hops. They did a separate batch so we all could have a great lunch all together as a family.

Moon placing the potatoes into the steamer.

Looks and tasted amazing! Thank you group B!

Passion fruit macarons.

Oh, David! These are the results when you overdue the coloring!

I hope you enjoyed reading what our day contained! Tomorrow we’ll have special guests in the dining room. Stay updated with the next post which will contain special memories that are about to come to an end.

Culinary/Pastry Lab Day 2

Bonjour Everyone!

Today is going to be the second day of our lab classes. Group A and B are switching from pastry to culinary and I was excited to see what is going to happen today. We arrived at the institute at 8:40 am. We immediately got to work in the kitchen. Group A began prepping the ingredients for the duck breast, duchess potatoes, and poached pears. Group B was in charge of 5 different types of tarts. My team’s job was the preparation of the duchess potatoes.

Checking the doneness of the duck.

At the beginning of class, we were told that we would be having visitors in the morning, children from a school in the area. The menu items were bacon, hard-boiled eggs, orange juice, and mini croissants. The children were wonderful and well behaved we asked them their names and how old they were and if school was enjoyable to them. After about 30 minutes we returning to work and began preparing for our family meal.

The sauce that was prepared for the duck was amazing!

The children were very well behaved and understood English a little bit.

My team’s potatoes were already in the oven, thanks to Chef Nickolas. We scooped the flesh, passed it through a food mill, added melted butter, egg yolks, and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. We piped the mashed potatoes into eclair shapes, breaded and fried them. While they were being fried, we cleaned up the kitchen. Both groups came together for lunch and we discussed what we liked and disliked. After, we completely cleaned the kitchen and were dismissed. Some of us went to the city for shopping or touring, others went to the hotel.

Group B preparing tart’s as our dessert.

The main course prepared by group A

First Day at Brunoy


Today was the first day that we were in the kitchen. Our day started pretty early at 6:45 in the hotel lobby. As a group, we traveled on the metro to St. Pierre School. There we meet Chef Nichola and Chef Sandrine. After introducing ourselves we were split into two groups. One group went with Chef Nichola to prepare the entree for the family meal. While, another group went with Chef Sandrine to prepare the desserts for the family meal. Group on

e made Tasty Toast with Red Mullet Pates and an Egg Salad with Chef Nichola. While Chef Sandrine and her group made Pistachio-Raspberry Millefeuille, Blossom Orange Millefeuille, Chocolate Cointreau Millefeuille, and Cointreau.

After both groups finished their production for the day we all sat in the main dining room and ate family meal. Next, we all said our goodbye and proceed back to the hotel.

 Nathalie and Edith in the Pastry lab peeling oranges.

 A demo with the Chefs.

 Blossom Orange Millefeuille.

 Pistachio Raspberry Millefeuile.

 A group picture with the chefs after family meal.

 The table set for family meal.

Musée de l’ouvre the world’s largest art museum and historic monuments in Paris

Today a group of us decided to go to the Louvre and it was and amazing experience. The commute from our hotel was super easy and fast. We got there around 1:30pm it’s was ridiculously crowded but fortunately the line was moved fast. It was only €15 to get in or €20 with the audio guide. Unfortunately student discount is only available for European students:( however it a place worth visiting. Let’s take a glimpse!


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Chateau de Fontainebleau

Chateau de Fontainebleau is located at the southeast center of Paris. It was the residence of the monarch for the kings of Napoleon.  People loved to compare The Versailles Palace with the Chateau de Fontainebleau. But I think they are offering a different vibes in perspective. If you went to Versailles it will feel overwhelmed by the tourist than Chateau de Fontainebleau. This would be a perfect destination for you.

The horseshoe stairway- Front of the Castle

We took the R RER towards to Montargis from Gare de Lyon, the Navigo pass is accepted.

Christien and Jannelle are writing their journey on the train

About 50 minutes train ride, there are 4 stops (Melun – Bois le Roi – Arret en Avon – Fontainebleau Avon)

The Gallery of Francis I

King of Napoleon’s Nail Filers set during the war

The Gallery of Diana

After visiting the palace, we went to the garden site, we were blessed with the beautiful weather.


June 21st Walking Tours

Today was a beautiful day to be in Paris. We started our day at 9:30 am meeting in the hotel lobby and we headed towards the Luxembourg Gardens to hear our first walking tour of the day present. The Luxembourg Gardens are extremely pretty if you ever find yourself in Paris I definitely recommend you to stop by even if it is just for an hour or two and enjoy the beauty of trees, flowers, statues, and peaceful atmosphere. The walk from the train was a little far but in the end, it was definitely worth it. I think Victor and Maricel did a wonderful job presenting their research because it made me want to go explore the park.

1st Walking Tour

Victor and Maricel presenting to us their research.

Pond in the center

This is a pond located in the center of the Garden where people can come and sail mini boats

Le Medici Fountain

Fountain that was built around 1630

Closer View

A closer view of the detail in the statues

After roaming around the Gardens for a bit we made our way towards the famous Notre Dame de Paris for our second and final group presentation. The weather was nice out it wasn’t cold or extremely hot so we were able to walk Saint Michel Boulevard and see so many different shops and a few university buildings along the way.


Sorbonne University


Walking on Saint Michel Blvd

The Notre Dame de Paris is just as beautiful I had already been over to visit it at the beginning of the week but I definitely didn’t mind seeing it again. Since they are still working and doing repairs on it from the fire there were barricades around it but not to worry we were still able to take nice pictures and admire the beauty of it. The Notre Dame group consisted of Aquille, Edith and Janelle. They did a great job as well and took us around Notre Dame de Paris so we could get a view of the back side of the church. We were also able to see a lot of details that decorate the church in the outside.

walking tour group 2

Janelle, Aquille and Edith

Seine River

A view of the Seine River

Notre Dame

The front of Notre Dame de Paris


The back of Notre Dame de Paris

So far I think we are all loving and enjoying this experience, Paris is beautiful.

Thank you for reading, have a great day!

Assemblée Nationale Tour and Musée de l’Armee

Our morning started with light clouds and a small chill, 18.4 degrees Celsius. All of the students, liaisons, and professors met in the hotel lobby 14:00 hrs to embark on the first half of our exciting journey; Musée de l’armee. After arriving via M13 to Musee Rodin; we walked to the museum entrance where we were greeted by security and bag inspection. After we were cleared we proceeded to the location of the walking tour where David, Stephanie and Citlalli gave us a presentation on the history, culture, tourism, and cultural significance of the museum, which was well received. We were later dismissed and given time to explore the museum courtyard which was free. My colleagues took pics with the French military forces who were kind enough to let us take a group photograph with them. We then met back up at 15:00 hrs per Professor Zinders request and made our way to the Assembleè Nationale.

 Group photo with French forces.

Courtyard of the Army Museum

Entrance/Exit of Army Museum

Once we arrived to the Assemblee Nationale we were asked to passed through a metal detector where we were scanned and given identification tags upon showing our passports to security. After about 10 minutes our tour guide Frank made his appearance in order to show us the restaurants and dining areas in the assemblee’s arsenal. We sat in the cafeteria where we were given a small verbal presentation on the restaurants and the necessity of the assemblee to the French government, the deputies and their jobs at the establishment were described as well. Marcio prepared us some coffee and espresso’s for those who requested it (thank you Marcio). Frank then led us through the dining area. Here are various pics of the two areas.

Seating areas are numbered

The smaller kitchen has a French style stove.

 A confused Matt has appeared.

 View from the second kitchens rooftop.

 Army Museum from above.

 Smaller seating areas with a wonderful view.

 The menu for the day for the second restaurant.

 Á la carte dining room setup.

View of the Eiffel Tower from seating area.

 Seating area that is closer towards rooftop entrance.

 Frank giving an explanation of the menu.

 Restaurant Bar.

 Students photographing the French scenery.

The table on the roof is fixed with a compass showing you the directions of the popular attractions in France.

Our tour was concluding with a French deputy’s assistant making an appearance. She explained that the deputy was busy and could not see us at the time, he was voting on laws amongst the assemblee. This French deputy is from the area the French exchange students taking classes at City tech are from. We went into small groups in order to enter the elevator to exit the building, we thanked Frank for his kindness and we later dismissed to plan the rest of our day. It was a wonderful experience and very informative making you thankful for being a part of a program such as this. 

Une Journée Pour Rencontrer La Nature

Picnic time!

Sceaux (6 miles outside of Paris)

After a week and a half, we get to spend time together at Parc de Sceaux to relax before the busiest week approaches.

Sceaux Metro Station

Sceaux Metro

The beautiful view of the station it’s totally different from any station found in Paris.

Lost in the forest

The freshness of nature

The sound of nature

Enjoying the nice weather

Grand Canal

Château de Sceaux

Sceaux Castle

Evenly shaped trees

2019 Picnic
Christine, Janelle, Aquille, Prof. Pericles

Drinking some wine
Bannesa, David, Marcio, Nathaly

Cheese time
Corinna and Victor

Destiny, Shantel, Mathew, Stephanie, Sagine, Citlalli

Met new and great people on this trip
Janice, Moon, Edith, Mei, Maricel

Au revoir

The end

Hold on, food is ready! Now, this is the end, until next post.

Today’s activity was amazing we went to a town called Sceaux, which is about 6 miles outside of Paris. The journey began at 10 am, we all departed together from the hotel to M13 to take us to Porte de Vanves Metro once there we transfer to the 3a and got off at Cite Universite and took the last transfer, the RER B towards Robinson and got off at Sceaux. The center Ville de Sceaux has specialty shops and the local outdoor marche, which we were able to see and shop. Then we walked to the beautiful park, which was designed by André Le Nôtre after the Revolution had destroyed the old decor. André Le Nôtre was also responsible for designing Versailles.

After we took some pictures for our photo album, we sat and enjoyed our picnic near the grand canal. This time we enjoyed our picnic better than last time since today the weather was wonderful, sunny and fresh. We all bought things to eat and share, “sharing is caring,” we bought a variety of cheeses, wine, fruits like cherries, strawberries, plums, etc. It was the quietest picnic. All you can hear was the birds singing and the wind blowing, can’t ask for more.

After the picnic, we were dismissed and some of us continued exploring the park, others went to the Louvre Museum and the rest of us came back to the hotel to do some cooking. Me and friends shared the food we made to make an awesome dinner. As everything has a beginning it also has an end, this was it for today. See you on the next post.

Au revoir!

Marché D’Intérêt National De Rungis


Have you ever been surrounded by pure freshness? Today the TAIWSP group visited the National Rungis market which is the principal market of Paris, mainly for food and horticultural products, located in the commune of Rungis, in the southern suburbs. It is the largest wholesale food market in the world.

The market is the property of the French State and administered by the Semmaris. Wholesalers are plentiful and the competition is strong. The market starts at 1am and ends around 11am. Clients are professionals, distributors and restaurants. Veterinary, phytosanitary controls and property checkouts are omnipresent.

The journey to the market began by heading out at 3:45am sharp. Despite the desire of wanting to rest for just a bit longer, we knew that what we were going to experience was going to be worth the time. At arrival, we were given white hair nets and white jackets for sanitation purposes. We then headed to the fish market, which in my opinion was the biggest section. There is a wide variety of fishes coming from the Middle East, Pacific Ocean, and local farms. Some of these varieties included Monk Fish, Sea Bass, etc.

Fish from the Middle East

Following, we visited the “Meat” section of the market; which consisted of whole cows, lams, pigs, etc. In this section we had the opportunity to see products that have been organically fed and the difference it has on the quality of the product. For example, there is lamb that was only fed milk in comparison to lamb that was fed grass. These components overall not only impact the quality of the product but also the price.

Milk Fed Veal

Cows are cut into smaller pieces for better weight management

After the meat market, we visited the fromage (cheese) section. When entering, the smell of mold was very overpowering. It was one consistent smell throughout the entire market. There were mild to very strong selection of cheeses.

Rim of Cheese

This was one of my favorite section of the market. The floral scent was quite strong, but as soon as we entered the market we were surrounded by many different varieties of roses and flowers which were very calming and refreshing.

Red Roses


Lastly we visited the fruits and vegetables section. There were many different selection of fruits from the same specie allowing the buyers to explore what seller suits the need best.


Overall this was a very unique experience considering that in New York we do not have the opportunity to go to such a big market.