There is no such thing as a pastry job that covers all the possibilities. Not even an instructor can do that. So with each position, you get some of one kind of pastry work, none of another. Bread bakers don't make much ice cream. Chocolatiers don't do many pies.
Right now, I don't plate anything.
I miss it.
I haven't composed a dessert, I realize, since I moved here. There has been no swirling of sauces, no quenelles. My garnishes have served a savory function only.
I really, really miss it.
I realized I missed it when I found myself composing a plated trio of desserts for an upcoming potluck. Thankfully, the hostess is a friend and coworker, who understood my odd excitement when I started blathering ideas at her. Of course, I know this is only the beginning. There is a small part of my brain that plots imaginary cocktail and dessert parties, sighs wistfully at the photos of blogging line cooks and will only be satisfied when I add a few more recipes to my notebook. So, I'll do all that, at home, because it is the only place I have for plated desserts.
The worst part is knowing that maybe, just maybe, in my career this may be my only plated dessert outlet. And you have no idea how much it hurts to say that.
I love my work. There are very few parts of it that I look at and say "No, I'm not interested in that." (For example, I am so over cupcakes, thanks, and have been since I was, oh, five.) To say that any option that I do like is closed to me? Bittersweet thoughts.
(chocolate cake, salted macadamia caramel sauce, thai coffee ice cream, cocoa nib tuile)