Eldon Murray of the Postmaster's Bakery spent part of January learning about breads and pastries at the Ferrandi culinary school in Paris. (The Postmaster's Bakery/Facebook)
The owners of a St. John's bakery have been honing their skills in Paris and hope to bring flashes of France back home to the Avalon Peninsula.
Eldon Murray and E. Mark Murphy, co-owners of the Postmaster's Bakery, spent last week in Paris, with Murray studying bread and pastries at Ferrandi, which he called "the Harvard of culinary schools" in a recent interview with CBC Radio.
Murray says he's learned a lot in a short period and is eager to bring it back to Newfoundland.
"The reason I came to this program was to get some hands-on, tactile experience using French ingredients," he said. "So I think now that I have that sort of tactile experience, I'm ready to go back to Newfoundland and apply what I've learned."
Murray said it has also been great to create French dishes using French ingredients, as it sometimes results in food that's much different from what's made in Newfoundland and Labrador.
"A block of butter [in France], when you take it from the fridge is actually pliable and bends, which is really helpful when making croissants. Whereas the butter, as you know, at home, it's hard as a rock when it comes out of the fridge," he said.
Murray says he's excited to take what he's learned back to St. John's. (The Postmaster's Bakery/Facebook)
"Our chef is always saying, 'Touch the dough. Listen to what the dough is saying, and react.'… It will tell you when it needs time to rest, when it needs more kneading, maybe it might need more water today. You can react quite a few ways."
Murray said he's most excited to be studying a curriculum that he can bring back to staff at the bakery. It probably won't be long before what he's learned in France — and from unrelated, impromptu cooking classes in Turkey — hits menus in St. John's, he said.
LISTEN | Eldon Murray of the Postmaster's Bakery is learning about pastry at "the Harvard of bread" in Paris: