I stare down at the blank canvas in my hand, unflinchingly in the face the biggest challenge of my career as an apprentice pastry chef. It has taken many a long night shift and continuous practice to get to this spot in space and time where I must prove my ability as a baker. I slowly bring my icing bag down to the golden cake, poised and ready to make my glittering debut into the world of culinary arts.
As the tip presses down onto the surface, I ponder the long journey I have endured to get to my position. The unlimited rows of cakes I decorated and never seemed to achieve perfection in the details of the figures I formed. Endless nights of poring over books and videos of the legendary chefs that promised me they could teach me the secrets of the trade I longed to be master of. Moments when I sat down in the corner of the kitchen and cried after I had failed to create beauty, but instead had produced a mess.
An image starts to form under my hand now, becoming clearer with every slight movement of my wrist, showing what I am only starting to believe now. A baker is not one that creates an overall image made to impress on a pastry, but knows the intricacies of what they design. A baker must also be able to know their limitations and cry for help when they have reached them. For there is no such thing as failure, only a lesson that will make your skills grow.
A rose has formed beneath my hand unlike any other I have ever created. The pent-up air in my lungs rushes out as I smile radiantly. For beauty in life lies in the simplest of things, like a rose-topped cake in a display window.