When we were seeking a pastry instructor in 2004 to elevate the curriculum at Hawaii Community College — Palamanui, the first person that came to my mind was Chef Fernand Guiot.
I first got to know Chef Fernand when he was executive sous chef in the bake shop at the Mauna Lani Hotel and Bungalows in the 1980s, and he and his team were delighting guests with excellent breads, pastries and desserts.
I would later learn his baking experience extends all the way back to his boyhood in France when at age 12, he began helping in his uncle’s bakery. He then received his diploma from a culinary school in his hometown of Clermont Ferrand in central France. He worked in various bakeries and pastry shops in France after completing his apprenticeship program in bread and patisserie. After coming to the United States, he was the lead baker at the Vie de France in Virginia with over 100 employees under his leadership. After the Mauna Lani, he owned and operated The French Bakery in Kailua-Kona for 16 years.
Now, I’m happy to say, he is part of our team here at Hawaii CC — Palamanui.
When you combine Chef Fernand’s knowledge and skill with his easy-going nature and outstanding work ethic, you have the perfect ingredients for an instructor, and he has indeed become a tremendous mentor for our students.
From our bake shop classroom at the Hawaii CC — Palamanui campus, Chef Fernand teaches the Patisserie Advanced Baking course, mentors students during competitions like the Big Island Chocolate Festival, and inspires students to create masterpieces for campus luncheons.
“My philosophy of baking and teaching is patience, passion, and practice,” says Chef Fernand.
Our students are very fortunate to learn this craft from him.
For Valentine’s Day, we’re pleased to share this dessert recipe from Chef Fernand. Add this dish to your repertoire, and your loved ones will surely say they’re, “Forever Yours.”
Fresh Strawberries Tart Recipe
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons sugar, split
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 egg yolk
1 whole egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a small pot, combine milk and 2 tablespoons sugar. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch, remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, eggs and vanilla Extract.
Place pot of milk and sugar on stove and bring it to full boil. Add half of boiling milk and sugar into the cornstarch, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Whip it together rapidly, then put it back into the pot on the stove and stir until ingredients thicken. Remove from heat and transfer pastry cream into a container and place it into the refrigerator.
10-inch Sugar Dough Tart Crust:
1 stick of butter (8oz)
4 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 egg yolks (no whites)
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate (56% cacao)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
With butter at room temperature, mix butter, sugar and salt. Add egg yolks. Add flour. Mix until dough is a nice texture. It’s best to refrigerate overnight. Lightly spray tart pan with cooking spray. Flatten dough into circular shape and carefully place into tart pan. Bake approximately 25 minutes or until crust is a golden brown. Let crust cool completely.
Melt chocolate in microwave. Brush melted chocolate on tart crust. Let chocolate dry on crust and add pastry cream. Add Fresh Strawberries on top of pastry cream. Drizzle with melted chocolate.