Monday, June 29, 2009

Oui Chef!

Today was my first day of classes in the Intensive Basic Pastry course at LCB. They aren't kidding about the intensive part. I'll be in class until 9:30pm tomorrow night. My classmates are a pretty cool, diverse group. There's another girl from Austin attending. Small world, huh? Most of the other students are from Asia and a few from Canada. Thankfully, English is the universal language. I had lunch with a very cool classmate from Turkey who is currently living with her husband and 4 year old in Basal, Sweden. LCB served an amazing buffet of assorted cheeses, bread, and foie gras. I'll just take 2 Evening Primrose Oil capsules tonight for my cholesterol because that foie gras was so worth it!

Tomorrow is our first day out of the classroom and in the kitchen. We're making shortbreads. By the way, A/C is not a widely used convenience in France so the kitchen should be cooking- literally and figuratively. I only took a pic of the outside of the school as I was too scared to get out my camera during chef's demo. Some of my more intrepid classmates took some snaps so I'm going to give it a go tomorrow. All of LCB's chefs only speak French so a lovely American or English woman take turns translating for us. I'm told not to worry about being able to communicate with chef because the only expected response is, "Oui Chef!" Actually, he seems pretty approachable for a French chef who has been cooking since he was a 14 year old apprentice. He's probably pretty funny- he certainly laughs at his own jokes a lot. Maybe one day I'll understand enough French to actually laugh instead of politely smiling. We'll see...

On another note, the French version of Target is just around the corner from my apartment. I've already visited twice in the 3 days I've been here. Monoprix is awesome! It is nestled among the sex shops and brothels in Pigalle. Pigalle was historically the red light district so they're trying to keep some semblance to draw in tourists. And does it ever! I thought I was getting out of the tourist district but apparently there is no such thing in Paris in the summer. Parisians are starting to leave for holiday to avoid the swarms. I thought Bermuda shorts and running shoes was the American tourist uniform but I was shocked to hear a couple outfitted in such speaking some dialect of French. Definitely tourists from some EU nation. A lot of the touristy looking people I've seen weren't speaking English. Perhaps Europeans are doing "staycations" due to the economy? Naturally, I'm an easy mark even if I'd rather die than wear Bermuda shorts. It must be something about the way I say "pardon " or "excuse moi." I accidently bumped into a pretty French girl in line at Monoprix - I even remembered to say "desole" instead of "lo siento" but she still replied in English and waived me ahead of her in line. It was charming of her even if my first response was to grit my teeth.


  1. Ok, instead of just bombarding your amazing blog with comments, you so have to let me interview you for my blog! Oh please oh please. And just tell me, how on earth does one go about finding a good apartment in paris before arriving?! :)

  2. I'd be honored and delighted to be interviewed by you!

    And finding an apartment is kind of tough... I went through an agency because I was worried about scammers. I did have classmates that were successful in finding and arranging private rentals (which is cheaper since there is no agency fee). If you want to go the route of making private arrangements, do a lot of research and don't wire any money unless you feel absolutely comfortable.

  3. Oh wonderful! I will get an interview ready this weekend. So excited. I'll go ahead and use the email addy on your profile ;)