Posted 10 December 2002 - 01:21 PM
Being able to apprentice in France was a great experience, especially after having a few years experience cooking professionally in New York. It was particularly reassuring to see that American kitchens are great places to work as well. In France, they are further advanced on kitchen gadgets and equipment, especially in the pastry shops. I not only staged at Eugenie Les Bain and Arpege, but I took a great intensive class on breadbaking at Ecole Lenotre outside of Paris, Maison Blanche and worked for a pastry chef near Biarritz called Mandion. I started in Biarritz and I was able to arrange other stages with the other restaurants from this starting point. I wanted to see some of the more progressive kitchens and decided on these. Although I wasn't able to stay a long time in each place, I was able to get an overview of the different kitchens and see the behind the scenes activity - an exciting way to experience a restaurant aside from dining in one. The staff was always welcoming and I found they were very curious about New York. It was definitely a highlight in my cooking career.