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  1. Good luck!! I'm in France right now. There is no way to know what the immigration policy will be 3-5 years from now. I got very very lucky. I would either suggest being placed by a school, or have your chef personally place you. It's all a "who you know" thing over here. I can also recommend AIPT You pay them, but they do all the work and you can get a longer stay. But finding housing is up to you. I would really suggest having your chef send you to somebody he knows!! Currently, it is almost impossible to get a work visa in the EU. The employer has to sponsor you and apply for the visa. The only way this really works is if you are with a company and they are transferring you. Maybe if you can work at Four Seasons or Ritz Carlton, they can get you over there. You could use your free time and network to find something that you would prefer to do.
  2. My Vita-Mix is one of my most prized possessions. It's an investment, but I think it's definitely worth it.
  3. Ha ha!! I've worked at some of the places you've mentioned!! I'm working in France right now. Unless they are contributing to your monthly bills, tell them to eat sh*t!! I've had to do this too. Do what you love. The money will come eventually. Everybody loves a chef!!! Cook for them, that should shut them up.
  4. I'm in France and I've found a new hardcover copy of Spoon!! Only 5000 hardcovers were made. It's the only Ducasse book that I don't have. I'm trying to cut back on my cookbook habit and don't know if I should buy it or not. It's 150 euros, which isn't really that much considering I've seen the used softcovers on Amazon for about 100US. It's in English and French! It's a big book and I'm starting to get worried about all these books I'm going to have to lug home!! Should I buy it or pass?!
  5. Hey!! I'm in Avignon! How far south are you planning to go?
  6. 1. Uni 2. Caviar 3. Offal/ organ meats. I'll eat a little bit of sweet breads if they're soaked in milk and pressed thin. Pan fried so they're crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside. I ate at an Alain Ducasse restaurant, and their sweetbreads were enormous fatty globs of snot! 4. Foie gras. I don't care for it. The only time I've had it and enjoyed it was in a pate when I was in France. The stuff from France really tastes so much better than what we have in the states. 5. Eggplant. I don't really care for it. I think it's the slimy texture of the fried eggplant I had as a kid. 6. Frogs 7. Snails 8. Alligator 9. Anything artificially lowfat 10. Most things anise flavored 11. Margarine and Crisco give me the willies!! 12. I'm not a huge fan of olives. I can eat a little bit of them if they are in something. I had a bad egg experience as a kid, but I eat them now.
  7. I like working in a semi open kitchen. I don't like not being able to hide. Feeling like you work in a fishbowl is stressful. I like to have windows where they can look in if they want to, not in an all glass island kitchen (in the middle of the dining room)
  8. I've reduced maple syrup almost to sugar when using it in an anglaise. Maybe you can do that and add it to something really light in flavor like white chocolate? That way you'll get a really strong maple kick!! Maple syrup is probably my favorite thing in the world.
  9. I'm going to be in Avignon, it's not exactly driving distance to Paris!!! I'm probably going to pay a fortune in shipping if I order everything online. I guess I'll have to add these things to my Christmas wishlists!! I've found the cultures for sour cream and most cheeses online from cheese making shops. What would you consider the closest cheese to Philadelphia Cream Cheese? One that will stand up to baking, but mild enough in flavor that I can use it in many different preparations....
  10. I'm moving back to France in a couple weeks, and I was wondering if I would be able to find some of my favorite things in the market. Here is a list: 1. Old Bay Seasoning 2. Guava paste or marmalade 3. Sweetened condensed milk 4. Buttermilk 5. Latin-American ingredients (Adobo, and seasonings) Anything else that anybody cares to add to the list? I already know I will have to make my own cream cheese!!
  11. As a kid, there was a mandatory glass of whole milk with every meal. I'm not even sure 2% was readily available back then. I, like millions of other kids, had skim milk forced upon me by a diet-fad mother. I can still remember the day that I opened the fridge and saw that bluish glow from refrigerator light passing through it. Skim "milk" has scarred me for life. I put skim in the same category as non-dairy creamer. If forced to choose between the two, I would pour whipping cream over my cereal. I don't drink much milk these days. I buy a half gallon of whole milk and that will last me a week, after I make yogurt out of half of it. I prefer to buy it from micro dairies and seek out the ones that come in glass bottles. If I can find the cream top milk, I'll go home and make a chocolate cake to go with it!!
  12. El Bulli!! But for that price, I'd want the recipes
  13. This will be my return to Avignon. I'm not staging this time, I've actually got a paid gig. I can't say enough how amazing of an experience it is to go to work in France, or anywhere in Europe!!! Where there is a will, there is a way!!! Merci!
  14. I got a call today from the Chef, it looks like I will be returning to France!! I will be in Avignon. Is there anybody from around there?
  15. If you've got a EU passport, you're on a completely different program. As far as the shifts and everything, that is entirely up to the restaurant. I think you would have a little more freedom if you were completely supporting yourself. I have friends that are going in a month and their chef is sending them to a foie gras farm for a couple of days, and then on a fishing trip.
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