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Looking for opportunity to work at French bakery/restaurant in Paris or Provence

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Posted (edited)

Hello everyone.


I just joined this forum in search for some information to my upcoming trip to France and just simply make new friends and establish connections. 


Originally, I am from Belarus. I came to the United States thirteen years ago. I started my joinery here as a waitress and worked in several restaurants. After few years, my business partner (who is a sushi chef) and I were offered an opportunity to open a restaurant. We opened RED  7 years ago. It’s a sushi restaurant that offers varieties of sushi rolls, raw fish and contemporary American cuisine. Here is the  website If you are intersted: red-madison.com

I love sushi and we have successful business, but I have been obsessed with French culture, language and food since I was little kid. Surprisingly, I have never been to France yet.

Just few months ago I discovered little French Bakery that is for sale.  Place is owned by French people. They are selling it because they are relocating back to Europe. This bakery offers freshly made bread and pastries. Café has small food menu that offers sandwiches, salads, soups and quiche.

I don’t know if I will end up buying this bakery, but I always had a dream of opening French restaurant. I think this is the time to get closer to my dream and go to France.

I wonder if you, dear members, by any chance could suggest short courses that will be helpful for young unprofessional chef like me. I would like to learn techniques behind the French baguette and making the perfect flaky croissants.  I need to get more knowledge in the chemistry behind traditional baked goods and French cuisine. Ideally, I would love to work at the bakery and oversee the process and daily routine. 

I am the sushi restaurant owner who wanting to switch her career and become an artisanal bread-baking entrepreneur/ French bistro owner. I would like to find out if its possible :).

I am thinking to come to France at the end of March or beginning of April. I have limited time and can’t extend my visit for more than a month. I also understand it is impossible to master baking techniques and learn everything for such short time. However, maybe you have good recommendation about how to use my time in France wisely and get the most out of my visit  where I could maybe stage or get trained for that month. I Am a hard worker and fast learner.

I don’t speak French, but would love to take a class as well. I am thinking about using Airbnb, and rent small apartment or room. What area of Paris would you recommend to stay? 

Thank you in advance for your advice. I really appreciate it and hopefully I could meet you on person during my visit.


Tatiana Zhykharevich

Edited by Smithy Corrected title spelling (log)

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Across France there are problems in getting staff to work in boulangeries and pâtisseries so if your visa allows you to work in Europe you shouldn’t have a problem securing a job.


As I understand your question you are looking for a training opportunity rather than work experience?  That might be more of a problem if you don’t speak French.  There are courses in both disciplines aimed at English speakers, mostly in Paris and with fees to be paid. Perhaps if your training is business oriented you might be able to find grant monies to assist with fees?  


If straightforward work experience would be useful I might be able to find you a place but in provincial France rather than in Paris.  There are eGullet members living and working in Paris who might be more help.


I’m not sure that a month of work experience would allow you sufficient time to learn all of the necessary skills to then run your own shop. An intensive course might be the better route? Even then a month seems short when compared with the more usual routes to these professions (Boulanger and Pâtissier have much in common but as you no doubt know they are different trades).


I imagine others might give more informed views, I don’t work in either trade but I know there are other eGullet members living and working in France.


I look forward to reading of your progress in due course and wish you success in your endeavours.

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Hi Diana,


I appreciate your response and great advice. 


I have US citizenship, so I think I am allowed to stay in France for three months, and I am not sure if I am authorized to work while I am just visiting. 


I have signed up for cooking classes in Paris, but as you pointed right, one month is just not enough time.


I am extremely interested about job opportunity in Provence area. Maybe it could be a future chance, and I would consider staying longer than one month. 





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Would the people selling the business you are interested in be willing to have you ‘shadow’ them for a while?  That might allow you the insight to work out which skills you will need to prioritise to keep it going while not taking you away from your sushi restaurant entirely?  

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