All posts tagged: Cote d’Azur

Gossip, Figs and Sushi: Week 7 in the Kitchen

So the moral of the story is…Don’t ever tell a chef anything. Because they love to gossip. Like pre-teen girls. With dirty minds. . There is nothing that can be a secret, and everything will be read into and fabricated until it becomes dramatic—and probably sexual. It is both fortunate and horrible that I can’t speak enough French to properly participate in certain conversations. This past week was particularly bad, as the dramatic gossip began as one sentence of truth that I told to a coworker…and which somehow became a raging wildfire of misguided storytelling that all of my coworkers (and heaven help me, basically everyone else in the hotel) are in on. Remember how there was a phase where my coworkers were paranoid about what I would write on my blog? Yeah, well, that has ended. Now my Chef has specifically asked me to write down all the “facts” of the gossip and drama in my latest blog post, and that if I don’t he will comment and enlighten the internet and all my readers …

Diner à Le Ciste

It should be no surprise that I went on another food adventure this past weekend. But what makes this adventure more exciting than any of the others is that it was at the restaurant where the lovely Babette works–and I had the great pleasure of dining at the restaurant with her husband and sister while she was slaving away in the kitchen creating pastry masterpieces. Johan was nice enough to come pick me up in Juan les Pins, and we arrived at le Château de la Bégude just before 7:00pm. While Johan and Antonia went to change out of their beach clothes and into something more multi-course-dinner appropriate, I snuck into the kitchen. Actually, I basically just waltzed right in and nobody even questioned it. It was beautiful. Even though I’ve only been in the kitchen once before, it almost feels like its my kitchen too. I was able to chat with Babette for a bit while she ran around her kitchen making all the final preparations for the service. A part of me wanted …

Pastry and Beach Adventures in Cannes

Sunday morning we all woke up at a decent time…and then managed to not leave the apartment until like 10:30…and then didn’t get to Cannes until like 11:45 because of train schedules. Its fine. I could tell that my crew was about as skeptical of Cannes as I was before the first time I went there–and I was determined for them to love it as much as I have come to. There was a lot of pressure–I had less than a day to find the best parts of a city I had only been two a small handful of times! We started off by walking next to the water as we headed to a lookout point I had only ever seen from a distance. I really didn’t know what to expect from the top of the little hill, and to be honest I was worried it would be an incredible disappointment. Luckily for all of us, after a brief uphill walk we arrived at a little stone mansion/castle/church (aren’t I great at observing things?) which …

Food, Reunited Friendships and More Food in Nice

Friday night I escaped the kitchen and all but flew to the train station in Juan les Pins. Sweating and parched, I ran to the queue for my train…only to discover it was 25 minutes late T_T Though there was about a half hour where I contemplated whether or not to just take a taxi to Nice, I eventually made it by train, and by 12:30am I was hugging Jenny hello after six months of being on the opposite side of the world from her. It is incredibly bizarre that we have only known each other for less than a year, but in that time we have traveled parts of three continents and shared countless one-in-a-lifetime experiences together. Make brownies in animal onesies on Christmas? Check. Go clubbing in full costume on Halloween in South Korea? Check. Reunite in the south of France? CHECK. Despite the jet lag I’m sure she was feeling and my just having finished another week in the kitchen, we stayed up until nearly 3am sitting in the kitchen in our …

Pokémon, Evolution and Friendship: Week Five in the Kitchen

Chef turned to me and looked me in the eye. Normally if he did that I would be racking my brain, thinking of what I did wrong and mentally preparing myself for what was to come next. But this time, I knew what was coming. “Maddie….do you catch Pokemon?” Wednesday, in the middle of a service of 80 covers, Clarisse, Floriane, Chef and I took a pause during one of our quiet moments to have a serious conversation about Pokémon Go. Which Chef had previously known nothing about. And so we enlightened him. Apparently Hotel Belles Rives is a Poké-stop. (Also, I have to mention that all of my coworkers predicted that the pokemon conversation would make it into my blog. And they were all right. 😛 ) It is SO HARD to leave the American/Foreigner bubble when you are abroad. It is comfortable to stay in your safety zone with people who speak the same language as you and with people who are going through the same experiences—namely, living abroad. However, it is so …

Bisous, Wild Lavender and Air Vents: Week Four in the Kitchen

This week my blog is dedicated Diego. For his soufflés, which have been magnificent this week. For his being comfortable enough to joke with me while we work together. For being patient enough to try to have conversations with me even though I know my French sucks. For mocking my French by repeating what I said in an American accent, even while respecting me for trying to speak French all day. For loudly telling my coworkers while I am around that it is hard to work with me because I don’t do anything and never improve–which I know is his way of giving me his stamp of approval. For hinting about all the things I should mention in my blog, even though I’m sure he doesn’t read it since I write entirely in English. Merci, Diego. (And merci to Clarisse, who I’m sure will be the one to translate this for him :P). I don’t know why (though if I had to put my finger on it I would say its probably due to my …