All posts tagged: Intern

Chaos and Strength: Week 15 in the Kitchen

I don’t know if someone wrote ‘lets all make fun of Maddie this week’ on my forehead while I wasn’t paying attention, or if we all just snapped a little at being overwhelmed by the new schedule and the lack of our chef in the kitchen…but lets just say that it is a good thing that I am relatively speaking an easy going and patient person. My American accent, my many lists, my desire to do everything and control everything possible, my lack of ability to correctly conjugate verbs in French, my laugh, my knowledge of French music…I basically couldn’t do or say anything without it coming back to me as the butt of a joke–in the friendliest way, of course. “How are you Maddie?” Stan asks me in English. “I’m fine and you?” I respond, speaking English as well. “WHAT DID I TELL YOU ABOUT SPEAKING ENGLISH HERE? YOU ARE IN FRANCE!” T_T There is just no winning. Another winner of a conversation was when my coworkers said after one of the many times …

Ecosystems and Mise en Place: Week Six in the Kitchen

Clarisse has taken it upon herself to be my in-kitchen-language-tutor. Sometimes it freaks me out because I will say something and she will either respond with “no” or by repeating what I just said, leading me to think that my intentions were wrong. Most of the time it is just her beginning to correct my grammar. On Tuesday after a particularly intensive correction of something I said, she told me that it was her goal to help me be fluent in French by the time I left. And I am so thankful! The other day I was just moping to myself about how even though I speak French all the time I can’t really tell if I am improving or not–and I don’t have the time to reflect reflect on grammar when I am using French in the kitchen or the motivation to intensively study when I do have a spare moment. Wednesday was such a strange day in the kitchen. The morning was a storm of organized chaos as everyone used every ounce of space …

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 …

Jelly Beans, Cookies and Battle Scars: Tales from the Kitchen Week Three

This is dedicated to Stan, who asked me for the name of my blog at the beginning of our shift together on Monday, and then proceeded to tell me how upset he was (while alternating asking me if I loved him and dreamed of him at night) that he wasn’t mentioned at all. Thank you for keeping a lighthearted atmosphere in the kitchen even during the coupe de feu, for speaking French with an American accent, for being so happy when I tell you your English is good, and for encouraging me even though I know I mess up sometimes. For telling me to stop enchanting the boys in cuisine, but then telling me which servers were single and asking me what I thought of each of them. 😛 I look forward to working with you over the next three months! I was really dreading getting out of bed on Monday. I just didn’t want to. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to go be in the kitchen… but I also wanted to stay in bed …

In the Kitchen at Château de Bégude

Sometimes life throws you opportunities in ways you are not expecting. Last week I was invited by a friend to come watch the preparation of a wedding cake in her kitchen. Her chef was willing to have me, I had the day off—it seemed like all the stars were in alignment. A few days later, after a long week of working and returning home around midnight the night before, I woke up at 7:00am (after a maximum of 5 hours of sleep) in order to get myself together and be ready to spend another day in the kitchen. I woke up early enough to shower, and more importantly go find coffee, before Babette kindly picked me up—and soon we were pulling up at her hotel–Château de la Bégude. 9:30am and we are in the kitchen. I’m ready to get going, thinking that there will be a lot of mise en place and calculated running around as soon as we walk in the door. Wrong. To my surprise, after getting a tour of the kitchen and …

Anecdotes from the Kitchen

If the first week of work in a kitchen was mentally exhausting, the second week was physically exhausting. Part of that—no most of that—was my fault, because I got it into my head that I was capable of jumping in head first after like two days. Oops. Was it wise to walk miles around Antibes on both of my days off, then spend all morning my first day back to work with a friend and stay out until 2:30am that same night after work? Nope. Was it worth it? Yes. My friend Babette (an intern over at Chateau de la Begude) is helping me get used to life here—in and out of the kitchen—and she warned me that in the beginning I will have to drag myself out to social things—that I will be conscious of the time and needing to get home and have alone time and rest. I think we might secretly be the same person, so sometimes looking at her life is looking at what my life will be like in three …