This last week and a half has been wrought with anxiety. I turned in my papers a week ago for my estage (apprenticeship) to Guy Savoy, the three star restaurant and Guy’s namesake, in the 17th. I had a bizarre embarrassing encounter with a person who I thought was the chef there. He didn’t understand me and I certainly didn’t understand him with my basic French skills. Regardless, I gave my letter of motivation, which I had translated into French, and my CV, then I said “Au Revoir” and bolted out of there – cheeks redder than molting lava.
The Amazing Superior Cuisine Chef at Le Cordon Bleu told me to turn in my packet first and said he would follow up with a phone call when he came back from his vacation. However, when he got back to school, two days ago, he said that I should go back and ask what my status is. Go back and ask? Are you kidding me? I would rather be thrown to a pack of hungry wolves!
I, of course, found this to be frustrating because my speaking capability is limited and I had already explained my messy first encounter. He also promised me that he would call and said that he was saving this apprenticeship for me because he knew how badly I wanted it! Doubly painful because he’s one of my favorite chefs and I’m always appreciative of his incredible talent, sense of humor, and professional demeanor in the practicals.
But bad things come in three’s… I was down in sous-sol, the kitchen of Le Cordon Bleu (and now my unofficial nickname), slaving away peeling endless petit onions, when I overheard my Chef talking to a student about his internship at a different Guy Savoy restaurant. (there are a few restaurants owned by Guy Savoy in Paris) Then he asks the student if he should call for him. He asks if he should call or not! What am I chopped liver? Mousse Paté? Yesterday’s potatoes? What is going on?
Granted it’s a different restaurant and I know that many Le Cordon Bleu students go there for their apprenticeships. I also know that students must seriously pursue the three star restaurants on their own, if they really want it. I believe that there has only been two or three students in the past to get into Guy Savoy because they only take one apprentice at a time and they are very selective
The 6 year old mentality took control of my brain in sous sol, and I let loose: “That’s not fair, you’re going to call for him and not for me?” To which he didn’t reply because he does not speak English and he probably didn’t know I was talking to him, but I’m sure he noticed my eyes filling with tears as I turned back around to peel more stupid little onions.
But hope is still alive…while we were making the lunch for the Le Cordon Bleu staff, he came down to sous-sol to eat. I had gotten over my earlier outburst and had psyched myself up to go back into Guy Savoy and ask again. But, to my surprise, he came up to me and put his arm around my shoulders, while I was concentrating on deboning chicken, and told me that he was going to call for me because I’m a good cook and “bonna personna” (italian for good person?). Now that’s the Chef I know and love! Where did we go wrong?
Oh the drama language barriers can cause!!!
I won’t find out till next week after our long weekend so keep your fingers crossed for me…
P.S. I’m traveling to Hen Dye to see some friends and then San Sebastian for some relaxation with my hardworking hubby this weekend so I might be computer-less for awhile.