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  The Chatter Box : Travel
Cuisine Francaise by pandab on 3 January 2008 3:46am
Or is that Francaise Cuisine? My French isn't very good.

Anyway ... I, the devoted aunt, am taking my nephew with me on my next vacation. Of the three choices I gave him, he chose France.

And that makes a good deal of sense, seeing as the dear boy is studying to become a chef.

We have elected to take a tour I have already taken and enjoyed immensely, so I don't mind doing it again. It has a good mix of time periods and such, as well as including several fine meals.

We will spend a few days in Paris, and I want to research things having to do with French cuisine. I haven't started looking into yet, so I thought I would open the topic here and see if anyone had any suggestions.

I'm thinking about museums, shops, schools ... anything he might enjoy. There are restaurants, of course, but I was thinking of something more behind the scenes that just that.

Does anyone know if some Paris restaurants would let a student get a peek at the kitchen? He would be thrilled if he could meet a real French chef! Sort of like most kids would feel about meeting a rock star! :+)

I had thought about asking at our Paris hotel, but I wondered if anyone knew ...

Re: Cuisine Francaise by Ginnyp on 5 January 2008 2:43am
I'd be too shy to ask but, if you've done the tour already, choose the restaurants you liked best and shove your nephew through the kitchen door after a bit of banter and a general 'how are you?' You're on a win-win. As long as he meets all the hygiene requirements he'll get a big fat hug and a load of experience.

I've read this and was astounded by the ability of e-mail to misrepresent my thoughts. What I meant was....French chefs are very friendly, willing to teach and quite safe.
Re: Cuisine Francaise by pandab on 5 January 2008 3:43am
I understood what you meant! :+)

I had thought of speaking with the tour director and get their thoughts as well. They might be able to make an introduction for us.

I want this to be a really positive experience for my nephew. He will be 19. He is an awfully sweet guy, very ernest and eager. Still, he is quite sensitive and doesn't have a great deal of self-confidence.

That is one of the reasons I want to take him. I am hoping, once he gets out of our hometown and tastes of a little slice of the big wide world (cooking metaphor intended), travel will act as a trigger for him as it did for me. I'm not looking for anything dramatic to happen for him. I just want to plant a seed in him that could grow into the realization that he really can meet and handle life on his own.

I guess I'm hoping to inspire him, encourage him to grab life with both hands. Heaven knows, he has the brains. I believe he has the desire. I think he just needs a little something to nudge him forward.

Even though I'll be with him, acting as a sort of homebase if you will, I want to encourage him to decide and try things for himself. I've already assigned him the task of planning one of our days in Paris. It will be totally HIS day ... as long as he remembers not to run his poor aunt too ragged, that is. :+)

He is excited, but he is also a bit nervous, I believe. This is the furtherest away from home and the longest away from his family he has ever been. And that is EXACTLY what he needs.

My fantasy is that he'll meet a French chef who will take an interest in him, even if only for a short while. Enough to give him a little confidence. My wilder fantasy is that he might meet one who would be interested enough to correspond with him. My wildest fantasy is he will meet a chef who will take him under their wing. His mother would kill me, but wouldn't it be great if a chef encouraged him to return to France to study and apprentice with them?

Oh, well ... An aunt can dream, can't she? :+)

Re: Cuisine Francaise by Ginnyp on 5 January 2008 5:21pm
Had the pleasure of visiting Combourg, Brittany 28 December 2007. Christmas sparkle, beautiful sunset and a restaurant that the 'locals' could only visit out of season. I've never seen a restaurant owner kissed so many times by her customers. Mathilde, her daughter, was the best waitress ever,(aged approx.6) Best Christmas for a long while.
Re: Cuisine Francaise by Ginnyp on 5 January 2008 6:33pm
Whilst I don't want to be ravaged by anyone, I think I saw genuine bonhomie.
Re: Cuisine Francaise by sighthound on 5 January 2008 9:15pm
You're a great aunt, Pandab!
Re: Cuisine Francaise by Ken Dunn on 8 January 2008 3:27am
I'd be inclined to think that a busy restaurant kitchen would be dangerous and the chef would prefer to meet outside busy times. Could I suggest you order room service for a sandwich at 3am and ask if you could watch the chef make it! There are branches of McDonalds and Burger King in Paris and their 'kitchens' are viewable from in front of the counter.
Re: Cuisine Francaise by Ginnyp on 9 January 2008 1:50am
Sorry Ken,
You've obviously experienced something more sordid in the french kitchen!!!

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