This summer’s release from Pixar, Ratatouille, tells the story of a rat who dreams of working as a chef in one of the top restaurants in Paris. If you’ve ever wondered what it is really like to attend the famed Cordon Blue cooking school, or work in a 3-star Paris restaurant, follow the trials and tribulations of Ms. Glaze, an American woman who blogs about her experiences doing both. Ms. Glaze’s Pomme’s D’Amour (French for Ms. Glaze’s “Love Apples” a.k.a. tomatoes) offers plenty of delicious recipes, videos (including one of skinning a rabbit), and eye-opening stories from working as a line cook at the Guy Savoy, Paris.
Ms. Glaze frequently bumps up against her French bosses:
When I first started cooking at the meat station I couldn’t believe that we had chicken on the menu. “Chicken? We have chicken on the menu? This is a 3-star Parisian restaurant and we’re serving chicken?” I finally asked my boss why a restaurant voted 8th best in the world would stoop so low as to serve chicken and why at such an outrageous price of fifty euros a pop.
“Tu as déjà goutée?” (Have you tasted it?).
“Non, je n’aime pas le poulet.” (No, I’m not a chicken fan.)
“Fais la papillote maitenant.” (Make the chicken cooked in a pocket now.)
“Non, je ne peus pas, j’ai beaucoup trop de chose a faire.” (No, I can’t, I have too many other things to do…)
“Oui, chef.” (Yes, chef.)
So I made the stupid chicken and grumped the whole way through it. Meanwhile my boss stood cross-armed inspecting every last detail from the way I butchered the bird to the cooking of it. To be scrutinized by a brooding French chef, is to understand fear. French chefs are not known for coddling their subordinates.
Ultimately Ms. Glaze learns that the French have been doing things a certain way for hundreds of years for a reason. (She loved the chicken.) Ms. Glaze is away from the restaurant at the moment, for work-permit reasons. But her site is filled with adventurous and amusing stories, usually having to do with food. Enjoy!