Memories and Inspiration for Food, Travel and Life
This was my first stage after finishing ESCF-Ferrandi. And I had unfortunately put myself into a nervous mess thinking I would fail at this, which was something I had feared since entering the world of cooking. For some reason, at least work wise, I had never ‘failed’. I had never been fired or left without feeling welcome back at a prior job…so this scared me. Especially since I had sold my home, my car, and taken out thousands in loans to pursue this dream.
The last month at school had been rather hellish as well, with my cuisine professor yelling at me and shaking my sanity not knowing I had let my personal life affect my cooking ability. So I dropping from near top to near bottom almost over night. It scared the life out of me, as much as my chef who had chosen me to represent our school in a two star Michelin restaurant – called La Bigarrade (unfortunately as of February 2012 it no longer exists).
My first meal there was like something I had never had before, the ‘goût’ of Chef Christophe Pele was absolutely foreign yet so subtle your palate didn’t seize with the unlikely pairings. I have often said I didn’t care for the review by Meg Zimbeck , however, I suppose we are all entitled to our opinions. I’d love to see my friend Ted write a restaurant review..maybe it’s his education, but his use of descriptive vocabulary is incredible. You can read another blog post of lunch at Bigarrade I had with a fellow classmate, Bardia Ilbeiggi, from ESCF-Ferrandi here.
So the short of it? My stage at Bigarrade was fine. I was kept mostly in the cold room with the comis and dishwasher, and my grasp of French was akin to a Korean fifth-grader. Yeah, I got that I wasn’t going to learn what chef Pele was doing or how he thought. There was tension in the restaurant, especially between the three chefs, and instinctually I knew something was wrong. My guess was financial, but I’ll probably never know. This is why I made a move, and shortly after I left, the pastry chef left, then the sous chef, then the comis…until finally Chef Pele left and Bigarrade existed no more.