Onto the Next One…

I am so excited to share big news with you all but I don’t want to keep rambling so I will TRY to keep this short and sweet.

As you all know, I have been living in Paris in August of last year. I went to Ferrandi culinary school for 5 intensive months where I learned the basics of French cuisine and began to get accustomed to life in the kitchen. I graduated from Ferrandi in January 2011 and after a 1-week break, I started an internship in a 3-Michelin start restaurant and one of the toughest kitchens in Paris, Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée. 

At Alain Ducasse, I worked in the garde-manger, entremets, and fish stations where I learned the best of the basics and more. I worked with top-notch products that arrived daily. If the products were not fresh enough, they were sent back. That was the standard. I am going to be honest; it wasn’t the easiest 6-months of my life, they were probably the hardest but in those very 6 months, not only did I learn how to deal with others, I pushed myself mentally and physically, pushed myself to extreme limitations and most of all, learned more about myself and my strengths and weaknesses than I ever did before. 

I say it was hard both physically and mentally; here’s why. On the first hand, it was physically difficult because right at the beginning of the internship, I fell down the stairs and bruised my tailbone. Determined to stay on, I ignored the pain but it just got worse. 4 months in, I took a leave of absence to get better. Though I wasn’t 100% a couple of weeks later on, I came back after a couple of weeks of rest and physical therapy. On the second hand, it was difficult not because it was like rocket science but one must maintain a strong mind while dealing with the stress, mental fatigue and the politics of the kitchen. Being one of the only 2 girls in the kitchen, I had to keep it together and told myself that I was just as good as any other of the cooks in the room – to help myself push through. With my determination and commitment, I finished my internship during the summer. 

Needing a break, I still stayed within the gastronomic scene but traveled to Brazil to see, experiment and document new/unusual ingredients. What a great experience it was! Not only did I learn a lot but I shared experiences, techniques and information with fellow colleagues of the trade.

Ok, ok…get to the point right?

Now to the juicy part of the story. With great excitement and happiness, I am happy to share with you all that I will become part of the hardworking team of chefs and cooks of Spain’s 2-Michelin star and San Pellegrino’s 3rd Best Restaurant of the World, Mugaritz.

Located at the border of Errenteria and Astigarraga (a 20-minute drive from central San Sebastián, Basque country), the complex boasts a herb garden, an expansive kitchen that joins onto an equally spacious dining room, and a pretty leafy paved courtyard.

You cannot mention Mugaritz without making a reference to el Bulli. Any food lovers of the world has come to known the best restaurant in the world, el Bulli and its best chef in the world, Ferran Adria. The chef of Mugaritz, Andoni Luis Aduriz, was a protégé at el Bulli, and he also trained in some of the best restaurants in the world i.e. Arzak and Martin Berastegui. He’s curious, ambitious and amazingly talented, which is why the restaurant quickly made its way up the pantheon of greatness, the more recent accolade being a #3 on S.Pellegrino’s World Best 50 restaurant chart in 2011 (including Chef’s Choice). The food at Mugaritz can be described as part science and part nature, with all kinds of high tech gadgets utilized by young talented chefs (average age of 28) to experiment and create food that brings out the best flavors in the ingredients which challenges both visual and sensory perception, while paying respect to natural ingredients. Their goal is to evoke reaction and emotion, at the same time provide sensual gastronomic experience.

One Spoonful At A Time will be branching out to parts of Spain during the coming months. Not to worry Parisian fans, I will be coming back to the city to try out the newcomers of the French scene.

Tapas y Txchakoli ahorita me voy!

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Comments
7 Responses to “Onto the Next One…”
  1. for how long are you staying at Mugaritz?

  2. Guillermo says:

    This is awesome. Congratulations Jade! SOO proud!!

  3. Grace Ma says:

    Congratulations Jade! I’m glad to hear that you are so happy!

  4. Hi jade, I’m very excited for you. Contact me whenever you’re in Paris, I would love to meet you, you are like a celebrity for me! Anyways, I just have some questions about the internship because soon I’ll have to make some decisions about mine.

    http://www.eatingcookingfooding.com
    mashav.s@gmail.com

    • Hi Mashav!

      Thanks so much! Good luck on Ferrandi! I plan to come to Paris several times before the end of the year so I will let you know. I’ll add you on Facebook and send you an email with my address and if you still have queries about the internship, feel free to email me.

      Best,
      Jade

  5. Rachelle says:

    Wow, Jade! Congrats! So proud!

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