|This young lady has come from the USA to improve her skills knowledge, so that she can embark on a new and exciting career. She has made sacrifices next to none to be here, so as to ensure she can be one of the best in what she has decided is her passion, The Kitchen! She is a credit to L’Ècole Culinaire Memphis and her InstructorsAlison, Sidney Bond and The International Kitchen
The first time I came to Yzeures-sur-creuse was through International Kitchen, arranged by my school, L’Ècole Culinaire Memphis Tennessee USA as an extern trip. It was an amazing experience to say the least. Be careful before you decide to come here, this place will get under your skin and permeate every fiber of your soul. First of all the rich the history of France that stares you in the face on every building and hints of times long ago that you can see in the stones on the streets and your mind imagines another time and place and you are in awe. You find yourself imagining who lived here and what happened behind these walls and if you listen closely you can almost hear the picturesque beauty of this place talking to you.
The Bonds Sidney and Allison welcome you with open arms, and you feel like a part of their family, and if you are lucky you become an extension of their family. You will learn more in the short time you have there than you thought you would, and each day will be filled with an adventure that unfolds and reveals new things you did not know about food, history, culture and yourself.
When I left I never dreamed I would come back but hoped to and then something exciting happened an opportunity to learn pastry and spend more than a few days here on stage (a learning work experience). I applied and was accepted and I shall forever be changed by my time here for the better. Isabel the owner of the hotel has also become a part of my extended family as well as the Bonds, their children and Allison’s mom Doreen; they gave me the opportunity to follow my dreams but more than that to become a part of a village and a people who I without realizing or willingly have fallen in love with.
I eat gypsy breakfast with Isabelle every morning and listen to stories about France the village and about Isabelle herself, I spend time with the Bonds when these incredibly busy people have time, and learn things I can take with me in my quest to become the best chef I can, but more than just learning they also share their history stories and their family with me and I am grateful that I was welcomed into their personal world. I have prayed where Joan of Arc prayed, I have touched the stones where she bought her first suit of armor, I have seen ruins of castles and wondered which fairy tale princess lived there long ago. I have been to the place where the most beautiful woman in France is buried. I have been taken down the street to museums, and rode in a car to see one of my co-workers vote in the next election for the president of France. Did I mention I barely speak French and yet the people still welcome me with open arms? I have learned many things about France the pastry and myself. In the time and process of learning France, The Bonds, and Isabelle and my co-workers, like a pirate stealing from a cargo ship filled with gold and textiles, swooped in without warning and without any signs, and stole my heart and a piece of it will always remain here. The people are proud of their rich history and they live to sustain quality of life, not to make faster, but to produce the best product they can and give the best quality to their customers something they can be proud of. The people also take time to enjoy life. I was blessed to share the world of these people, and to become a part of this place, I am the first to come but I hope not the last, and I hope this endures for a long time to come. I work in the hotel kitchen and I love my fellow co-workers and my job. This was an amazing opportunity that I am humble and grateful for and do not know how to every repay this , or how to say thank you in a way that would not pale in comparison to the way it has made me feel. I am “The pastry chef” of Relais de la Mothe because of this wonderful opportunity. I love my job I love this place and its people and I have forever been changed by my experience here….
Thank you for absolutely everything Masami Yenson
May 9, 2012