Saturday, February 7, 2009

Tea Leaves

After months of non stop travel the tour season ended in October. I found myself with an abundance of time on my hands. Hauled up in my apartment, wrapped up in my new Italian robe and slippers I sipped tea and contemplated my next move. By November the tea leaves in the bottom of my cup clearly spelled disaster.

The dark winter weather forecasts matched the tour sales forecast for 2009. Being one of the newest guides in the France program I knew I was the last in line for work and by the time they got to me there might be nothing left. I needed a new plan.

Touring kept me away from my handsome husband, far from my new french friendships and biensûr away from the blog. I wanted to find a job in Paris. My favorite parts of being a tour guide were always the parts that had to do with food. From organizing an oyster tasting in Cancale to teaching my young tour members how the French eat their soup, every time food was involved I was particularly involved. So I decided that I would like to transition from food lover to full time food professional.

So I began to beat the drums of social networking. Soon wonderful suggestions, connections and phone numbers started to pour in. My girls from Mrs Cooks (www.mrscooks.com) hooked me up with Monsieur Jacques Henry (fifth generation owner of Emile Henry ceramics). The ever inspirational AmyP put me in touch with Theirry Rautureau (www.rovers-seattle.com). My old bosses Tom Douglas and Jackie Cross (www.tomdouglas.com) introduced me to the talented duo who run Hidden Kitchen (www.hkmenus.com) who in turn encouraged me to contact Daniel Rose of Spring Restaurant (www.springparis.blogspot.com). My long time fellow food loving friend Kristin from Hawaii also sent me an article about this same young chef from Chicago, so I decided to introduce myself.

I marched down to Spring, which is conveniently located a few blocks from my apartment, shook Daniel's hand and told him why I think he should hire me.

Here's a snippet from the letter I wrote to him...

Mr Rose, 

Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Mary. I read cookbooks like romance novels, I visit foreign grocery stores like art galleries and I make my own jam. In short, I am a gastronome who is trying hard to transition from food lover to food professional.

After three years in the tourism industry working as a tour guide and travel writer, I realized that my favorite part of the job was always the part that had to do with eating. So I have decided to cut the fat and find a job that focus exclusively on food.

I have been scouring the city looking for a dynamic young chef who may need some assistance in the form of a personal assistant. I can help with marketing, communications, event planning and other back of the house logistics....

He was sold. Next month the restaurant is moving from its current location in favor of a slightly larger, more centralized, spot near the Louvre. If all goes according to plan (fingers crossed) I'll be Spring's new event/marketing/communications/office person later this summer. This solves the long term question of where I would like my career to go but it presents a short term issue of finding a little job to keep us afloat this spring. Armed with my Carte de Séjour I am ready to attack the French Unemployment system. Stay tuned. 

3 comments:

Cyrielle said...

I'll love this! I'm very excited for you. We need to catch up...
bise

Cyrielle said...

I was talking about the post :-) Oups!

McKaulick said...

Awesome letter to Rose.

Congrats!