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The French Cycling Bicycle Gourmet - French Country Travel Life Film Maker and Author. Your non-snobby Gourmet Guide to food, wine travel and Lifestyle Adventure!

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French Chef NO 1- Part Two


(authors note : Part One could give you some food for food thought.)


There is a third, rare, and unusual way to claim the GFC toque. The French call it : “autodidact.” Ok – it does sound like the name of a newly discovered dinosaur – but it means, simply : “book learning.” No tugging at Granny’s apron strings. No familial culinary passion. No famous chef Daddy. Just untold hours of recipie reading. And who knows how many flat soufflés.

And when, after countless years of solitary apprenticing, you’ve finally lifted yourself up by your saucepan – you get to raise money! So you can mortgage your soul for your dream. And thrill to the propect of losing money for a least the first five years. As you toil twenty four/seven. Constantly aware that one bad review could reduce your dream to the consistency of your first soufflé.

If I had a toque, dear reader, I would, with admiration, take it off. Saluting all the GFC’s who have done it “by the book.”

Since I began this ramble by asking : “Who is the greatest French chef?” – I will now, bien sur, give you my answer. His name is : Jean Luc Maurice. And although He derived inspiration from his retired chef Father, Jean Luc made it under his own steam. The apprenticeship way. England. Japan. France. Toiling for, and with, the GFC’s.

Constantly learning, increasing, and perfecting his talent. Until, finally, He was able to open his own restaurant.He lost his shirt. Shady business partner! No loan from Daddy. Jean Luc hit the bricks. Raised the cash. Before He was thirty , Jean Luc owned two bistros in Paris. (Hey, I told you these guys were dynamic!) Eventually, He sold two. But to the current chefs. His friends, and former associates.

However, as all the clients knew Jean Luc, He celebrated the sale with a private “regulars only” party – On the house! A six course plus meal. With every variety of alcohol imaginable. Two, four tier dessert trolleys groaning with goodies. All orchestrated by Jean Luc. Alternately behind the stove, and bouncing from table to table. A block party! And, to pile appreciation on appreciation – Jean Luc personally presented each client with a gift, relative to their specific interests.

Part Three – Next Time


What are ya thinkin’?

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28 Responses to “French Chef NO 1- Part Two”

  1. maureen abberton says:

    Alwys enjoy your posts, particularly the food related ones. waiting for part three!

  2. gerry shaw says:

    certainly , as you rightly pointed out, the chef business, IS a business..in spite of the way we may dream about it.

  3. vera partin says:

    everybody loves an underdog climbs to the top story – like this one!

  4. clyde remier says:

    I’m a carpenter, and I thought my apprecticeship was tough – until I read this post. I now have a new appreciation for that profession. Thanks to you.

  5. jeantee allscoop says:

    great post – great story..but why no picture of the “greatest french chef?”

  6. jean miller says:

    great continuation: looking forward to part three!

  7. jean miller says:

    Never realized there was so much involved in becoming a great chef. Not something I’ll be trying.! But really enjoyed your post(s)

  8. shawne bradshaw says:

    good to know that some of the great ones made it totally on their own steam!

  9. andy couhman says:

    you’ve really got this chef stuff wired dude! way rad!!!

  10. merriman scott says:

    always great to get these food related posts from you – big relief from the other re-hased stuff other preople are presenting.

  11. paul vendersly says:

    well you said these guys were dynamic!

  12. anne-marie forysthe says:

    Another great post – How do you keep coming up with such good stuff? Anyway -don’t stop!

  13. sandy baker says:

    can’t wait for part three!!!

  14. barry winters says:

    I love the way you give us solid info, but at the same time in an entertaining way. I’d read your stuff just for that!

  15. luc dupont says:

    i think it is very fine that you are give a more true picture of the job of chef in france. yes it is very much le vogue but the work is very hard. now many people know this because of your righting.

  16. bob dibble says:

    this post is a little like finding out there is no santa claus (lol)

  17. pat simms says:

    you hit the nail on the head with this post – seperating the hard chef facts from the fantasies we have about their profession.

  18. as others have said – happy to eat their great food – would NEVER want to make their job mine!

  19. the fact that the world has been convinced that french cuisine is the “creme de la Creme” is obviously a triumph of marketing….but in this case..the hype is certainly justified.

  20. victor craigie says:

    these are great posts…as we’ve been conditioned to expect from you! keep it up for no. 3! all the best!!!

  21. wendy barrison says:

    if i ever wanted to be a professional chef – I don’t now! – but no problem with eating what professional chefs cook! (lol!)

  22. findlay sassons says:

    Not as bad as finding out there’s no Santa Claus…..but still does take some of the glamour out of “famous cheffing;” But, then again, glamour is just an illusion, right?

  23. xavier moriarty says:

    You’re right -“autodidact” DOES sound like a new dinosaur!

  24. angel fernando says:

    i’m taking a french cooking course at the moment, so, ezven though i’m not planning on making it a career, i was very interested in your post. thanks again!

  25. ambrose delanus says:

    findlay – perhaps another way of looking at “glamour” would be our dissatisfaction with our lives and accomplishments?

  26. donna hernandez says:

    jean luc sounds like a great guy as well as a great chef. looking forward to the next installment.

  27. terry frewer says:

    your posts bring back some great memories of the food i enjoyed in france. glad i did’nt have to cook it! – especially after what you’ve explained here!

  28. kelvin sedentis says:

    I congratulate you on the opening picture..it gives the necessary tone of impersonality to your informative text….
    implying a “chef factory”, as it were

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