When my children left the nest, I needed something more. I was unhappy and in my sixties. Finally, it was time for me.
My youngest son the philosopher told me, “Mom you can’t change other people, but you can change yourself.”
My Middle son the practical one said, “Mom your life has ended. Get a job!”
My oldest son didn’t say anything – He was too busy getting the girl.
I was an amateur cook trained at home. So naturally the next step was to get certified. My first experience with LeNotre was the Chef Club which was great. I was very impressed with Chef Benoit and his Chicken Cordon Blu. My second Chef Club was with Chef Francis who had been President Bush Sr. personal chef. The credentials for the LeNotre Chefs are outstanding. They have so much knowledge to impart. Each one is very particular and demanding as expected of a great Chef. Yet, they all demonstrated great patience. I needed that!
I decided to enter Culinary Level 1 as a non-degree seeking student. I became aware the Marie LeNotre had written her autobiography, Appetites. I was excited to read it as I wanted to meet her. This way I would able to converse with her. In her book Appetites, she spoke of a time in her own life when she made difficult choices and changes. I thought if she could embark on her own during a time when women really didn’t have equal rights like we do today; then I can too. Thank you, Marie LeNotre, for the inspiration to change my life.
During our course of study, we were required to take an elective. I chose pastry. The evening before the pastry class I had a vivid dream. Some may call dreams subconscious though, others premonitions, others the universal consciousness, I call it God.
I dreamt I was in a pastry lab with a chef when I heard a voice say, “He is the son of the master baker.” When I awoke, I had great peace and excitement for my first pastry class. As I attended the lab, I realized it was the same room that I had dreamt of. This is how I knew becoming a chef was the path of change that God intended for me. I completed a pastry diploma and I am know completing my second culinary diploma. We are greatly blessed to have the son of the master baker in Houston. Thank you, Alain LeNotre, for you are the son of the master baker. Thank you, Marie and Alain LeNotre, for bringing the French Culinary Arts to Houston.
On behalf of my fellow student graduates and myself thank you to all the chefs. We love each and every one of you. We have learned so much because you shared your gifts and talents with us. Thank you!
Thank you to everyone in academics, admissions, student accounts, career services, the financial department, our Miss Connie librarian, teachers, security, custodians, dish washers, and Rodney. “IS EVERYBODY HAPPY?”
Our association with LeNotre doesn’t end today. LeNotre has a lifetime commitment to helping their graduates find employment no matter if you graduate today or graduated five years ago. They really care for their student’s future. Miss Katoshia sent me to a job fair at the Post Oak Hotel Uptown. I thought I was dropping off my resume, but it was much more. I got the job!
My first interview was with my present Chef PhilippeCarpeau of The Grand Manger. Chef PhilippeCarpeau has a stellar resume. He has collaborated with multiple Michelin star chefs including Bruno Valette, Sanderens, Troisgros brothers, and Darroze.
Chef Carpeaux tells us the secret to success is focus, attention to detail, and speed. If you work to have all three attributes, then you have a winning combination.
My third interview was with MaîtresCulinaire de France, Chef Jean Luc Royere. Chef Royere has been the head chef for one Forbes Five Star property, a triple Forbes five-star property, and a Quadruple Forbes five-star property. He comes to Houston from the prestigious Mandarin Hotel of Miami Fl. He spoke of work ethic and drive. He said come to work ready to give 200% every day. Meet your challenges with dedication and enthusiasm never giving up and you will succeed.
In this industry we are colleagues genuinely delighting our guest with personalized experiences while creating lasting memories. All the while striving to be recognized as the best by continually redefining the luxury experience.
So, graduates let us strive to be recognized as the best by using this great education of ours to elevate our worlds and those around us. If I can make these changes in my sixties, certainly you in you shining youth can climb the mountain tops. Now, Miss Jane says; get out there and succeed.