Chef Michel Bouit broke through the threshold like he owned it and asserted his baritone persona in such a way that filled the entire room with enthusiasm. I was pushed back to memories of pure giddiness when I was a boy hearing the good humor truck nearing our block. The anticipation of this man’s arrival had been something I’d longed for ever since I was chosen to be part of the International Culinary Educational Experience as I had imagined him to be a jovial European type using fantastic stories and gesturing with his hands communicating with his entire body and he did not disappoint.
When he began describing the trip’s itinerary to us it was like the words coming out his mouth were notes on a harp being plucked by expert fingers playing songs of angels. His wonderful rich and thick French accent resonated with all the students and I felt as though I was falling into a trance-like state as chef Michel elicited a stirring in my imagine on how much fun we would all have.
Eating the finest foods and drinking the finest wines France has to offer sounds like a fairy tale that is too good to be true, but here I am listening to how lucky I am to be involved in this magical adventure; an adventure that will last me a lifetime; an adventure that I will treasure and cherish; an experience that will help me with my culinary endeavors and a realization of how lucky I was to be laid off in Detroit just a few years ago.
The world’s economic plight has become my treasure trove of education, passion, lasting relationships and friendships, an unleashing of creativity and most of all a path towards a real career that I feel will make a difference in my life as well as the community that I will reside in.
Have a great day and never give up!