Wannabe A World-class Chef
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This is a story about a young girl who aspired to become a world-class chef before she turned 40.
She got no encouragement from her parents.
So, after her school graduation, she left home in search of employment to earn a living.
Betsy Jackson applied for a job in the Red Lobster Restaurant in Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.
The Red Lobster staff welcomed her and treated her very well when she resumed as a dishwasher. The previous dishwasher was discharged for pilfering and sluggishness.
Betsy was pretty with long, blond hair and a small brown birthmark on the left side of her face above her lips. She was highly motivated and worked diligently, they all appreciated her work.
She was closely observing the preparation and cooking of the meals they served to gain valuable knowledge she might need to one day become a world-class chef.
She moved into the nearby Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) and rented a small one bed-roomed apartment.
They had a cafeteria where she applied for a second job as a cafeteria worker.
She got the job by demonstrating her skills in the kitchen.
Did you know that:
Cafeteria workers have knowledge of cooking large quantities of food. They also acquire the skills to work in all areas of the cafeteria or kitchen. They perform multiple duties at once.
Other skills include being able to operate different types of cafeteria equipment and keep accurate records, this includes recipe and inventory records. Basic math skills come in handy as well. Workers in the cafeteria demonstrate sufficient customer skills to all cafeteria patrons. Cafeteria workers are also able to lift at least 50 lbs.
At the Red Lobster, she was promoted to a server and later, to a prep cook; eventually, after four years, she became a line cook.
When she was 21 years old she had saved up enough money to enroll in a culinary school in France.
She resigned from her jobs and read about this woman's experience at Le Cordon Bleu:
"I am totally obsessed about food. I chose Le Cordon Bleu because it is the best cooking school in the world. In addition to this, Paris is probably the best place to study.
The French consider cooking a culture, a real manifestation of art, and they are the only ones who really value it. Life is an adventure and, in this profession, I feel I can go everywhere while doing what I love."
Before Betsy went to France, she applied for a job opening in a restaurant in Columbus, Ohio, as the cook's helper. The restaurant was named 'La Vie' and it was French cuisine where she could gain more experience in the art of cooking.
The cook, Marcel, was from France and he wanted to return to open a restaurant for a very good reason. His parents had owned a Bistro in Bordeaux, but their business failed and they were in debt.
Marcel came to Ohio, America, in search of work as a cook and had been working for 7 years.
It was now time for him to succeed in France.
Betsy had worked for 3 years in the popular eatery and when Marcel left, she agreeably replaced him.
She had studied French and Marcel always spoke French to her in the kitchen, so she was forced to learn the language which she planned to use later at the Cordon Bleu Culinary School in Paris.
The French restaurant in Columbus was a huge success and when the owner retired wealthy, he transferred the ownership to his head cook, Betsy.
Betsy hired a new head cook, Marceau, and trained him.
He turned out to be dependable, so after a year, she pursued her career goal of becoming a
At her young age, she had not yet developed any fear of flying or had any fear of heights.
She took a leave of absence and left Marceau in charge of the restaurant.
She planned to fly to Paris where she intended to enroll in the Cordon Bleu Culinary School for four months.
However, the plane out of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport developed engine trouble and returned to the airport where they unloaded the passengers for 2 hours while repairing the plane. When Betsy went back on board, only a few passengers had waited for the plane to be repaired.
The vast majority of the passengers had wisely taken other airlines.
Suddenly, right after take-off the second time, the plane was hijacked by three men who scarily boarded the aircraft and demanded the pilot crew fly them to Cuba instead.
The plane landed safely in Havana and the hijackers were taken into custody by the police.
The dozen passengers were released and taken to a hotel but without their valuables and passports.
Following that dreadful experience, Betsy developed acrophobia (a fear of heights).
The crew were kept onboard and ordered to return to Cleveland, which they obeyed.
After two days, Betsy courageously wandered outdoors and was surprised at the atmosphere in the city. The Cuban people were friendly and helpful when she inquired about the French cafes in Havana.
She visited the busy Cafe Francesa and asked if they needed any help as a server or dishwasher.
The staff were impressed by her knowledge of their French dishes and hired her as a part-time server. She rented a small room at the back of the restaurant, where she studied Spanish and became trilingual.
She used a pseudo name, Helene, rather than her real name Betsy. She became fond of being called Helene by her co-workers and her regular customers.
She continued to work and was promoted to the position of server. After about a year, she began as the Chef's Helper or L'Aide du Chef.
Next, she was promoted to the position of Sous Chef where she worked very hard for two years.
Then one day she received a visit from the police regarding her passport, credit card and purse.
The articles had been found and she was somehow traced for about 5 years after her plane was hijacked.
She went to the police station to claim her property and was granted them when the police confirmed, using the facial birthmark in the photos, that she was definitely the owner.
Betsy had aspired to become a world-class chef before she turned 40.
It was 2016 and Betsy at 35 thought positively that she could still achieve her goal as Helene.
With her passport still active and sufficient funds, she quit her job and flew to Paris to enroll in the Cordon Bleu Culinary School for four months, as intended years ago.
She quite easily received her diploma and then stayed on for a course in pastry baking as well.
Her work was exceptional and no American had done so well at a culinary school since Julia Childs in 1948, 68 years ago.
Helene was able to secure a job as one of the chefs at the marvellous one-star Michelin restaurant on the 2nd floor of the Eiffel Tower, Le Jules Verne, with Chef Frederic Anton.
She bravely worked for 12 months. These months were difficult because of her acrophobia, so she gave up her position. Her daily going up and down the Eiffel Tower elevators caused her stomach disorders that never seemed to stop.
After searching she found an open chef's position in a one-star restaurant, 'L'esprit de la Violette,' in Aix-En-Provence.
She was tested and demonstrated her tasting and cooking skills, including dexterity with knives.
Her expertise in meal planning and her skills of recognizing flavours and judging the balance of seasoning's was tested along with her knowledge of food safety.
They immediately hired her as one of their chefs after seeing the excellent results.
She worked there exclusively for 5 years and the restaurant continued to prosper and maintain their Michelin star.
Helene loved Aix-en-Provence and stayed there even after she retired.
She advised Marceau of her plans and he bought from her the French restaurant 'La Vie' in Columbus.
Later, she located Marcel in Lyon, France, where he was working as one of the chefs in a Michelin two-star restaurant.
Neither one of them, Helene or Marcel, ever reached the highest echelon, a chef in a three-star Michelin rated restaurant, but who does?
She may not exactly have achieved the world-class chef status as she had always hoped in her youthful days, but she wasn't far from it in the end.
"The French think mainly about two things—their two main meals" a Parisian was once heard to say.
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Retiring in 2000, Dennyk rekindled his childhood interest in children's stories first triggered by his father's funny stories, by completing a children's writing course.
Dennyk is married with two children and four grandchildren who live in Europe. His wife runs an animal rescue centre called 'Lillies of the Field', some of the animals feature in his stories.
Dennyk grew up in North Dakota, gaining a BSME from the State University, moving to Ohio in 1955, France in 1964, England in 1978, Canada in 1984 and returning to Ohio in 1990.
Here's a list of just some of Dennyk's stories which are rotated on this page one at a time and available to registered readers. The entire collection is available immediately to those registered for Unlimited Children's Stories (see Free Story Access above).
Black And Blue
Bonbon And Buzzy
Camping Gone Bad
Catch And Release
Dinky And Chomper
Dreama Talking Cockatoo
Fair And Square
Flowers And Birds
Huey And Yogi
Jake And Lill
Jeremy The Flyer
My Dog Jeremy
Someone Ill Be
The Five Germs
The Lone Ranger
The Majestic 6 Plus 1
The Three Boars
Thanks for your interest and happy reading.