Hi! I’m Molly, a Texan (without a Texan accent, except for the occasional y’all) currently living in Paris. I was originally in marketing before deciding to follow my passion for baking by enrolling in the 9 month Pastry program at the Cordon Bleu, in where else, Paris! After completing the program I had a 3 month stage at a wonderful patisserie in the Republique area called La Fabrique a Gateaux. With the end of my visa nearing, I left to go back to the States where I worked for another amazing pastry shop in Dallas called Bisous Bisous Patisserie for almost a year on the macaron station. I was plotting my return to France as well which happened this past summer with a month long stay in Paris to help open a Mexican restaurant and then a trip to the south of France to help at Chateau de Gudanes. While I was in Paris, I found my current job at an English speaking culinary school. My life revolves around all things food, but I also love yoga, traveling, and of course spending time with my super cute dog, Peanut!
Oh my why not! When I first decided that I would take the jump to study pastry, France was the obvious location. I had visited Paris for two weeks while I was in college and completely fell in love with the city, culture, language, and of course… the FOOD. It is such a foodcentric culture with 3 hour dinners, Sundays dedicated to getting together with friends and family to share a meal, and even laws requiring a certain amount of boulangeries to stay open at a time. I absolutely love it!
Likes/dislikes about France and the French?
Likes: Cheese, pastries, bread, pretty much any French food item, the little French expressions like up! or tak! tak! tak! and of course ooo la la… a smile creeps onto my face whenever I hear any of those. The packaging in France – there is such care taken to beautifully wrapping each item, whether it be a pastry, or piece of cooking equipment. You don’t find this in all stores, but most of the older ones still take the time to make those little purchases look wonderful.
Dislikes (that’s an easy one): French bureaucracy.
Has your life style changed since you moved to France? If yes, how?
My lifestyle has changed quite a bit since I moved to France. I walk… a lot. At least an hour or more each day to and from work and then on any errands or rendezvous I have. I like to think it keeps the extra pounds off that I’d be accumulating from my increased intake in butter and sugar. I also find myself eating a lot more fresh fruits and veg than I do in the States and not snacking quite so much. The produce tastes unbelievable, even the eggs, so maybe that’s why. I also won’t turn down an espresso after a meal!
What is the the first thing you do when you go back to your home country?
Besides saying hello to my family and my dog, Peanut…. I’m off to my favorite Mexican restaurant for multiple rounds of margaritas, chips and queso and chicken enchiladas!
Does France seem multicultural? please elaborate…
From my experience, yes and no! I spend most of my time in Paris which is, like any big city, a huge melting pot for all sorts of different cultures where food from all over the world is celebrated! Currently Mexican restaurants are the new thing along with an obsession with Brooklyn New York. I was in a teeny tiny town this summer and even though 80-90 percent of the population was French, I found them extremely welcoming of visitors (and residents!) from other parts of the world. It still was a typical sleepy French town though, which you would expect from a town with just the essential shops, with not really too much influence from other cultures.
Do you feel yourself integrated? what does it mean anyway 😉
I would see integrated as being comfortable in your surroundings – not stressing about a trip to the bank to make a simple deposit, or having trouble finding a doctor. I’m not quite there yet, and feel as though it would take years to feel integrated into the French culture, but I don’t think foreigners would ever be 100% fully integrated ever in their stay here. I’m always going to look American (I have that way about me) and it’s also being ok with that because it’s where you come from.
Could you tell me a few words about your blog?
It’s kinda funny but I actually started my blog years ago as a way to get around my absolutely horrible memory. I’d post my favorite recipes and then return to the site time after time when I needed one. Now it’s evolved to stories of travel and daily life in France, with of course a food focus and recipes here and there.
Advice to a new expat who is thinking of moving to France? 😉
It is a lot of hard work to make the move to France unless you have a big company behind you helping with all of the steps. I honestly think it’s France’s way of weeding out people haha! I would highly highly recommend doing as much research as possible before making the move. For my first move to France as a student, I had a whole filing system with information on getting a cell phone in France, going through the visa process, finding an apartment, and so many more subjects. One of my friends here once told me if you find yourself saying “well it should be as easy as…”, it never is. You’ll also find that you make incredible friends when you move abroad that have similar mindsets as you. Those people are the ones you lean on the most because you’re out of your comfort zone and something as easy as going to the post office can turn into a day long expedition and let’s be honest, it’s always good having someone to vent too when the going gets rough!