For many, the wonders of Paris are read about in magazines or watched on television. The culture, the architecture, the art, the people, the food – oh yes, the French cuisine – are never experienced or tasted. Amy Arthur, a Loyalist Culinary student, had never been outside of North America and this March she travelled with 22 of her classmates and faculty to France, the land where fine dining originated. When this self described “small town Ontario girl” found herself standing at the base of the Eiffel Tower, with her head tilted back, gazing up at it, she knew immediately that this was going to be a life-changing experience.
“I can now say that I’ve stood transfixed in front of the Mona Lisa, toured the gardens of the Palace of Versailles and walked all the way to the top of Notre Dame to gaze in awe at the panoramic view of the city of Paris,” said Amy. “Our seven-hour flight and six-hour time change seemed a small price to pay for the wonders we were rewarded with. I had never dreamed that I would wander through the Louvre, stroll the shores of the Seine or see Montmartre with its white-domed Basilica poised on its summit.”
Chef John Schneeberger was the organizer, and one of the professors, who travelled with the students. “We want to expose our students to a world view of culinary. The skills they have are valid everywhere. They need to understand that they can choose to go wherever they want and be successful. The things they learned on this trip about food and the culinary culture will impact them for the rest of their careers. Our goal was to have them return home with a broader perspective, one that will make them think and feel more deeply positive than ever about their chosen profession.”
“I was amazed by the number of bakeries and cafés – each city block contained one or more of each,” Amy added. “We discovered a little place called Tribeca, only a moment’s walk from the Eiffel Tower – and it was there that I had the very best dinner of my trip. Simple. Elegant. Exceptional service. Beautiful presentation. We took pictures – that’s what we culinary people do. Every bite was perfect.
“I love seeing new places and experiencing different things and someday I hope to be able to return for another visit. I gained and grew so much from this experience and the things that I learned. I am truly grateful to have had this opportunity.”
Paris and other international field trips are optional learning opportunities for the students. New York City has been a repeat destination. This is the third European trip taken by Loyalist College Culinary students – the second to Paris and one to Switzerland last year.
For information about Loyalist’s Culinary programs visit click here.