Over the past three months, I have been sharing my culinary adventure with you through the food that we created in patisserie and in cuisine. For all my friends and family, I hope it was fun to follow my journey and know what’s going on in my life. However, I also want my posts to help those readers who are considering participating in a program at Gastronomicom.
You can let the dishes I have shared give you a picture of what you will learn in the kitchen. But there’s more to being here than school, so I’ve decided to put together a list of the upsides – and downsides – you might face.
What’s not so great…?
- Agde is a tiny city and there is not much to do. You will have walked through the entire historical center in half an hour your first weekend. Until October, the Port and beach are still fairly lively and there are small boutiques. You will get bored of the holiday beach boutiques quickly, too. After October, there is no shopping and the water is too cold to swim.
- Public transportation is meh. You can buy a bus pass for extremely cheap in comparison to anywhere I have ever been. However, the buses run roughly every hour and they stop running before 7pm. So public transportation will not allow you to be very flexible and if you want to spend a day outside of Agde and have dinner there, you will have to take an extremely overpriced cab back from the train station.
- Your living situation could be non-ideal. Meaning that you will be paired with someone else to share and apartment and that person may become your best friend or they may become a pain, but you’ll still have to spend all day with them at school. Personally, I got along with my roommate for the first weeks, but after a while, neither of us really felt like we wanted to live together. Our views on hygiene, in particular, were very different. Nonetheless, we managed to avoid each other enough to make our living situation tolerable.
- The school doesn’t have a huge amount of equipment. If you are taking cuisine classes, it is difficult to get by without your own knives. In pastry, you might have to fight over piping tips occasionally and some of the mixers are old and broken. However, it is clearly visible that the school does its best to replace equipment and to provide tools that are in good shape and even in the months that I was there, plenty of good utensils etc. were added to the classrooms.
- I got to spend three months with people from around the globe with entirely different backgrounds and cultures. Ages varied from 18 through 50, experiences ranged from professional to early beginner. And I’m not saying that I’ll stay in touch with everyone and that we’ll be best friends forever. Nonetheless, I learned an incredible amount from all students and I will miss it for sure. I also met some extremely like-minded people who I will continue to talk to and hopefully will see again. I look forward to seeing where everyone will be in the future!
In the end, I think it’s an experience and you decide what to make of it. For me, it will be unforgettable and I will miss everything about it – good and bad.