Sunday, April 22, 2007

miette internship over/shuna lydon

I am really impressed with Shuna Lydon's blog. So impressed, actually, that I emailed her to tell her about it. I found the blog after searching for other people who had dome internships at miette, because miette basically fired me for two reasons this week:

1. I voiced concerns over the direction the internship was taking because I wasn't being challenged and there were 5 interns at the same time, and it wasn't really rotating the way it's supposed to rotate or progressing toward anything. Generally, when I asked if I could help with something they'd either let me help or say, umm, no, I don't need help but ask ___ and ___ would either give me something to do or send me over to someone else, who would be similarly flummoxed. But yes, the whole thing was basically running on autopilot and the too-many interns were jamming the machine. And when I tried to be flexible with my time commitment to them and to talk about how to make the situation better I was met with the following

2. "You work for Frog Hollow, anyway, so..."

Apparently the miette people believe the ex-frog hollow pastry chef tried to steal their recipes. Like, he'd walk over to their stand and see they were doing pot de cremes and then the following week be selling his own pot de creme. In defense of Frog Hollow I told Meg if that was happening I was sure it was without the knowledge of the farmers and that I wasn't interested in doing such a thing, but they didn't trust me after that not to steal their recipes.

I am also left wondering if it was just an aesthetic choice, as well. I didn't fit in with the miette vibe. I'm no cute, straight girl interested in talking about sex and Britney Spears. The only person I bonded with was the 60 year old man interning there who was similarly othered, and we would talk about how we felt ignored by the girl squad.

Moving on from miette, I loved this gramercy memoir of Shuna's about working with rhubarb and Claudia Fleming. And how open she is about the fact that she's still learning and the need to grow with what we know and to share.

Which makes miette's paranoia even weirder. The chefs I learn the most from are the generous and open ones--Delphin, Maura. I remember what Maura said to me about Hi-Rise Renee, about how you need to treat people well in this business because you never know where they'll end up and what you might need from them in the future. As I was trying to do with miette, exhaust all possibility of improvement for the better before throwing in the towel.

Who knows where I'll be, relative to the miette people, but I'll pass on the truth of my experience there. Ideally I'll come up with something really amazing to serve at Frog Hollow that they'll be jealous. But it isn't about jealousy. I didn't come out here for jealousy. I came out here to learn about organic baking, and I came out here because all of a sudden I couldn't stand NOT to be in california. I came out here for the next step of my career and to learn about food, as much as I can. As I am trying to do.


shuna fish lydon said...

this is very sweet. thank you for it. I'm glad my words helped. never a good idea to burn bridges, but there are a lot of crazies in this business of ours.

work with those who share. the jealous, guarded, insecure ones are difficult, at best.

that said, I've worked in a lot of kitchens. Not a single one of them taught me nothing...

Jenny said...

hi lindsey, I'm sorry you were brought into a bad situation. This is Jenny I was the one who interviewed you for the internship. I'm sooo sorry you came so far and they taught you nothing. This was not the way that I was running the internship program, I was all about the individual attention, but meg was about the free help. But I can tell from talking to you and your great resume that you will do great for yourself, and if you have any questions about baking with organics and what not feel free to email me.
Once again sorry.

veron said...

I'm glad I saw this post before I tried for an intership at Miette! Anyway, I noticed that part of the internship is to grind almonds for their macarons. Did they use a food processor , was it a robocoupe? Thanks!