I have my carte de sejour now. Its was a 6 month ordeal, but I have it in my hands now.
This is a blast from the past or my own contribution of sort to the recent 10-year challenge craze. Normally, I’m not the one for internet crazes, nor am I a particularly nostalgic person, but I found this album while looking for a photo of an old dish and thought why not. It was an interesting trip, one of the first ones with that job actually.
I am all for Whole Foods when in North America or the UK, but when in France you can’t beat a fresh fruit and veg market. The quality of produce is superior, but more than that, it’s the atmosphere, the good and the grumpy, the smells and the sounds. I love it all. Because of my job I spend a lot of time in markets, but you’ll probably find me in one of the below-mentioned markets at least once or twice a week even when I am not working.
It’s one of those things. You live in an area and you keep putting off exploring certain parts of it because, well, you live there and there will be plenty of time to explore later. There were these buildings between Nice and Antibes that caught my eye early on. I mean, they are hard to miss. They look like a broken up Roman amphitheatre. They are massive. You can see them as you land at the Nice. You can see them if you from the beaches in Antibes. You sort of wonder what they are and then you move on and forget about it. At least if you are like me.
This is a bit of a left-field post, I know. I am filing it under Travel, which I guess is appropriate enough. I am British, my wife is (born-in-the-ex-Yugoslavia) Canadian, and we live in France. With Brexit looming large and expat status in doubt all over Europe, my beautiful wife thought it would be a good idea for me to go along to the prefecture in Nice and try to get myself a carte de sejour.
Plage Mala has to be one of the most beautiful beaches on the Côte d’Azur. I first discovered it several years ago while on the train coming from the direction of Nice. As I approached Cap D’Ail train station, a small bay nestled at the bottom of some seriously steep rocks popped into my view. Crystal clear azure water, big rocks to jump off, a couple of beach restaurants, a few boats anchored and people having more fun than me sitting on the train. But how on earth do I get there???
I have been in Portofino many times in my 12 years as a private chef. It was my first destination on board a superyacht and I still love it. It is tiny, but breathtakingly beautiful. It is also eye-wateringly expensive. The chef in me gets a bit snobby because I always feel the food offered in most restaurants is average, but l guess it's about the whole experience. Also, average food in Italy is still pretty nice by any standards.
There is no rule book to being a chef on a yacht, at least there isn't one that works in every situation because, obviously, on each yacht you are working with different captains and different owners. If I am to offer any advice it would be to try and start with common sense and be prepared to learn as you go. Since I firmly believe in sourcing local produce whenever possible, when on Capri I use the fish, fruit and vegetables that are from the island and the surrounding sea.
Here is the last part of this mini series. I think this one is more cinematic. The wife told me to put music over it with no singing. I listened.
This is a spectacular part of the world. I only discovered it through working on board super yachts, which makes me grateful for this job I do. Definitely going to come back with the family next year. The beaches are excellent, food good and cheap, very laid back lifestyle.
Hope you like it.
I often misplace and lose things – mostly in a non-exciting way – but the other day I dropped my wallet in the Antibes Marina. This does not technically qualify as misplacing or losing, I knew exactly where the wallet had gone, but still. Oh my god, if I had lost that a week before my boss arrives I would have had a lot of explaining to do. Thankfully Steven, one of the crew, got into his wetsuit and went down to find it. And he did find it! I would have had to cancel two work credit cards and 4 of my own. Thanks Steve, you are a legend.