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Our South ‘n France Débutante

Down South, the word "débutante" usually conjures images of young ladies dressed in white gowns and gloves, curtseying ever so carefully so not to disturb their heavily-lacquered up-dos. In France, however, "débutante" rarely implies the pageantry of young aristocratic Southern girls coming out to society. It simply means "a beginner". Over the past few months, Pascal and I had the pleasure of grooming our own sweet Southern débutante for her introduction into a different society: the culinary world. 

A high school senior, Tosha has been accepted into Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Las Vegas upon graduation. (Instead of a white ball gown, she'll get to wear a white chef's coat!) At the suggestion of one of her teachers, Tosha contacted us with a request for twenty hours of mentoring. We introduced Tosha (and her palate) to a host of new dishes and flavors. She tried her very first bon bons, sweet and savory crepes, goat cheese soufflé, smoked salmon, rosemary, and sauce au poivre while observing our gourmet cooking parties. Here's more on Tosha's mentoring experience in her own words:

"Hi, my name is Tosha and I am a senior at North Brunswick High School. Every senior who graduates has to complete a senior project. You choose your own topic, find an expert on that topic, mentor with the expert, and become an expert yourself. After becoming an expert you present everything you know to judges. They determine whether or not you graduate high school. It is a very big deal! 

Luckily, I chose French Cuisine for my topic and not only one expert, but TWO: Charlene and Pascal. When Ruth (a South 'n France customer) said 'Charlene's a smart girl; great choice on the mentors!,' I thought she was kidding. She sure wasn't! Charlene and Pascal took time out of their busy schedule in the bon bon business and helped me out big time! I learned a lot of valuable information during my time with South 'n France. It really helped that I got to experience the hands-on activities. They were so nice and welcoming it really surprised me. They invited me to help at the Chocolate Festival, which by the way was amazing! That is where I tried my first crepe EVER. Charlene made it for me and it was delicious. I also attended a Bon Bon Party, a Crepe Party, and a five-course French dinner. I learned that putting those parties together is hard work, but it seemed to pay off. All of the people left with smiles! 

My whole experience with South 'n France was unforgettable. As an aspiring chef, I will never forget where I first learned all of the great things I have learned. Charlene and Pascal are great people and even better mentors. I will keep in touch from Vegas.  Thank you so much and thanks to all of the people who made me feel welcome during their parties." -Tosha

We wish Tosha "Bon Courage" as she embarks on her culinary journey, and we look forward to welcoming her back to South 'n France someday as a guest chef!

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