Caroline Wright (2005) writes:
When I tell people what I do—I’m a professional cook and writer—they are always curious of how I landed there. When I then go on to explain that I was in France, they nod in understanding, but the “literature student” part loses them again. The progression felt very seamless to me, so finding myself at dinner parties having to explain my foray into the kitchen via the library is strange to me.
My time at AUP was mostly spent excessively busy with work. For some reason (that I can only wager to guess had something to do with the ever-sliding rate of euro-to-dollar), I had decided that it would behoove me to graduate in three years. Before I rushed out of Paris with serious boyfriend, a dwindling smoking habit, a pair of Jack Russell terriers and a library of books, I finished my honors thesis with Geoff Gilbert. It was the final note of an intense study of mostly French and British literature—and, too, the end to my long love affair with my couch and splay of notebooks—that was the epitome of thought, execution, craft and sheer will that I had yet to meet. The process of finalizing my thesis in cafés, discussing complicated turns of phrase and threads of logic, remains perhaps my best example of why I can do what I do today.
This summer I will be faced with another opportunity to prove the same skills I used in writing my thesis. I will be writing a memoir about my journey into the kitchen, and will be lucky enough to do so in the city that first inspired me. I’m moving back to Paris for the summer to sit in cafés with another attempt of sheer will and craft, but this time perhaps with a plate of roast chicken.