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In the kitchen of the La Corne d’Abondance hotel restaurant, communication is still complicated between Alexandre Renaux, the cook, and Estera Oloier, his new colleague, who arrived on May 9 to help him.
Trained in cooking in Ukraine
Hanging from the meal prep station is a list of words, from French to Ukrainian: oyster, salmon tart, gazpacho … Estera, 23, is learning the dishes and ingredients she is regularly asked to prepare.
“I told him to learn a few words by heart so he could save time and become more fluent,” explains Jean-Christophe Delisle, the head of Corne d’Abondance.
Two and a half months have passed since Estera arrived in France, more precisely in Thuit-Hébert, where a member of her family has lived for several years.
In France for more than two months
From her hometown of Chernivtsi, where she lived with her parents and 12 siblings, Estera fled to France to escape the war with her mother, two of her sisters and their three children.
For the young woman, working in France was “very important”. “I like this job and I like the team,” she explains, with Google translation. The tool has become indispensable when working in restaurants, in the evenings and on weekends. “We use Google translation to communicate, so I can explain to her what she should do. And it works, there were no errors this week! “Says the cook.
In addition to her part-time job, Estera takes French lessons three times a week with a group of Ukrainians, thanks to Catholic relief and the Ukraine Aid to Displaced Families association, created in Grand Bourgtheroulde by the first arrivals and of which Jean -Christophe Delisle is a member.
Difficult to recruit
It was he who, learning that Estera had a cooking diploma in Ukraine, offered her to enter his restaurant. “When I learned that Estera had been trained in the kitchen, I didn’t hesitate,” he says. An opportunity for the young woman, but also for her boss.
I had been looking for a second person in the kitchen for a year. It is very difficult to find. Estera is motivated, has a good foundation and technique, she just needs more experience.
In Ukraine, Estera had worked in a restaurant for six months before the outbreak of the war. His future is now imagined in France. “Here there is more future, over there the chaos is great. ”
“The goal is to keep it”
For the moment Estera has a fixed term until July, “but the goal is to keep it”. Dedicated for the moment to appetizers and desserts, the cook, like her owner, takes the time to get used to and learn the secrets of French cuisine: beef bourguignon, veal blanquette, fish papillote… she discovers Estera. “I like French cuisine, I have already tasted some dishes and desserts. And it could also, why not, offer the chefs some specialties of her land.
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