Meet Christy, chef at Sunnset, who explores all the possibilities that Lyon can offer as the capital of gastronomy.
Christy decided to move to Lyon about a year ago after spending three months travelling around in France and working with organic farmers to learn more about bread making. She found her true calling here while reconnecting with food. Originally from Los Angeles, she went through a complete career change before finally finding herself as a chef. As a project manager for an aerospace company she couldn’t ful-fill her passion for food. Therefore after several years she decided to get a professional 2-year long training in the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Pasadena, CA. With her degree she worked in product development and research for major grocery stores and test kitchens in the United States.
A short summary of what you are currently working on and why?
A mixture of a lot of things. There are so many possibilities in this city as the capital of gastronomy. I’m currently working with Sunnset, a catering company in Lyon, and we are in the process of developing and growing the business. So, lots of exciting new projects are coming soon. I’ve also just started the Cook Book Club with Sojoourn, where I want to choose a cookbook each month and prepare two recipes from it with a small group of people. The goal is to get to know different cuisines and cooking techniques but also to get together, talk about food and enjoy an afternoon.
Biggest tip for someone starting a business:
For me it is definitely an emotional rollercoaster, with highs and lows and everything in between. I think the most important is to be adaptable to the changes and learn fast from the mistakes. My tip for someone who is starting a business in France is that you need to speak the language in order to grow. If you do not, then there is a glass ceiling that you cannot break through. You cannot get into the inner circle. This is something I’m still struggling with; I need to work more on my French.
What do you find beneficial when it comes to be part of Sojoourn?
You have to network, network and network. It does not work any other way. You have to reach out to groups like Sojoourn and put yourself out there and accept to be vulnerable. There are so many expats who are going through the same struggles and it is comforting to do it together.
Tell us about YOU, what do you like doing in your dailylife?
I like catching up with other people, eating out, enjoying Lyon. I am still getting to know the city but I definitively love it. Although I am missing some good Mexican food.
And finally, an advice to people moving to Lyon?
While I was comparing several different cities to decide where to move, I found that Lyon has the most to offer in terms of possibilities to connect expats. Just go out there, go to the events and push your own boundaries, because there are so many people who might also be alone and trying to figure things out. It is a good common point to start.
Dream big, work hard, stay focused and keep on track.
Cook like a chef thanks to Christy!