Talk about changing your stars – Lina Caschetto went from fitness fashion designer to one of Paris’s hottest chefs. If there’s one thing we can take-away from this remarkable woman, it is that those cliche statements we’ve heard over and over again are true.
You have to follow your heart, ruthlessly!
You have to listening intensely to your intuition and take major risks.
As drastic of a career change as Lina made, she is a shining example of what it means to follow your intuition. Through serious self-reflection and vision, Lina landed herself into a life that is truly her own.
Pas de Loup is one of the hottest restaurants in Paris. It is no easy feat to land yourself a respected position such as head chef at any restaurant, let alone, in Paris, the mecca of five star cuisine.
Lina knew Paris is where she wanted to be. She knew to become the chef she envisioned herself being, she had to put herself in the heart & soul of the world’s best cuisine.
“I rolled up with two pieces of luggage and grabbed an Airbnb and had to figure everything out. It was painful, at first…”
From her perspective, she started her career as a chef “late” but Lina had always been cooking, dreaming the culinary dream. She was 27-years-old.
“I was 27. I was a fashion designer at Lulu Lemon in Vancouver, Canada. I wasn’t finding my actual footing. When I think back, what I spent all my time doing was cooking.”
When Lina felt that something wasn’t quite right at her design job at Lulu Lemon, and that maybe she was living someone else’s dream, she decided to make a change. She left Lulu Lemon.
“I had a bit of time to reflect. I couldn’t see what was next.”
So, she did what she wanted to do. Lina cooked. She started to make lunch for people out of her miniature Vancouver apartment kitchen.
“Luckily part of the fridge was outside.” (Thanks to cold Canadian winters)
She established a small business that delivered hand-made lunches to people called, Love your Lunch, and delivered it personally! There Lina was, driving her little orange VW beetle through the snow and ice.
“I was doing that for about 6 months. I need to get serious and make this a real business or go back to school. I went back to school.”
Lina spoke and consulted as many people as she could, mostly in the culinary industry. “I collected as much information as I could.”
We know the ending to this fairytale, but let’s get to the real questions. Why cooking?
“When I cook and I think about cooking, or a recipe or a dish, I can taste it. I think about a flavor and think about how it’s going to taste in relationship to something else. I’m already tasting it before I start to make it.”
The culinary industry is far different than fashion design. It is a male dominant industry and regardless of sex, a competitive one.
“It’s a male dominant industry. It can be challenging but trying to figure out how you fit into hierarchy. One thing I’m trying to create with the team, is a little more harmony, there’s a direction we’re heading. At the end of the day the team has to be harmonious and the team has to get along. We’re all working towards a greater good…what we’re putting out to the world. In the male driven kitchens, that I’ve worked in, that isn’t always their direction or the case.”
PasDesLoup 108 Rue Amelot, 75011 Paris, France
“I truly think this is my favourite place in Paris. Thanks to the actual space and the versatile menu, cater for every scenario you could need and more: a quick bite at the bar, apero on the terrasse, an intimate candlelit dinner, a dark cocktail bar with the best 00’s rnb, a privatized area with a big communal table. And they take reservations via Yelp is just the cherry on the top.”
– Lauren W.