Maybe I would have better luck with a bona fide French chef? Maybe someone coming from a different background would see things differently...
Besides, for once speaking French might actually be useful for something besides talking to francophones.
We had a nice talk about the restaurant industry, how difficult and uncomfortable the work is, ingredients, Mother Sauces and what it's like to work for a chef. None of it was encouraging, but I'd heard it before - except the part about the mother sauces. I filled out an application form, and at least felt that for once I'd had a decent conversation instead of a brush-off.
Also a nice change, there was no promise to call me back. He just took my job app and said if something developed he'd be in touch. Assuming I still wanted the job, and had not come to my senses.