It is the warmth of Yetunde Oshodi’s character, the generosity and dedication of spirit that truly locate her values as core, in the highly commendable Feels Like Home in Paris (FLHP) method of hospitality. Yetunde goes out of her way to help people and this is immediately felt upon meeting her. Born in Nigeria, raised in the US and a recently turned French citizen, the suitability of her vocation is complimented by a passion for food, travel, photography, and a deep affinity with the French language, culture and lifestyle from an early age. We had the pleasure of meeting her at her husband, Eric Fraudeau’s, cookery school, Cook‘n With Class, as she shared some of her own thoughts about FLHP and living in France…
Tell us about the inspiration behind FLHP
Ever since I was a little kid I always liked having people over. I like the idea of inviting someone in and making them feel as if they’d always been there. My guests come in and they find the little things, unexpected things, and the pleasant surprise of the welcome basket. I always try to really make people feel like they’ve always been here, kind of like they have a friend in Paris.
When did you decide to create a FLHP blog?
The FLHP blog came about because you get all these questions at check-in, and I thought I should probably come up with some way so that guests can have a guide at their fingertips. I really wanted to take people off the beaten path if possible. The guide books are going to tell you all about the Eiffel Tower, so I don’t need to tell you about the Eiffel Tower. Let me tell you about getting the view from the Arc de Triomphe instead, or all the other places that make Paris what it is.
What is the most enjoyable part about living in Paris or in France?
For me it’s ‘le joie de vie’: the importance of food, free time, not being a complete slave to your work, and the way that life is embraced in general. When I decided I wanted to come to France, at first it was not necessarily for an extended period. But when I got here, I thought: this would be a really good place to work and live, rather than having to make a choice between family life and my career.
It has this village-like feel that feels separate and yet part of the bigger city, and there is always something going on here; whether it’s an antique sale, the ‘vendanges’, which is the seasonal grape-picking, or musicians randomly playing at Place des Abbesses, there are all kinds of things always happening in Montmartre. As a student in my junior year of university I studied in Paris, and actually lived in the Latin Quarter which I loved as well. Each neighborhood in Paris is unique I just happened to stumble upon here and didn’t see any reason to be anywhere else.