Why did you choose Vatel and what memories do you have?
Because I’m a bit like Churchill “I’m not demanding, I’m happy with the best.” Vatel education invites in a world of sophistication and attention given to each and every detail. I’ve got great memories of the time I spent at school, especially the professional work weeks in the school’s application restaurant.
How did Vatel’s educational concept respond to your needs and expectations?
I wanted to study while working. This mixture of practical work and theoretical aspects exactly matched what I wanted and expected. As soon as I started, I felt like I was already working, and even more so, when I did my internships at the end of every year.
Speaking of internships, tell us about yours.
In our 1st year, we had the choice of going to a winter resort or staying in the capital. As I was from Paris, I decided to go to the French Alps, where I worked as a busboy, then a captain, then a barman, at the front desk, in luggage handling, as a groom and finally the wine steward of a four-star hotel. Seven different jobs in just four months! A great first experience. Then I went to Brussels for my second year, in another four-star hotel, where I was able to do other jobs. First as the assistant accommodations manager and then the hotel’s brasserie manager. A great opportunity for me to develop my skills and experience in management.
After these two experiences in hotel management, I wanted to challenge my knowledge in another type of structure. That’s how I spent my 3rd internship at the Atelier des Chefs, as the Assistant Manager, and after that they hired me directly. For two years I was the General Public Manager and then was offered a promotion as the Operations Manager for a workshop.
Can you tell us about your company and what you do there?
Atelier des Chefs is an international company specialized in giving group cooking lessons. It was founded ten years ago, and now has roughly 100 employees. Being an “Operations Manager” is a job involving sales, management and team-leading. It’s like you’re a profit center manager. I manage a team made up of two managers, each with their own responsibilities, two chefs and two dishwashers.
In your opinion, what qualities and skills do you need to do this job?
You have to be really at ease in speaking with people, dynamic, love working with sales, and know how to manage a team. Team spirit and organizational capacities are also essential.
What are you planning for the future?
I want to continue to improve in my current functions, which is a daily challenge, as this is an ever changing job. And then, farther down the road, I’d like to found a restaurant chain.