MEET THE CHEFS & TEAMS OF IRELAND’S PROFESSIONAL KITCHENS, WITH CHEF NETWORK
The Chef Network community brings together all chefs across Ireland. In a new regular column featured in the Hotel & Restaurant Times we will meet some of those members and hear from them what inspires and motivates them, their career challenges and opportunities, and how they believe we can improve the industry.
Here's a short extract from our interview with this month's chef - Ludovic Lantier, Executive Chef at The Butler’s Pantry
BEING A CHEF….
What I love most is… the smile on a customer’s face when they taste our food.
The biggest challenge is… encouraging customers to try new things.
What makes me most proud is… a fully functioning happy team and great customer feedback.
The most difficult thing I have had to face is…. a complete U-turn on a vision that was already in place and profitable.
The most rewarding thing I’ve done is... to build a Spanish pasty team in a busy 5-star hotel when I had very little Spanish to start with. It was a big challenge but very rewarding after many months of training and changing recipes to see the orders come flying in from customers.
I have learned that…a good work-life balance is a goal we should all strive for.
We can create a better workplace by…. Continuously mentoring and guiding our colleagues and making them part of the overall goals of the company.
One small change we can make our businesses better by… sharing ideas.
My advice to chefs starting out is… travel the world and experience different cultures, cooking methods and recipes.
My advice to chefs trying to progress their career is…find your niche and be the best at that and learn from the masters.
My favourite job ever… Working with Japanese Chefs in Osaka was an amazing experience. I was inspired by the culture and work ethic.
How to keep or attract staff… To keep staff, check in with them on a regular basis, listen and involve them.
My favourite place to eat… In Dublin, it would be Mr Fox. In Osaka it was Hanagatami.
The key skills or traits to having in this job are... experience, enthusiasm and a positive attitude.
My greatest mentor has been... Thierry Lemonier
My biggest inspiration is... Christophe Michalak
My favourite job ever was... Working with Japanese Chefs in Osaka was an amazing experience. I was inspired by the culture and work ethic.
READ THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH LEE IN HOTEL & RESTAURANT TIMES