Chalet Chef Job Advice
We had the opportunity to speak to Verity Clay, HR and Recruitment Manager at ski holiday specialists, Supertravel. We asked her advice on improving your chances of securing a chalet chef role with their company and received the following excellent advice.
Q, What is the main thing you expect from your chefs during a season
The obvious answer here is outstanding food, with presentation that makes the guests want to snap it and upload it on their instagram. The main expectation above this though is to have a great attitude so you work well in your team and are a friendly and flexible chef for the guests.
Q, How creative do your chefs need to be?
Our chefs come from a really wide range of backgrounds, from working in extremely notable restaurants to just being a really passionate cook so we get different levels of creativity, which is always exciting to see. Our chefs are very creative in general though, as they all create their own menu, adapting to what the mountain ingredients offer them and what suits the individual guest needs. We encourage chefs to really show their personality and food passions in their menus, so one chalet might have a menu with some Asian influences thrown in, where others could be more classically French inspired. The guests always respond well to a menu with a bit of a difference, whether is it unusual cuts of meat or a more dramatic plate involving foams and purees.
Q, If you could give a Chef applicant one piece of advice before an interview, what would it be?
To be prepared! Preparation will also be the key to being a successful chalet chef, being organised and planning ahead. Plus getting your 'prep' done also means that extra hour on the mountain. Our chef interview consists actually cooking us a main meal in our Supertravel flat, so the preparation should involve planning a meal that will really wow us, and making sure you have actually cooked it before so you can be confident you can pull it off. We have had some amazing meals so far this year, tasting them is definitely one of my favourite parts of the job!
Q, What advantages are there to working a ski season over a full time job in the UK?
The advantages of not doing a full time job in the UK is that you get to experience a different country and enjoy all the different aspects of that, such as meeting new people, discovering new food and new food ideas from the other chefs you meet and local restaurants you go to. You also get to ski or snowboard most days and really enjoy that outdoor mountain lifestyle with people around you that are just as keen to get out there and experience new things with you. Though I always say I wish the season went all year round, it is an intense working time, so after 5/6 months you are ready for a break. Luckily it is then the Summer season, so there are always plenty of chef jobs around to fill the time before heading out again.
Q, What's the best meal you have ever had on the slopes and why?
This is a tough one! I could probably change my mind about this so just going to go with a restaurant in St Anton on the mountain called the Rodel Alms where they do these huge pork knuckles that come on a wooden board with steak knives so you just cut big slabs off, and eat it with the dumplings and sauerkraut it comes with. As well as it being tasty it just conjures up great memories of eating with the whole Supertravel team up there in front of a roaring fire and is a really traditional Austrian dish so sums up my major crush with Austria that grew from working in St Anton.