A chef is a chef is a chef
We have slightly over 200 chefs in our kitchens and, just like all of our other employees, they are a very diverse bunch. 58 of them are female chefs, 158 are male. They are aged between 25 and 60 and together they account for over 20 different nationalities. And that’s just the way we like it because we focus hard on equality and equal opportunities, regardless of origin, gender or age.
Check out our Japanese chef, Norio Watanabe, who translates his knowledge and his mastery of Japanese cuisine into authentic dishes to the delight of our consumers.
Being a chef is still a great job
We go to great lengths to make sure our staff can continue to develop their skills, so that they can keep the same motivation and passion throughout their entire career.
Thanks to a wide range of training opportunities, anyone starting in our kitchens can work her- or himself up from kitchen aid to half chef, chef de partie, sous chef, chef and finally managing chef.
The brutal schedule of horeca workers still scares off a lot of candidates, but that’s not the case for most of our chefs. For them, most of the work takes place during the day, with time slots ranging from early morning to late afternoon. And that is a big source of happiness for our kitchen staff.
They continue to do what they love most, but without the grueling schedule that usually comes along with it. And that also means they can have a ‘normal’ life with lots of time for family and loved ones. Don’t believe us? Check out the profiles of 2 of our chefs: Franco Golisano and Nathalie Vlerick.
People outside the craft often believe that a cook can do anything he likes in a kitchen. Alas, the art of cooking often lies in following recipes to the letter. That’s the essence of a craft that seeks to create the perfect dish for every single customer. Through basic chef trainings, our kitchen aids learn to respect every ingredient and preparation, come to grips with the vocabulary and terminology of cooking and learn the importance of paying attention to details. In short: being a great chef also means being disciplined!
A look back at a year of crisis
Covid-19 has had (and still has) a massive impact on the way we live, work, do business. And the outcome will be uncertain for some time to come.
But whether before or during this pandemic, our people are hard at work, labouring at the craft they love and giving their all to keep doing it, even if not many customers turn up.
Horeca is also about teams, and if you see our chefs bend over their stoves, backed up by their juniors, and everyone pulling hard at the same rope to deliver their best work, you’ll realise the strong bonds and beautiful friendships that get formed in kitchens. Between passionate people that share a love for and devotion to their craft, through thick and thin.
Nowhere is this bond more evident than during our yearly Battle of the Chefs competition, when our kitchen teams battle against each other to find and reward the best kitchen brigade in our company.
So to every trainee, sous, or chef out there: kudos, and happy International Chefs Day !