Think of your hospitality career as a plant: for it to grow and blossom into something beautiful, you need to nourish and look after it. In our fast-paced and ever-changing industry, we can sometimes forget to recharge our batteries and find the right career fuel. Here at Hosco, it’s our mission to empower hospitality, not only through incredible job opportunities but also by providing you with inspirational career nutrition. And, we couldn’t think of a better way than by launching Hospitality Influencers: Season 2.
In season 1, we interviewed five legendary hospitality figures, and in this season, we’ve worked just as hard to bring you five more authentic stories from influencers of the same elite caliber. We were fortunate enough to chat with Alain Ducasse, Clare Smyth, Joan Roca i Fontané, Michel Rochat, and Rafat Ali. As you’ll see, each individual brings a unique outlook to the table that you can either learn from or relate to. Ready to tuck in?
Alain Ducasse, 3-Michelin Star Chef
"...you need a little twist, a bit of an edge, something different, unusual. That’s perfection; something you would never expect..."
It’s surprising to discover that Ducasse’s career path in hospitality wasn’t a perfect one, it was rather unorthodox. His ambitions to enter the industry weren’t to his mother's liking which led him to “persevere down the chef route to spite [her]...” However, his unusual approach allowed him to transform his career into something that we consider perfect. Alain Ducasse is one of the most celebrated and revered chefs to have ever graced a kitchen. His business mind is genius and this is proven by his illustrious career and empire, Ducasse Paris. Find out what he thinks about the future of gastronomy, the origins of extraordinary dishes, and what he likes most about his job in our interview.
Clare Smyth, 2-Michelin Star Chef
"I don’t consider having made any sacrifices, it was more choices. I’ve always loved the hospitality industry...I wouldn’t rather be doing anything else."
The traditional view of the road to success is that it’s littered with personal sacrifices, however, that’s not the case for Clare Smyth, 2-Michelin star chef at her restaurant, Core in London. She has flipped this concept on its head thanks to her passion, drive, and determination to become the best. She chose ‘who or what’ needed to be left by the wayside on her journey to culinary success. Smyth has spent a lot of her career working in London, and during that time her mentor was none other than Gordon Ramsay. Take a look at what Ramsay taught Smyth, what is her secret to success, and the most challenging part of her job in our interview.
Michel Rochat, CEO of EHL Group
"We have today, a wonderful upcoming generation with values and an approach with sustainability development we didn’t have in the past."
Compare the hospitality world of today with that of just 10 years ago, and you’ll see a host of drastic changes. The advances that we’re now experiencing require us to modernize our industry’s education, and that’s where Michel Rochat, CEO of École hôtelière de Lausanne comes in. Rochat is a visionary leader that fully believes in combining technology and a core set of human values to create the ultimate in hospitality service. Discover more about Rochat’s take on education, what he thinks is the biggest challenge our industry is facing, and what separates a good student from an outstanding one in our interview.
Joan Roca i Fontané, 3-Michelin Star Chef
"An extraordinary chef is never satisfied with their work. I think it’s the sense of rebelliousness and the eagerness to continue evolving, that desire for self-improvement."
No matter how successful you become, there’s always time for you to enhance your knowledge and skills. It’s no secret that great contemporary minds such as Bill Gates are said to constantly improve themselves by reading one book per week! It appears that lifelong learning is something that Roca also enjoys. And, we can see that it has definitely benefited him as his restaurant, El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain, has been named as the best in the world...twice. Watch his interview to see the unexpected impacts of being named the best in the world, what he values the most in gastronomy, and what he looks for when hiring hospitality talent.
Rafat Ali, CEO of Skift
"The human to human touch is the primary mode in hospitality. When other aspects of the world that human to human touch is going away."
Nobody can deny that we’re now living in a world where face-to-face communication is becoming more of a luxury item on a daily basis. This lack of direct contact is making people appreciate the moments when they do have a genuine connection with somebody, and that’s the beauty of hospitality. It’s great to see Rafat Ali, the CEO of the biggest media platform in the travel industry, point this out. Despite holding such a position of power in the digital space, he’s still convinced that true hospitality begins in person. Get to know what excites Ali about the industry, what he thinks is great hospitality, and his advice for young professionals in our interview.
In season 2, we’ve served up stories from three chefs with multiple Michelin stars and two CEOs from the educational and corporate worlds. We’ve covered subjects like lifelong learning, the power of positivity, and the future of gastronomy to name just a few. Once again, our goal was to highlight just how exciting and rewarding a career in hospitality is. We want to continue to celebrate our profession with you in new and innovative ways so stay tuned for more inspiring content.