In the world of reality TV and in many real world kitchens, hot-tempered chefs attempt to extract the best from their subordinates through a combination of attitude and intimidation. Despite best intentions over the years, I’ve had my share of this type of leadership and I have to say its time has passed.
Restaurants first and foremost are about the customer experience and the culture of hospitality should not be limited to the front of house.
Enter Chef de Cuisine Rachel Wiener of the J & G Grill at the St. Regis, Deer Valley . Both the St. Regis and Jean-Georges Vongerichten are world-renowned names, but those who don’t ski may not be aware that Deer Valley, Utah attracts the pampered mega-wealthy and needless to say an uncompromising clientele with sophisticated palates. Not a simple crowd to please.
The fact that Chef Rachel humbly leads by example, running her kitchen through respect and encouragement is a testament to her fresh approach of collaboration and mutual respect with the guest experience paramount.
Listen as the Chef tells of her early desire to cook, family influences and path through numerous positions in varied kitchens to lead at the St. Regis. Its a refreshing story that I hope inspires other operators, chefs and restaurant people in all positions. In my opinion, this is the true definition of hospitality and the only way to run a kitchen and a restaurant.
Thanks for listening!
Best of Success - Roger