As most of the ski chalet and hotel industry rely upon catering companies for their clients there are many seasonal worker jobs available ranging from chefs, sous chefs, servers and other catering support positions. |
I have worked for many seasons in different ski resorts and have put together some information about these particular seasonal worker jobs, so that you have a clearer picture of whether they interest you and if you would like to apply for one.
The Ski Chef
As with any chef in any restaurant, to become a ski chalet or hotel chef, you need to have a flair for cooking and be experienced enough to organise and run a kitchen. More often than not, you will have a team of support staff so you need to be confident enough to manage them.
You will be required to prepare meals that include breakfast, afternoon tea, children’s suppers and an evening meal for the adults. Some companies have set menus, so the planning is done for you, but others might request that you present the menus and deal with the budgets yourself.
Keeping the kitchen clean is a must and all health and safety standards have to be adhered to. Food needs to stored and dealt with appropriately in accordance with set regulations. You will be inspected by your superiors at different times throughout the season to make sure that food safety standards are being met.
What Is a Catering Support Role?
Catering support roles are usually only required in the larger chalets and in chalet hotels, although you could also get one of these jobs in a mountain restaurant or bar, which is something many seasonal workers choose to do.
Taking on one of these roles does bring with it lots of time on the slopes but, by their very nature, they require that you work unsociable hours. You will usually work with a good team though, so you end up having a social life at work. These jobs involve working in the kitchens and supporting the chefs and catering staff. You will probably be required to help with food preparation, serving and cleaning up afterwards. Wages can be minimal, but you should get your food and drinks, ski passes (which can be worth up to £1000 at some resorts), medical insurance, equipment hire, and flights covered by your employer. Some companies have an incentive scheme in place so you can work towards bonuses too.
What Experience Do I Need?
For the chef’s job, previous experience is a must. Qualifications may not be required but evidence that you are competent within the role has to be produced.
Any previous experience is a bonus when it comes to a catering support role, so if you have worked in a hotel or in the catering industry as a waiter, chamber maid, bar person or kitchen porter, you should make sure the company you are applying to are aware. Experience is not essential, as long as you have a positive attitude, are hard working, and want to be part of a team, you have potential. Language skills can be useful, but are by no means essential.
For anyone looking to become a seasonal worker for a winter, chef and catering support roles offer good opportunities.
Belinda Smythson works for Ski Amis, a specialist ski travel agency and booking service that has been helping avid skiers craft their perfect winter holiday for over a quarter of a century. If you're looking for the best ski chalet accommodation in the Three Valleys, Paradiski, Espace Killy or Chamonix Valley, or tips for jobs as a seasonal worker, Ski Amis is the go-to company for winter sports fans searching for the experience of a lifetime.
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