Your definition of hospitality?
Though I always speak of the ‘hospitality profession’, to me, it is something far deeper than a job or career. Hospitality’s a way of life, not solely how you behave in the workplace. I can usually spot a hospitality member from across a room. There is something in the way we observe, listen and put others comfort above our own.
What does sustainability mean to you?
There is sustainable practice to be found in everything we do. From who we bank with, to recycling our waste. Sustainability to me, means that this world is left in a better position for my daughter and all children on this planet. Also life should be sustainable – work time, free time, health and happiness. Sustainability is everything.
Team or staff, and why?
Without question – Team. Our entire sector is one massive team. Team is equality, respect, joint visions, having each other’s backs
Where do you see hospitality’s priorities?
Without sounding like a broken record. Until this sector is respected and represented by those in charge – and properly so, not just fobbed off – this sector will struggle. It is no surprise that countries who recognise hospitality and allow it to have a senior seat at the table in government are also the countries where the population respect the profession. We have to raise the perception of the sector as a valuable career choice – but until Government respect us, stop reducing funding for FE, give us a voice, refrain from referring to is as low skilled – how can we ever expect the public to see us as anything other than low skilled and low paid?
Is hospitality local or global?
One Global family. We inspire one another. I have a title in the USA, and we also launched in the Middle East and the respect held for our UK Hospitality sector by our international peers is massive.
What’s best about your weekend?
Err…I never really switch off from work! There’s always a phone call or 7 to make or receive, always some copy to write and one heck of a lot of forward planning! But thats my nature. I do things at 100%.
I relax by…
Running. I run every day – even if I don’t have time, I will get up 90 minutes earlier to fit it in! I admit, I am addicted. It’s how my creative mind opens. Being out in the fresh air, with my dog and music is where I draw down ideas for work. Some of them a bit bizarre…but things like the Minister for Hospitality Campaign and Choose Hospitality – those were a product of running.
Eat out or Eat In?
As is my nature and busy lifestyle, I am hopeless at planning meals and eat on the go – which is pretty terrible. I can cook, and am quite good if I put my mind to it. It’s not like I am not surrounded by inspiration every day. But I also love to dine out. Locally to me is a fish restaurant called the Angel. Martin, the chef is very old school – his sourcing is impeccable and he makes a wicked Negroni – so half a dozen Gambas, some Bread and Olive Oil and Salad is my go-to supper out (When I am at home!)
Tea or coffee?
Tell us something about yourself that would surprise our readers.
I cannot even bear to look at Mashed Potatoes – some of the world’s best chefs have tried to convert me, and failed. In fact, it almost led to physical assault once when one tried to spoon feed me mash!
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