The role of Chalet Chef is a key part of the 'chalet experience'. Skiing makes people hungry and when they trek back from the slopes after a long day you will have to swing into action, usually preparing bistro-style 3 course evening meals for the hungry holiday makers. Key skills include being able to work with a menu plan and to a set budget. Get the food right and you will be truly appreciated by the chalet guests. In a typical chalet, you will be doing anything from ten to thirty covers per night. Most employers require you to have a good level of kitchen or catering experience, and a knowledge of specialist diets.
You will generally be working for larger tour operators, catering for a hotel full of guests, or for a resort restaurant or hotel. You will be preparing a range of meals from breakfast through to evening meals, usually six nights a week. You will also have responsibility for a team of cooks who will work under you. You must be able to work with a menu plan and within a set budget. You will be responsible for kitchen hygiene, ordering and stock control. Covers could be anything from fifty to a hundred plus at larger hotels. Chef qualifications are a must, and previous head chef experience is usually desirable.
Sous chefs or assistant chefs are the backbone of any substantial catering operation. Your main role will be to assist the Head chef, thought the amount of responsibility you have will depend on the size of the company you are working for. You may be just working on a single section of the kitchen, or you may find yourself almost as important as the head chef. Working as an assistant chef allows you to gain valuable experience, especially if the head chef knows what he or she is doing! Qualifications that would suit this role would be general catering certificates, as well as some previous experience of a similar role.
Bar work is often similar whereever you are in the world, but what could be better than spending a few hours on the slopes before heading in to work to cater for lots of happy holiday makers. Serving drinks is obviously going to be one of your main tasks, but you may also be preparing or presenting bar meals. Good bar experience and being numerate is always going to help your application, as is a positive, friendly and helpful attitude. Basic knowledge of the local language or a couple of European languages will also be beneficial.
If you like the idea of working as a chef for a ski season, but you do not have any relevant cookery experience, you may like to look at a specialist chalet cookery course. You will learn how to cope with running the kitchen of a busy ski chalet. They will cover basic food hygiene, shopping, menu preparation and basic house keeping. Some have good local links with tour operators and resort chalets, meaning they can recommend you as an employee on completion of the course. Have a look at our guide to: selecting the right course.
Hopefully this page gives you some idea of the various options available if you are a catering professional and you like the idea of working a winter season abroad. Take a look at the positions offered currently being recruited for by the companies below. During the peak recruitment periods between May and October we have a high turnover of roles, so do make sure you check back regularly to view the latest positions.