If you're looking for a chalet host job for the winter you can't go far wrong by taking one of the specific courses aimed at the chalet host job and lifestyle. Whilst giving you the lowdown on preparing a multi-course dinner party each evening, there's also a lot of background information to be learned - from the latest health and safety requirements to table management, cooking at altitude and using local ingredients. What's more many of the companies offering these courses have links with employers - so whilst they can't guarantee you a job they can certainly help you find one. Here's our top picks!
The Ultimate Chalet Host Cookery Course:
Based in beautiful La Rosiere this course is run by established chalet and hotel operator Snowcrazy. There are obvious benefits of doing a course in the Alps. Firstly you're in the mountains - what's not to like? But also you are actually in the environment that you will eventually be working in - chalet kitchens at altitude, which can present a whole lot of unforeseen challenges.
The course covers menu planning, keeping to a budget, dealing with special dietary requirements and how to keep guests happy! It may seem that the chalet host job is never ending but working with experienced hosts and chefs you will learn how to maximise your efficiency - and that means more time on the hill. Kitchen time is complemented with time out in the hot tub if you like or the opportunity to hike and explore the local area.
The course is a full week and runs on specific dates throughout the summer and autumn. Take a look at The Ultimate Chalet Host Cookery Course for more details.
Chalet Savoie Faire training courses:
With over 25 years experience in alpine hospitality, Chalet Savoie Faire's 5 day training course will undoubtedly give you a good preparation for a chalet hosting winter. Run by Nikki Shields, who has worked for and with some of best known ski operators, the course is hands on and covers all aspects of the chalet host role.
Nikki's love and experience of the local area means she can incorporate first-hand knowledge of local, easily-sourced ingredients, and teach you fool-proof recipes that will keep guests happy every week. There's also tips and tricks on presentation, planning, shopping, budgeting and even public speaking!
The chalet cookery course runs for 5 days - see the website for more details: Chalet Savoie Faire Cookery courses
Orchards School of Cookery:
Based near Evesham in Worcestershire, the school runs intensive one or two week courses throughout the year and promises to show you how to master the art of being a chalet host. Orchards graduates come out with menu plans, guides, help with writing a CV and much more. There is also interview training and with such an established reputation in the industry, an Orchards' endorsement is often a good pass to interview stages.
The course promises to "boost your confidence, develop your culinary skills and knowledge of cooking and give you the ability and inspiration to create your own masterpieces in the kitchen." They also have tips on dealing with kitchen disasters, such as exploding cakes.
With life in a ski resort very much in focus there is even a training video from Henry's Avalanche Talk to explain to the new seasonnaire the risks of off-piste skiing and avalanche awareness.
For more information see the Orchards School of Cookery website.