Latest Master Class - Modest start to Michelin success!

This week we hosted the fourth in our series of Master Classes designed to motivate hospitality staff and help them soar up their own career ladder.

It was presented by Russell Brown, former owner of the first Michelin-starred restaurant in Dorset, Sienna in Dorchester. Russell charted his climb from starting as a modest commis chef in a three-star hotel to achieving the most prestigious honour in the business, running his own Michelin-starred restaurant.

He described his ascent as a massive learning curve, often challenging, but hugely rewarding, absorbing his life for more than 20 years, and showing no signs of stopping anytime soon.

“The single biggest factor in the success I have had is caring about detail,” he said. “To be successful you need a real grasp of hospitality and it’s not just about the cooking it’s about meeting and greeting, the ambience and the service.”

He went on to explain the importance of learning the basic skills, to be consistent: “Take all the little bits from your work experience and then cherry pick the best and build your own style. That way it’s an amalgamation of all you’ve learnt and most importantly what you’re passionate about,” he explained.

He pointed out that hospitality is an industry where it’s important to think about your career and learn from others, “Everyone in your workplace is important and they are all key to making the machine work.”

Understanding the experience from the customer’s viewpoint is critical he said. “Think about the joy of sitting in a restaurant, discover how to taste, what excited you about the experience? Learn from a different perspective.”

Russell’s fascinating story left his listeners with a desire to learn more, refine their skills and, above all, to follow their own passion.