How to travel the world … and get paid for it

by Christine Salins on February 27, 2015

The Hotel School Sydney

For those of us who love travel, embarking on a career that allows us to see the world is the ultimate, isn’t it? The hospitality industry is one of the most portable professions – and that really becomes apparent when you look at where graduates from The Hotel School Sydney have been placed.

Its graduates have gone on to become restaurateurs, business owners, sommeliers and senior management around the world. They have been placed in jobs in New York, China, London, Canada, Las Vegas, India, Indonesia, Spain, Sweden, Germany, South Korea, Thailand, the United States and Guam.

The school offers a Bachelor of Business in Hotel Management in association with Southern Cross University, as well as certificate and diploma studies in international tourism and hotel management.

Working at major hotels is part of the training and most degree students are employed in the industry when they finish studying. An impressive 97% of The Hotel School’s 2013 graduates are now employed, 88% of them before they even graduated.

Recently I had the opportunity to interview a couple of The Hotel School graduates for an article I was writing for Hospitality magazine on female sommeliers. Breanna Lawler is venue manager at Flying Fish magazine and encourages women planning to become sommeliers to “go for it”. “Wine is an amazing product which has the ability to allow continual learning,” she says.

Pip Anderson The Hotel School SydneyAnother of Sydney’s leading sommeliers is also a graduate of The Hotel School. Pip Anderson (right) is head sommelier for Ivy. She says the increase in the number of female sommeliers echoes the steady growth of females in all sectors of the hospitality industry over the last 20 years.

“It provides a lovely balance to the dining industry,” she says, although she thinks the subject of whether women make better wine tasters than men has been slightly embellished.

“What tasting comes down to is training your memory palate to recall aromas and flavours quicker. The simple case of the more you taste – especially in group situations were you can get confirmation of what you are discovering in the glass – the more aromas and flavours you can identify.”

You can read more of Pip’s thoughts on the subject in another post, but in the meantime, if you would like more information about courses at The Hotel School Sydney, you can visit their website here. This is NOT a sponsored post, just sharing the love for those planning a career in hospitality. The world might be your oyster too. :-)

You might also like: Do women make better wine tasters?

Photo of Pip ©Patrick Riviere. Both photos supplied by Free Publicity.

{ 1 comment }

Do women make better wine tasters?

by Christine Salins on February 27, 2015

Do women make better wine tasters?

Recently I had the opportunity to interview a couple of impressive graduates from The Hotel School Sydney for an article I was writing for Hospitality magazine on female sommeliers*. Breanna Lawler is venue manager at Flying Fish magazine and Pip Anderson is head sommelier for Ivy.

Many of Sydney’s top restaurants boast female sommeliers, a big difference from even just a decade or so ago when men accounted for about 90% of sommeliers across the 35,000 restaurants in the Restaurant & Catering Association. Do women make better wine tasters?

It’s an interesting notion, and in the Hospitality article I go into more detail about how the notion gained traction. (British wine critic Jancis Robinson, by the way, is said to be a supertaster.)

Neither Breanna nor Pip are really convinced, although Breanna says some women are “hyper-sensitive tasters” and Pip says she has had a few sommeliers who swore their palates became more atuned and focused during pregnancy.

Pip says diners occasionally think she is a waitress rather than a sommelier, but she says, “We train all our sommeliers, male and female, to take the time and introduce themselves to each table which we find has a positive effect on building the critical trust and relationship with each patron.”

Do women make better wine tasters?Her advice to women planning to become a sommelier? “Wine is about passion. It’s a fantastic, supportive industry, though each sommelier grows through self-study, focus and a competitive drive.”

Melbourne sommelier Matthew Brooke, who also makes his own wine under the Athletes of Wine label, believes there is a divide in approach rather than gender. “Neither is correct or lesser in my book,” he says.

Brooke says he knows some outstanding female palates, including Melanie Chester, who he sat the Len Evans Tutorial with, and Sarah Lawler, head sommelier of Rockpool Bar & Grill Melbourne. But he could say the same of many of his male friends, including Liam O’Brien, sommelier at Cutler & Co.

“(At) the end of the day we all find what we think are the best wines, we describe them differently and get to our conclusions along a different path. Correct winemaking, beautiful expressive fruit, delicious flavour, purity, length, complexity, these are what good tasters look for … I think/hope,” he says.

“If anything, I’ve met a lot more males who I wonder whether they actually enjoy wine because they pull it apart and love to find faults … jaded or perhaps spoilt?”

Mmm. It’s all food for thought. Or wine for mulling over?

Do you think women make better wine tasters? What are your thoughts on the subject?

*From the Oxford dictionary: Sommelier is an early 19th century French word for wine waiter or butler.

You might also like: How to travel the world … and get paid for it.

Photo and drawing from Pixabay.

{ 0 comments }

Friday Food Tip #96

by Christine Salins on February 27, 2015

FoodLogoSalted caramel fudge sauce: Combine 75g unsalted butter, ½ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup golden syrup and ½ cup cream in a saucepan on medium heat. Stir until mixture is smooth, reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes, then stir in 1 teaspoon of salt. Cool for 20 minutes before serving with bananas, pears or stewed apple.

{ 3 comments }