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annvanhalewyck@gmail.com All day - Every day

The graduate …

When I graduated from school, our principal gave a speech.
I was too excited to celebrate but 1 line I will always remember:

‘Now that you’ve studied 4 years of hospitality and culinary art, keep in mind you don’t know anything. We taught you how to read a recipe. Now go out and learn how to make the recipe, use it daily to refine it so that one day, you can create your own recipe.’

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about that speech. You can learn something new every day. Be humble, be curious, start as the student to become the master. But even then, there is always something that I didn’t know before.
Ask to listen, listen to learn, not to respond.

I have learned so much during my school time.
Not only the basics of the industry but also the art of learning.
The goal to become the master is a never ending journey.
The knowledge I gathered, I share with my team every day to make them better, to help them see the beauty of the industry.

In reverse, I learned about their culture, their language, their dreams, struggles and personal goals.
I can honestly say that my team shaped me into the person I am today and the way how I managed my restaurant.

And for that, I am eternally grateful!

Xo – Ann

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Becoming the student …

And so it went on … I was going to learn about the restaurant industry in one of the major hospitality schools in Belgium:
Hotel and Tourism School Spermalie in Bruges.

Since the school was about 1 hour away from my home town, my parents sent me off to their boarding school.

Want to know how to create a routine? Boarding school.
Or how to decide what to wear every day? Strict uniform policy takes care of that.
How to serve guests and how to behave like a guest yourself? Daily meals in the school restaurants.

It all sounds like a military drill but to be honest, I would do it all over again and most likely send my kids too.
Besides all the ins and outs of the industry, I also gained major life experience.
Some of them are still in use today.

“I still need to hear the story about that super model that was discovered in her yoga pants!” Yep, teachers can be very persuasive when it comes to uniform standards!

They say your time is school is the best time of your life …
I wouldn’t call it that way, but I sure am cheering for their education program!

Xo – Ann

Photo credit: Pinterest