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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Maurice Brazier Hotel Meridien Paris



Front row 3rd from right:





This was the most professional hotel I ever worked in. The chef, Maurice Brazier, was very intrumental in forwarding my career. I first worked with him in Africa in the late 70's. When our time in Africa was done I went back to Ireland on holiday with a potential job in an opening of a hotel in Paris with the Sofitel Hotel Company. Mr. Brazier went to Nice to open the Meridien Hotel on the Promenade Des Anglais, the main thoroughfare in Nice. Unfortunately the opening of the Sofitel Hotel in Paris did not work out so I was without a job. There was nothing interesting in Ireland at that time.
I wrote to Mr Brazier in Nice and and he offered me a job there: thus started a great period. He later sent me to Cairo, Paris, Yugoslavia, Corsica, East Berlin, Tours and almost to India. When the authorities in India realized I was Irish and not French they wouldn't give me the visa. Someone else went. Too bad but it would have been hard for me to complain. As the only single sous chef in the Meridien in Paris I got all the opportunities.
This was a great time for learning management techniques and to see how a very large hotel can operate without the chaos that is very often present in badly run operations. Contrary to what seems to be popular belief with all these cooking and reality shows around, the real professional kitchens are run very quietly and with little confusion. This was the case in this hotel. No one raised their voice and the standards of behavior were very high.
Maurice Brazier taught me a lot about kitchen management and employee motivation. We had already worked together for a long time and he showed me how to solve problems in a quiet way. Most important he taught me how to prevent problems from arising in the first place. It was a great pleasure working for him. He knew how to motivate people and he was a highly respected professional throughout the industry.


4 comments:

Dor said...

I think it would be easier to ask (or to answer) where you haven't worked! Must be great to have all those photos!

rita dowling said...

these are fab photos Jim had to zoom to find you but there you are in the most prominent position. you must have a very strong belt to keep all those experiences under it !!

Therese said...

These are great to have, did they turn up in Seattle. How is the dry out coming along

James Walsh said...

Have not been back to Seattle since. Next week PG. No, these have been in frames for quite a while. There are a few more to come.