Retraining in her 30s as a chef led Luiana to The Wolseley Hospitality Group family back in 2013, where she joined the kitchen team at Brasserie Zédel. Having risen through the ranks, now, at 45, she is Sous Chef at Fischer’s in Marylebone. Luiana describes how it’s never too late to start out in hospitality, and what it’s like to work in a multigenerational team.
Tell us a little about yourself – how did you get into hospitality? — Cooking is my passion! Previously I studied economics and then I went on to work in events. It was while doing this that I thought “food is what I really love”, so I moved to London and enrolled at Westminster to do my chef training – and then I got my first ever job in hospitality at Zédel as a commis chef.
How long have you been a chef – what keeps you in the industry? — I’ve been a chef for eight years now – this is my second career almost! I love to cook, create and I can’t live without the energy of service, it’s like a performance every time.
What do you like most about working at The Wolseley Hospitality Group? — After my two years at Zédel I left to work elsewhere and that made me realise The Wolseley Hospitality Group was the best you can get in the industry. So then I came back to work at The Beaumont Hotel and I’ve been with the group ever since.
For me the best thing about working for this company is that they think about us as people – it’s not just about making money here; I feel valued every day.
What do you enjoy about working in a multigenerational team? — I get the opportunity to learn something new every day – I learn a lot from my younger chefs, as much as from those with more experience than me.
What’s your favourite thing about working at Fischer’s? — The environment is so lovely, but most of all the team; it feels like a family.
As a female chef, what are the biggest changes you’ve seen in the industry during your career? — It’s different with the younger chefs, they respect me and it’s definitely more normalised to them to see a woman in charge.
In the past, with some older chefs they can be a bit more old school with their attitudes, it was a man’s world after all so I do have to work harder as a woman, but I see myself as a success story: I’ve been promoted to Sous Chef in just eight years!
When you’re not at Fischer’s, where can we find you? — If I’m not discovering new food and places to eat – currently I’m enjoying exploring vegan and also Peruvian cuisine, I love ceviche – then you can find me at home with my family. Sometimes they even cook for me!
What’s been your career highlight so far? — I have to say that it’s here at Fischer’s – I feel like I fit in and this is where I belong. I’m also able to develop every day and I’m learning so much more.
And, finally, what one piece of advice would you give to anyone looking to start out in hospitality? — If you have the passion then go for it – hopefully my story will inspire more older people, women or those looking to change careers to take that chance. Plus if you have this passion, then The Wolseley Hospitality Group will provide the rest!
If you’re interested in joining our team, take a look at our current vacancies.