Cooking in a Ski Chalet
If you like the idea of getting a ski resort job as a chalet rep, then a cookery course is a good idea. Getting on with your guests as a chalet host is probably the most important thing to get right – if they like you its amazing what they will forgive. If your customers don’t like you then God help you if everything’s not perfect! Coming a very close second in terms of importance is a chalet reps ability to cook. Ability is a pre-requisite but a certified, recognised cookery qualification is what to aim for to get a top chalet rep job.
Apart from anything else, the confidence that doing a cookery course gives you could get you through the first part of the seasons chaos. A specialist chalet rep course will also teach you some tricks of the trade (mostly involving the effects of cooking at altitude). In cooking terms 3,000 feet (about 900 meters) above sea level is considered to be high altitude, although from 2,000 feet above sea level, you will start to notice that water will boil at a lower temperature. (Most ski stations are between 1,400 and 2,500 metres or 4,500 to 8,000 feet. This is due to atmospheric conditions being different (drier air, less oxygen and lower atmospheric pressure).
What this really means
Normal cooking time increases
Liquids evaporate quicker when cooking
Cakes and bread lifting agents expand more
If you keep pinching wine you will get drunk more easily than normal.
The course should prepare you to then learn from your employer (there should be experienced chalet staff, trainers and reps in resort for you to learn from) on how to produce excellent results whilst still having plenty of time to enjoy skiing, boarding and whatever else in the mountains. This centres on organisation and preparation. If you get these two things right you’ll do ok. Your repertoire of recipes needs to be able to cope with a two-week menu plan and should include provision for special dietary requirements. There is no doubt that a good chalet cooking course will help you attain this level, some course providers will even throw in a ski resort cook book.