Chef Trung (39), the chef of Pillows Grand Boutique Hotel Place Rouppe in Brussel decided to become a chef relatively late in life. He switched to catering school at the age of 26. “I chose the hard way”, he explains. In 2017, he applied as Chef de Cuisine at the restaurant of the Pillows Grand Hotel Place Rouppe and his work has not passed unnoticed.
Training to become a chef
“After secondary school, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I ended up studying art history, but I dropped out after three years.” Trung had no idea what he wanted to do. A friend inspired him to train as a chef. In 2007, Trung graduated as a chef in Bruges, working as a chef de partie, sous-chef and patissier in Ghent and London, among others, for various (hotel) restaurants of big chains. And that’s how he finally ended up at the Pillows Hotel in Brussels. Soon after, his work was rewarded with a Gault&Millau listing for The Living - Restaurant & Wine bar.
Scents and flavours
He had never imagined that this could be possible before deciding to become a chef. “I had never thought about cooking", Trung explains. “I liked to eat, but I never spent much time in the kitchen", he laughs. When a friend, who was a chef, took him into his kitchen one night, a whole new world opened up to Trung. “I saw all the pots and pans on the hob, inhaled all the scents, and it essentially awakened something in me. I wanted to know everything. Why do you use oregano for this? And why basil for that?”
Trung has been working at Pillows Grand Boutique Hotel Place Rouppe since 2017, and he has already achieved quite a lot since then. The restaurant was included in the prestigious Gault&Millau guide in the autumn of 2018. Trung is extremely proud of this achievement. “Obviously I'm happy with this recognition, but I value the appreciation of my guests the most. I always stop to chat with them. I'm really happy when people understand my vision, when they see what I’m striving to achieve with my dishes.” It is this guest experience, which is so crucial to Pillows Hotels. “In this hotel, we spend a lot of time thinking about how to offer our guests a great experience. Everything starts with the check-in, for which we take our time, in a cosy atmosphere, preferring a sofa over a traditional reception desk.” That is why the personal contact with his guests is so important to Trung. Every day he works hard with his team to offer a superior guest experience.
Learning on the job
When you join Trung’s team, you’ll find that you learn a lot, because the chef believes in sharing his knowledge and expertise. Talking to Trung is almost like taking a cooking class. “I like to include at least four flavours in all of my dishes. Sour, bitter, salty, and sweet. I often add a bit of a crunch, for texture.” That is why his colleagues love to work for him. While he may be critical, you can tell that he loves what he does. At Pillows Grand Boutique Hotel Place Rouppe, they are proud of Trung and the results that he has achieved, together with his team.
Working at Pillows Hotels means enjoying your work. Together we work on your ambitions, because our employees make the difference! In addition, we offer a competitive salary, a discount on various insurance policies with Centraal Beheer Achmea and an attractive discount for all the hotels within the collection.
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