What Makes A MOF? – The Facts About France’s Finest Award

What Makes A MOF? – The Facts About France’s Finest Award

At Glion, we have a range of staff members with the title ‘MOF’ after their name, but what does it actually mean? MOF is a term used to describe the long-running award Un des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France, which in English means ‘one of the best craftsmen in France’. In the world of hospitality and culinary arts, the MOF title is a prestigious mark of quality. Contestants face fierce competition, and have to show absolute perfection in their chosen field in order to win.

The MOF Competition: Serious Hospitality and Culinary Expertise

The MOF competition was created in 1924, and is held every four years in France. Organized and recognized by the French Ministry of Labor, it includes a variety of specialisms.

The competition is a serious commitment. Chantal Wittmann, Senior Lecturer at Glion, won the MOF accolade in 2011 for her work in service and table arts. Chantal originally signed up for the competition in 2009, and spent a year rigorously studying and training. She reached the finals in 2011.

“I am convinced that, in addition to the work I did and the experience I had, it was my pleasure in participating that allowed me to win the competition,” Chantal said. “That’s the lesson I tell my students – be pleased with what you are doing and you will be good at it.”

The Profile of a MOF

Some of France’s finest chefs and restaurant owners have been MOF winners. Paul Bocuse won the competition in 1961 and made a significant impact on the culinary world, serving presidents and innovating dishes. Creating the Bocuse d’Or Award, it’s one of France’s most prestigious culinary awards.

Prior to joining Glion as a Senior Lecturer in 2017, Chantal Wittmann accumulated over 30 years of teaching experience within the hospitality sector. Over the years, she has coached students for competitions and taught a range of subjects. She specializes in floral art.

MOFs at Glion – Learning from the Best

MOFs have learnt from some of the finest craftsmen across the globe, and in turn teach their students the same valuable knowledge. Students often follow in their teachers’ footsteps and become MOF winners themselves. The education field seeks out MOF winners for their wealth of knowledge and expertise.

At Glion, we boast a professional team of Practical Arts Instructors, many of whom are MOF winners. They all have exceptional backgrounds in their chosen fields, and form a formidable team. They include:

  • Chantal Wittmann, Maître d’hôtel Gastronomic Restaurant, MOF Service
  • Dominique Toulousy, Head Chef Gastronomic Restaurant, MOF Cuisine
  • Fabien Foare, Executive Chef , Director of Food Production, MOF Traiteur
  • Benoit Carcenat, Advisor Culinary Arts, MOF Cuisine

Together, these MOF winners share their passion and expertise with the next generation of hospitality leaders. Chantal acknowledges the MOF for boosting her career. “The title is, above all, wonderful recognition from my peers,” she said. “I’ve done a conference in Kuala Lumpur, participated in a seminar in Shanghai, and acted on committees and juries for various awards.”

Practical Arts in Hospitality Management Degrees

Hospitality management requires a balanced set of hard skills and soft skills in order to be successful. That is why Glion students spend a significant number of hours learning in hospitality environments, both on campus and in industry. Students get immersed into hospitality service areas, such as restaurants and receptions. As a result, you will understand every aspect of hotel and restaurant operations. This process is enhanced by the knowledge and passion of excellent professors.

As Chantal points out, “A curriculum that includes a lot of practice is perfect for young hospitality professionals. First of all, students learn to dress and speak well. That’s because communication is essential, spoken and unspoken.”

To find out more information about our MOF-winning staff, visit this page. To learn more about our Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degrees, see the program pages on the links below.

Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality

Master’s Degree in Hospitality Business

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Finance is Fun!

Finance is Fun!

Let me tell you a secret about me, but please do not tell anyone: when I was young and was finishing up school to go to high school, my teachers spoke to my parents and told them that they were giving me negative reports in calculations & math, because they had concluded that I could not calculate. During my high school years, I therefore tried to avoid economics and math as much as I could as I believed this was just not for me.

I arrived at Glion and, not surprisingly, failed the initial math test, so I needed to take extra math class. My professor at the time, Mr. Padovani, showed me I could do math and I passed with a 9 on the subject! He made me see that I can do math, I can calculate, I can do finance and I was even starting to like this logical stuff!

 

I also realized that no-one was ever going to tell me I could not do anything ever again in my career. I am a qualified management accountant now, I have over 5 years of experience in finance of big hotel brands and I finished Glion with a Bachelor in Hospitality & Finance Degree – with merit even! So, take it from me: if I can do it, you can!

 

In any company you work for in the future, whether it is a hotel chain, an individual hotel, a restaurant or any other type of business, it is always beneficial to learn and know about finance. The best advice I have ever been given is: “knowledge is power.” Every business in the world has a purpose and in order to understand your business and especially lead it, you will need to understand what finance is.

 

Many people say that finance is boring or complicated but it is not. It is easy and any one can understand the basics. You don’t believe me, do you? I know when you are reading your accounting books or hearing about numbers you may be thinking: this is just not for me. I am not good at this. But what you are forgetting is that it is not textbook material, it is real life and the numbers are just there to tell you a story. If you can read numbers, like you read a book, you can understand the story the business is telling you. Maybe you want to become a General Manager or own your own business one day? In any type of leadership position it will give you an advantage if you understand the basics of finance and numbers. So my advice: better start now!

I believe that if you start to think finance is fun, you will make more of an effort in learning accounting and finance at a later stage. You will take the time to concentrate in classes and you will realize it is not that hard. Each time you do not understand something, think about real life. Ask what makes most sense and what am I trying to figure out?

 

Still having problems? I will keep blogging to you until you like it. And if there is anything you do not understand from my blog in the future (or your accounting class), or if you just want to give me some comments and let me know what you think, do not hesitate to pop me an e-mail on lisafabriek@gmail.com and maybe I can help to make finance more fun and interesting!

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Students Given Key Advice on Campus Health and Safety Day

Students Given Key Advice on Campus Health and Safety Day

On Wednesday 18 October, students at our Bulle campus were given valuable advice and information on safety. With the rise in car accidents in Switzerland, the increase in sexually transmitted diseases and various difficulties in health insurance abroad, students need to be aware of the threats and how to avoid them. The importance of striking a good work / life balance was also discussed, as well as ways to stay injury-free and improve productivity.

Staying healthy as a student

As a student, it can be easy to fall into bad habits. Whether it be succumbing to stress during exam season or suffering from a poor diet, there are many pitfalls students can face. Glion’s Health and Safety Day identified these issues, while providing vital help and feedback. Following on from the last health day, held in April, October’s event focused on safe driving, safe sex, safe travel and a healthy lifestyle. “We set up this day for a number of reasons,” said our Health Advisor, Ms Gilmore. “The number of car accidents in Switzerland, plus the information from Allianz that the number of STIs are increasing. Insurance cover while students are on internships or travelling is also another concern.”

In a survey, 30 per cent of students cited nutrition as a problem, with another day focusing on this matter scheduled for November. “We will dedicate a day entirely to this topic,” said Ms Gilmore. “A dietician will be present and a nutritionist will hold individual consultations. The Clinique La Prairie will present the role of nutrition in their SPA concept of health and long life.”

Gilmore says students need to keep organised to avoid illness. “Try not to pull too many all-nighters. Always ensure you have a good night’s sleep,” she said. “Physical exercise is also a good way to release some endorphins. Health and happiness are just as important as your academic success.”

Road safety

Glion’s security team delivered a drunk-drinking awareness exercise on campus. Students tested out a kart on a course specially designed to simulate the effects of drink driving. Wearing special glasses, the students were given an interactive experience. Glion’s Security Manager, Vasileios Boufidis, also provided some key tips for stopping anyone drunk from getting behind the wheel, whether it be calling for security or simply ensuring they get home in a taxi. Also present were local police, who ensured students’ foreign driving licenses were valid in Switzerland, guiding them to the process of changing them to Swiss ones if necessary.

Cyber crime awareness

Glion is taking drastic steps to ensure the online safety of our students. With cyber crime becoming more rampant, Vasileios provided some guidance. “Unfortunately hackers have become very creative and very powerful, making people vulnerable to attacks,” he said. “Students should always forego sharing public information on social media, and to reject friend requests from people that they do not know.

“We are working hard to keep students aware of possible dangers. Our messages are clear – do not experiment with illegal substances, speak up and do not overshare.”

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Delivering Luxury Experiences Today: Key Takeaways from Glion Experiential Luxury Conference 2017

Delivering Luxury Experiences Today: Key Takeaways from Glion Experiential Luxury Conference 2017

Around 700 Glion students and luxury industry representatives attended Glion’s Experiential Luxury Conference to gain insights from luxury industry leaders. Held on 10 October 2017 at the CO2 in Bulle, Switzerland, Glion’s third annual Luxury Conference featured guest speakers from renowned brands in hospitality, luxury goods, gastronomy, art, wellness and more. Through presentations and roundtable discussions, these panelists shared their views on authenticity, passion, storytelling and traceability — and what it means to deliver luxury experiences today.

Ethical Luxury, Traceability and Authenticity

We live thanks to the hands of people whose stories are not told,” said Ms. Caterina Occhio, Founder and CEO of SeeMe, a fair trade jewelry brand. Among what is currently a niche market of ethically aware consumers, Ms. Occhio sees great potential for growth. “The product we buy should tell the story of the people and the places they are made from,” she said. “Luxury is about craftsmanship: back to the hands, back to the people.”

Corporate social responsibility is increasingly relevant to global brands, and the luxury industry is no exception. Mr. Luca Solca, Managing Director and Sector Head for Global Luxury Goods at Exane BNP Paribas, observed: “In this era, when everyone can find lots of information about brands online, luxury goods brands need to think about how they can stand a transparency test.” The importance of transparency was underlined by Mr. Roberto Eggs, Chief Operating Officer of Moncler, who described how Moncler implemented full traceability on the down within its products after facing criticism in 2014. The move to embrace ethical rules “changed the culture of the company, making us more responsible,” Mr. Eggs said.

Building Connections through Client Feedback

From online reviews to the sharing of experiences on social media, the digital era has transformed how clients can talk with and about luxury brands. Mr. Eggs noted that when Moncler invited clients to give feedback through digital channels such as SMS, WhatsApp, WeChat and email, “more than 35% of clients left comments. That shows they’re connected with the brand — they want to give feedback.”

Mr. Rami Z. Sayess, Regional Vice President of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, is convinced of the value of listening to customers. He said, “Today we’re connected to the customer at a faster pace than before. How you react is the key to your success. Every company will have glitches and shortcomings; it’s the art of how you will respond to this feedback [that counts].” For today’s luxury clients, the sharing of experiences is particularly important. Mr. Sayess added, “Make sure that people leave with a story to tell. That’s the connection with the brand.”

Storytelling and Creating Memorable Experiences

Making products available online gives luxury clients the option to browse not only a particular store, but an entire brand’s collection. “Digitalization offers the possibility to turn every store into a flagship store,” said Mr. Eggs. He explained that Moncler takes advantage of its window displays and retail shops to showcase new products and illustrate the brand: “Luxury’s still about storytelling and making people dream.” Mr. Solca also pointed out the need for luxury brands to use physical space wisely. “What is it in your store which actually speaks about the DNA of your brand?” he asked.

From architecture and design to service, the creation of a particular atmosphere and space is key to providing clients with a unique experience. This is especially true in luxury hospitality. Describing how Four Seasons adapts its hotels to reflect local destinations, Mr. Sayess said, “It’s important to give the customer a sense of place. You don’t need to be everywhere. What’s important is that when you leave a destination, you talk about that sensation you felt, whether it was in a hotel or in a store.”

Glion Experiential Luxury Conference 2017

Seducing a Wider Client Spectrum: Going Above and Beyond

As the profile and demands of luxury clients evolve, successful brands are going the extra mile to meet and exceed expectations. Mr. Paul Clark, Group Director of Human Resources of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, remarked, “Today delivering the expected is not enough. You have to deliver the unexpected. Take an airline journey, for example: there are certain things that should be happening. But the difference is when you go beyond, delighting the customer.”

In the wellness industry, helping clients to achieve both short-term and long-term results is key to ensuring loyalty. “There has been a shift in the market from preserving my wealth to preserving my health,” said Mr. Simone Gibertoni, CEO of Clinique La Prairie. For him, a fundamental question is: “How can we follow clients when they have left?” To build lasting relationships with clients, Clinique La Prairie has implemented innovative strategies, such as enabling clients to stay in touch with their longevity doctor from anywhere in the world.

On Caviar and Pizza: Enticing a New Generation

To stay relevant with younger clients, it is crucial that luxury brands understand the contexts and values of these new generations. Mr. Peter G. Rebeiz, Chairman and CEO of Caviar House & Prunier, shared an entertaining and illuminating anecdote involving his teenage son, who developed a passion for caviar after inviting friends over to make flatbread “pizzas” with the luxury food. According to Mr. Rebeiz, this unconventional approach would have had his father rolling in his grave, but Mr. Rebeiz remains convinced that “the biggest danger we face is not speaking the language of the generation of today and tomorrow.” He stressed, “We need to address the informality of consumption today.” In Mr. Rebeiz’s view, his challenge is to take caviar “from the dining room into the kitchen” — to make a luxury food product with a long history and heritage relevant for a new generation.

Dr. Bertold Mueller, Managing Director of Christie’s, addressed the challenges of connecting with a diverse range of clients. In the past, clients of Christie’s were largely based in North America and Europe, but today they are increasingly global. “We need showrooms, but we also need to be present in the digital world,” Dr. Mueller said. “One-third of our new clients come to us through online auctions.” Christie’s has also developed exclusive courses and programs to immerse young clients in the art industry.

In the hospitality world, Mr. Clark discussed how Mandarin Oriental has reacted to the shift among young clients from the material to the experiential. While luxurious rooms like the “Presidential Suite” may once have been the most coveted, today’s clients seek something else: “In Hong Kong, our ‘Entertainment Suite’ has a massive TV, a DJ booth, an open kitchen — it’s an ideal place to invite guests.” From an authentic Peruvian restaurant in Miami to a New York City bar on the 35th floor, Mandarin Oriental has also made a point of offering distinctive food and beverage outlets — each with their own personality.

Using Emotions to Create Journeys of Discovery

In the day’s final keynote speech, Mr. David Sinapian, CEO of Groupe Pic and President of Grandes Tables du Monde, shared his views on redefining luxury in the context of hospitality. Mr. Sinapian believes that “emotions are the new El Dorado.” He observed, “Going to a fine dining restaurant is like a journey. It’s like going to the theater.” Through a blend of human skills, ambiance, design and spirit, and tableware, Mr. Sinapian’s goal is to “make our guests have an unforgettable experience based on emotions, which make them feel unique.” Particularly in fine dining, luxury brands have the opportunity to propose new experiences and engage clients through the five senses — and through emotions.

Addressing a wide range of topics, Glion’s Experiential Luxury Conference provided students and industry representatives with inspiration and timely insights. Full details of the Experiential Luxury Conference can be found here.

Interested in studying luxury at Glion? Learn more about Glion’s Luxury Brand Management specialization here.

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Industry Experts Provide Thrilling Insight at Luxury Conference

Industry Experts Provide Thrilling Insight at Luxury Conference

Representatives from a range of high-profile luxury organisations were on hand to impart advice to 700 students at the Glion’s Experiential Luxury Conference this week. The event took place at the CO2 Centre in Bulle, hosted by Georgette Davey, Managing Director of Glion Switzerland and Glion London.

Luxury businesses are always under pressure to remain relevant. They face the challenge of creating products and services that inspire, while also remaining true to their origins. The industry speakers at the conference addressed this issue, discussing content, experiences, how to be relevant for millennials and what the future could bring to the luxury industry.

Keeping ahead of the competition

It is the third year Glion have organised a luxury conference with industry leaders debating about current trends within the luxury industry, and why creating experiences is always a key factor.

“To be successful, you need to create emotions,” said Philippe Tardivel, Head of Marketing and Communications at luxury watchmaker Hublot. As the first speaker at the event, Philippe provided a room full of our students with three key tips:

  • Whatever you create has to be extraordinary, and you have to go the extra mile.
  • Sharing is believing. You need to make your client feel unique and create a story.
  • The personal element is fundamental in the luxury industry. The brand power is in you. You’re your own future, so be authentic and be yourself.

Six elements for luxury brand success

Second speaker Ivan Bascle also shared his thoughts about upcoming trends. Ivan is a Senior Partner and Managing Director of the Boston Consulting Group’s Geneva office, where he heads the German and Swiss consumer practices. He provided six elements for success:

  • Realise the future is not an extension of the past – luxury brand companies need to rethink their business model urgently.
  • Be open to adapting your business model to new consumers. Adapt innovation and meet the needs of millennials.
  • Go online and omnichannel. Be where consumers are and have a clear partnering strategy.
  • Explore partnerships and joint ventures – new players provide opportunities.
  • Digitize your core, provide big data and intelligence to your capabilities. Additionally, smart analytics, big data and an intimate knowhow of your consumers is also needed.
  • Optimize cost and platform. You need to manage costs to remain competitive, while still maintaining quality.

Meeting expectations

As well as keynote speeches, the conference also housed a panel discussion on delivering luxury experiences today. The panel discussed the challenges of seducing a wider client spectrum and meeting their expectations when it comes to exclusivity and accessibility.

These insightful, industry-relevant events are just part of Glion’s curriculum, which enables students to get hands-on learning within the world of hospitality, while hearing up-to-date advice and information from leading experts.

Does the constantly evolving, challenging world of luxury brand management excite you? If so, you can find more about our Luxury Brand Management specialization on our website.

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