How to prepare a menu plan for a job as a chalet host

By adamrowden, 20 Jul '12 at 09:34

Here are some extremely helpful tips to aid you when coming up with a menu plan.

If you are looking for a job as a chalet host, most employers require you to provide a menu plan. Don't worry, it's just so the employer can get a feel for your cooking ability and easily compare you to the other candidates. A menu plan only usually covers evening meals (although you can include a cake for each day) and should show three courses plus a vegetarian option for six days.

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Please don't panic if this looks slightly overwhelming. Although it can seem like that at first, one way we can help increase your confidence and ability is through our cookery courses. Take the link for full details, and don't forget we'll help you find a job once you've passed. We have a 96% pass rate.

When asked to provide a menu plan with your job application, you need to consider the following:

- Do the dishes go together?
- What will they look like on the plate?
- Have you used the same main ingredient in the starter and main?
- Is the meal going to be filling?
- Have you provided meat as a main course?
- Can you cook it? (Crucial question, you will get usually get asked to prove this)

All of these points need to be considered as skiing/boarding can be tiring and often guests will want a meal that will fill them up as well as being well presented.

Vegetarians

Vegetarians should be considered - an omelette is simply not filling enough and could make them feel like they're putting you out. They have also paid lots of money for their holiday and have probably chosen a chalet over a hotel for the food option. For advice on Vegetarian food visit Veggie Snow

Combinations

To make your life easier, choose dishes that resemble the main course. For example, if you are serving Pork Escalope with a Mushroom and Spinach sauce, then serve the vegetarian an Aubergine Escalope (Aubergine sandwich filled with mozzarella and tomato sauce, bread-crumbed and shallow fried). The Aubergine escalope needs to be covered in the breadcrumbs before the pork ones and cooked separately, but will provide the veggie with good nutrients and when served with the same sauce, will make less work for you.

When thinking about starters, limit the use of soups and salads to twice a week and make sure that one is at the end, and one at the beginning.
Include at least two types of vegetables and a starch/carbohydrate, whether it be potatoes or rice. Also think about whether the vegetable dishes will compliment the vegetarian course, as they are unlikely to want a vegetable dish stuffed with rice as their main meal, with rice being served for the meat eaters as an accompliment! Likewise for starters, you do not want to serve a Goat's cheese salad, followed by a Goat's cheese stuffed Filo parcel.

With desserts, bear in mind how many chocolate dishes you have served throughout the week and alternate with fruit ones.

Things to avoid

Avoid using pasta dishes unless as a starter.
Avoid using minced beef as it's seen as budget food and something guests would probably serve up for their kids at home.
Curries should be avoided when completing a menu plan.
With desserts, you need to have 'made' a dessert. Fruit salad and ice-cream is not going to be suitable and is similar to school dinners.

Budget?

All chalet companies will give you a budget, but when drawing up a application menu, make this as creative as possible. It will be your menus that will decide your interview so show off a little!

Dress it up…

Think about the wording used, and dress it up. For example 'stuffed chicken breast' sounds far less appealing than 'Marinated chicken breasts filled with Boursin and wild mushrooms'.

Layout

When drawing up a menu, you can either put the dishes in a table format, or lay it out like a restaurant menu

Day 1
Honey Mustard dressed Goat's Cheese Salad
Pork Escalope with Mushroom and Spinach sauce
Hassleback potatoes and balsamic roasted vegetables
V Aubergine Escalope with Mushroom and Spinach sauce
Individual Fruit Crumbles served with ice cream

Once you have your menu plan and CV in shape, have a look at what jobs are available, apply online and/or complete our Job Finder form.

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