Eat, ski, cook, repeat — master the chalet kitchen

After the year we’ve all had, we’re sure many of you are counting down the days until you can hit the slopes again.

And if you’re going to be working at one of Meribel’s catered chalets, this dreamy picture could become your reality for a whole season. (As long as you’re up for the challenge!)

There’s more to a ski season than the skiing itself. Whether you’re indulging in a hearty lunch at Le Terrasse in town or making new friends at Rond Point, you’re guaranteed to create memories that last a lifetime. And perhaps a few you won’t remember if you’re headed out to Sully’s before your day off… There’s also some serious life skills to acquire.

Working as a chalet host, you’re also in charge of making sure everything in the chalet runs smoothly — from shopping to cooking to cleaning — and ensuring that guests have everything they need before you head off on your own adventures. It’ll be up to you to make your guests’ stay as enjoyable as it can be — and we all know one of the best parts of any holiday is the food.

preparing chalet food in a catered chalet in meribel

Skills for life, not just the season

A season of working at the chalets in Meribel is an experience like no other. Not only will you have heaps of fun and make firm friends with like-minded people both on the slopes and in your favourite seasonnaire bars, but you’ll also be learning on your feet.

Along with getting to practice your skiing or snowboarding every day (what could be better?!), you’ll also gain skills and knowledge that you can use long after the season is over.

In between cleaning and organising the chalet (and all the fun you’ll be having in your spare time), a big part of your working day will revolve around the three meals you’re responsible for preparing: breakfast (the most important meal of the day), afternoon tea and a delicious sit-down dinner. And if you can deliver breakfast, afternoon tea AND dinner to a group of strangers every day, there’s nothing much that could phase you in the kitchen back at home!

But we get it — this could be your first experience living away from home or in a whole new country, for that matter — cooking for and hosting a full chalet of people might seem pretty daunting (we’ve been there!).

Having a cookery course under your salopettes will equip you with the skills and confidence you need. Plus, many chalet companies in Meribel look for hosts with pre-existing hospitality skills that will give them a headstart — such as meal prep and knife skills and effective time management and organisation in the kitchen.

So, if you’re hoping to bulk up your application, a cookery course could be just the thing to help you secure your dream ski chalet job in Meribel.

Practice makes perfect — on the slopes and in the kitchen

To ensure your season goes as smooth as a freshly groomed piste, it’s well worth learning a selection of fail-safe recipes — and the skills you’ll need to execute them — to wow your guests with.

Having a simple but crowd-pleasing cake in your repertoire is essential for that post-skiing treat. Perhaps an indulgent dark chocolate sea salt cake, a twist on a classic for everyone to enjoy? Including you, if there’s any left!

Once you’ve mastered the timing for a perfectly poached egg, you’ll have breakfast nailed. And for that extra impact, why not knock up some buttermilk pancakes? It’s easier than it looks — with the right recipe!

Dinner-time is where you can have some fun practising your cooking skills. Whether you’re pan-frying salmon or taking on the challenge of a beef wellington, you’ll learn to love preparing and sharing your creations with guests.

A cookery course can help you master a wide range of go-to dishes like these and give you the confidence to put up a delicious menu, no matter your guests’ preferences and dietary requirements.

And don’t forget — you’re there to have fun too! One of the best things about living and cooking abroad is the opportunity to experience other cuisines. A firm favourite in France, you have to try the traditional tartiflette at La Galette. Packed with cheese and some much-needed carbs, this is the ultimate comfort food on wintery days. Who knows — it might end up on your menu!

Keen to up your cooking skills? The Abinger Cookery School runs a wide variety of classes all year round  — including Chalet Cooks courses (there’s limited availability left for 2021, but they’re working on dates for 2022)! We’re already looking for chalet hosts for the 2021/22 season, so it’s never too early to get prepared. We can almost smell that fresh mountain air already…

If you have questions about working as a chalet host, we’ve linked our job page and contact details here. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our team directly via info@thechaletcompany.co.uk or +44 (0)1962 899017 if you have general questions – or visit our chalet food FAQ page.

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