The Caterer

Mathias Negro – My worst job

16 October 2009
Mathias Negro – My worst job

Mathias Negro is the head sommelier at Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester.

What has been your worst job?

It was a summer job, like most 17-year-old teenagers do to make some money. I worked on the front desk of a three-star hotel in the Côte d'Azur.

What was so bad about it?

Instead of being at the front desk, I was in charge of the solarium, which meant that I had to clean showers and toilets. At lunchtime I had to make sandwiches, salads and a few quick desserts.

The worst thing was the 35°C heat in the bar and friends asking me if I wanted to go to the beach with them. Imagine how I felt.

What did you learn from the job?

I learnt how to do salads and sandwiches! But the main things I learnt were: rigour, organisation, speed - and how to read a contract.

What is the best bit of your current role?

What I like about my job is the guest contact, to be working with a two-Michelin-starred wine list and to learn something new everyday with people who are passionate about their jobs.

I take pride in finding smaller domains as well as offering exclusive wines to the restaurant. Guests can enjoy my "coups de coeur" wines by the glass or the bottle. I try to offer a personal, tailor-made wine service that is friendly and accessible and transmit my true passion for a unique experience.

What's next?

When I arrived in England, it was for six months only. That was three years ago, so I don't know where I will be in three years' time.

The only thing I'm sure about is my motivation to improve in my job.

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