“A gifted young man who adapts himself easily to each situation and always strives to do his best, Jean-Christophe played an integral part in a department whose main role was to ensure perfect table arts [...] while always promoting human relationships as well as total customer satisfaction.”
This is how Christophe Rouen, Banquet Manager of the Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris recommended Jean-Christophe Domenech to his peers, after his very first Vatel internship in 2006. Since then, Jean-Christophe has worked in gourmet restaurants in London, in the Le Bristol and Plaza Athenee Palaces, before being hired as the Management Auditor of the five-star luxury Hotel Lancaster in Paris. And this is where he currently works.
Hello Jean-Christophe. You’ve been the Management Auditor for over a year now at the Hotel Lancaster. What does a Management Auditor do exactly?
I make sure the hotel is correctly managed. That consists in:
- cost and income controls, commissions granted to travel agencies,
- managing receivables, cash and inventory in the hotel,
- drawing up and monitoring the budget,
- analyzing our results with senior management.
And this is what you’ve always wanted to do?
Well, let’s say that I’ve always wanted to work in hospitality. And what made me want to attend Vatel, was an opportunity I had when I was little. I went to New York for the 1999 Christmas break - I was then about 13 years old, and we stayed in the Marriott Times Square Hotel. As soon as I set foot in this hotel, I said to myself, one day I’d like to manage a hotel like this. It was magical; you could almost say I was dumbstruck!
I did a math and scientific high school diploma at the Carnot Lycee in the 17th district of Paris, the same one where Vatel is located. So it just seemed natural to me to enroll in Vatel.
And I have great memories of my time there. Especially of practical application weeks. It’s so satisfying to transform theoretical knowledge into practical applications and to meet the expectations of your first real customers. I remember a week, when exceptionally, one of our practical application instructors was absent, and we all went the extra mile for him. And let me tell you, we did a great job!
Hotel Lancaster is a five-star luxury boutique-hotel. Could you describe it for us?
The Hotel is located right next to the Champs-Elysees. It was built in 1889 as a private residence before hosting famous guests such as Clark Gable, Grace Kelly and Marlene Dietrich, who stayed for three years, making the Lancaster the epitome of Paris and its culture. It is decorated with a mixture of contemporary and traditional art and some of its 57 rooms have a view of the Patio. Our restaurant, “La Table du Lancaster,” is well-known for its creative dishes, its elegant dining rooms and the quality of its service. Our Master Chef, Julien Roucheteau, has a star in the Michelin Guidebook, and in 2013 he won the second Cooking Contest of the President of the French Republic.