It’s in the year 2015 that Laurent Guiraud made my career shift. As Vatel was entering India the university was looking for someone to implement and kick start the programme. I think my name came up as I was French and so was Vatel and my cultural ambivalence acquired over the years spent in India helped me a lot to frame the exception to the curriculum and my colleagues to cohere to the programme.
I often say that I wonder who of the students or I have learned the most from this wonderful experience. It has been a tremendous honour and a chance to have been associated with this programme. We have had many success stories over the years and I look forward to many more to come.
Tell us about your journey from restaurants to education?
It has been a real treat, I love teaching, it came very naturally probably because I am from a hospitality background and we have the patience and the empathy needed for the job. Also my experience as an Hotelier/restaurateur over the years helps me convey entrepreneurship’s values to the students.
What do you view as your most important contribution to the daily operations of your college?
The rigour as it is most important for future hospitality professionals to succeed and the constant availability to students.
Is there a change you wish to bring in beverage/hospitality education in India?
I think beverages must be highlighted in a much bigger way, a relaxation in excise law for hospitality colleges and universities would be a good start so we can finally have mixology classes and tasting sessions.
What Laurent Guiraud views on the rise of craft Indian beverages (gin, tonics, beers etc.)?
It’s very promising, I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for india to create a mark internationally with high quality spirits, wines and beers. No doubt the trend is going to grow and we will see soon many more products on our shelves. It’s very good for the consumer as well, he can now buy equal or better quality domestic products which are better value for money.
If you were a college student again for a day, what would you do?
I would make a point to tell my teachers how great they are and what a difference they made in my life!!
What’s your favourite tipple at the end of a busy day?
A crystal highball, lots of ice, gin, tonic water and a wedge of lemon.
What is your advice to young professionals seeking a career in the education field?
To first learn the ropes in the industry in the department of their choice, build a strong industry connect, go for higher studies to back up the experience with solid academics.