Clarence D’souza, Executive Chef at Nanu Resort
Mr. Clarence D’souza has been in this industry for the past 15 years. After completing his education from IHM Bhopal, he started his career in 2005, working with Club Mahindra Goa. He joined as a hotel operations trainee. Within merely 7 months he was promoted to Demi Chef De Partie. He had to leave Club Mahindra as he met with an accident and post that he joined Lemon Tree during the preopening of the hotel. He later got an opportunity to work abroad in Italy on a cruise liner. Promotions were constant part of his journey however he had to leave it all behind and come home as his family needed him. He rightly says, “As important our professional life is, our personal and family life is important as well.”
In Goa, he joined The O Hotel in Candolim as a Senior Chef de Partie. Within 9 months he was promoted to Junior Sous Chef, then as Chef and was part of The O Hotel till 2015. He was also a part of The Seashell Hospitality and Nanu Resort as an Executive Chef, preopening in Arambol and is still a part of the property till date.
His inspiration to choose this profession was his family. He says, “My family members are foodie. My grandmother and my mother used to cook and I used to be in the kitchen. I even used to help my neighbors if they had a party. I also used to help a small catering agency next to my house whenever the owner fell short of manpower. So these are the small things that really inspired me. When I was a child, I told my grandfather,‘One day I will have a hotel in the Maldives and I will take you over there.’ Many of my family members are hoteliers as well”.
He believes punctuality, hard work, smart work and team work are what lead you to success. “If these ideas don’t meet up then we have to see which idea is good and along with that, you try bring up things to solve the problems instead of making more problems. So you have to gel well with the other person.”
He updates himself about the trends through Google. He is also a member of CFG, which is the Culinary Forum of Goa. He exchanges recipes and also follows Masterchef and other small cooking programs on YouTube.
He sees himself as someone who is still growing professionally but in the next 5 years he also sees himself as a successful chef. “I would also prefer to be a good mentor to my colleagues and subordinates and prefer training the people who are not qualified well. I have even trained gardeners, Commi 1 and Commi 2. In the future, I would love to see others grow wherein they will see me at a respectable position. At least, whenever they see me they will stop and hello me or ask me how I am.”
Customer satisfaction and having unity and harmony with the kitchen staff and in the hotel itself is his passion. “Smiling guests, happy staff members working under you, bosses happy with your performance, that drives me. That is the fuel that ignites my passion.”
With regards to changes in the courses of IHM he says, “Being an IHM student myself, a lot of things have changed till now. They need to take up the initiative to conduct workshops specially on team building on subjects like Train The Trainer and Crises Management as we know we are going through a very bad stage now. Covid19 has really struck us very badly and has taught us to not only concentrate on culinary or FNB or housekeeping. These workshops will really help the upcoming students who are going to enter this industry. Their minds will already be prepared to handle the situation. Even we were not ready to accept such things because we have never gone through such a bad stage. We have seen recessions but this is a Pandemic.”
He further says that tourism is the most neglected topic or subject in our country. “Our country has vast traditions and cultures. This is the most important thing to attract the outside world to India which will indirectly help in the upcoming and the upbringing of the economy. Take for example Goa. We have beaches, churches and temples. But people have already seen this in Goa so we need to improve the infrastructure. We can start Eco Tourism. If you see Covid 19, there is no financial package which is being given to the hotel industry. If there as some reductions in fees or taxations or demand and supply then that would be great.”
“Tourism can be the best in India because you name the place and we have it. If you want to go to Switzerland, you have Nainital to visit in India. If you want to go to the Caribbean islands we have we have the Andaman and the Lakshadweep or if you want to go beaches like Miami we have Goa and Kerela. We can really boost up tourism. India itself is a self marketing place. There should be a universal body taking charge of all the braches of tourism. We have so many associations that sometimes we being hoteliers get confused. So some relaxation and we will really rock the world. We Indians say ‘Guest is God’ and we really treat our guests very well.”
Thank you Chef Clarence. Love the fact that you are so passionate about your profession. Your smiling face is what we all love to see here in NANU. Good luck to you for now n always.