Andreas Hoehne, chef at InterContinental Bucharest

Andreas Hoehne, executive chef of Intercontinental Hotel discovered his passion for culinary art at the early age of 13. Then, he went to a famous restaurant in Wimbern, his native city in Germany, asking the chef who was also the owner of the restaurant a summer job.

“The owner of the restaurant was so excited that a kid like me came to him asking for a summer job, that after I finished high school, he offered me a position in his restaurant. This how my career started, in 1985”, Andreas Hoehne recalls.

Later on, he attended the classes of the Culinary School in Germany in order to improve his skills in the field. Afterwards, he attended other classes, such as in hygiene in kitchen or coursers in culinary arts trainers, receiving HACCP certificate within the hotel chain Shangri La.

After working in different hotels and luxury restaurants in Germany, in 1992, Hoehne leaves country to practice for three years in Hotel Hungary in Budapest. Afterwards, he returns to his home country, at Freiburg, for three years, after which he accepts the job offer at Movenpick Luxor Resort in Egipt.
In 2004 he starts his journey in the Far East, where he worked as a chef at luxury hotels Shangri La Shenzhen and Shangri La Guangzhou.

His last stop before coming in Bucharest at InterContinental Hotel was in July this year, at Mactan Resort & Spa from Cebu, Philippines.

Bernd Kirsch, Radisson Sas

Bernd Kirsch, executive chef at Radisson Sas started his career in 1983, attending bakery courses. In time, he realized he would very much like to become a cook, as this would give him the opportunity to travel, to discover other countries, cultures and to meet special persons.

Therefore, at the age of 20, after three years of apprenticeship, he started his career as cook in Romantik hotel in Germany, Black Forest where he accumulated the basic instruction in culinary art.

While he had been working at the hotel, he had also been attending the 3-years cooking courses at a special school in Black Forest.

“For me, practicing is very important. Of course, it is recommendable to have the basic knowledge, to learn how to plan a menu, to offer your services at the highest standards and to be familiar with all the ingredients and the name of dishes”, said Bernd Kirsch.

After his departure from Germany, he worked in five-star hotels in Switzerland, discovering new culinary styles and to gain experience. The first contact with Radisson was back in 1992 at Radisson SAS Royal hotel from Brussels. The next on the list were Germany, Spain, Great Britain and United Arab Emirates, where he worked for five years at Beach Rotana Hotels and Towers from Abu Dhabi, as Sous Chef, Executive Sous Chef and Executive Chef.

Clayton Powell, the new Executive Chief at Athenee Palace Hilton

Clayton Powell, the new Executive Chief at Athenee Palace Hilton thinks talent and passion are two different things, and it is no surprise if they arrive at different times.

“The talent probably came first, when I, first started working for my sisters boyfriend in the restaurant that he ran. I would help with the vegetables and washing up”, said Clayton.

At that age, he was more about getting extra money than anything else. He was a quick learner, and he was encouraged to pursue this profession. He started there working part-time, when he was still at school.

Later on, he attended the courses of Nottingham’s culinary school, and he also worked part-time in the restaurant whilst he studied. This gave him a slight advantage over the other students as he was constantly learning new things in the restaurant and also getting to put in practice the things that he learnt in school.

“To pinpoint the passion is a lot harder, as it has been a more gradual process.You must go through the highs and lows of a career to develop a true passion”, Clayton thinks.

The kitchen itself is where he developed his skills. He did not specialize in one area. He is generally a good all-rounder and this is very helpful in the position of Chief Executive.

“This way, you can give advice and guidance to all the team, be it the Pastry kitchen, Italian kitchen, French styled kitchen or the banqueting kitchen. All of these kitchens have different styles and need or demand a different approach”.

Before coming to Hilton Bucharest as Executive Chief, he had been working for Hilton Prague in Czech Republic. Prior to that, he had been working at Hilton Amsterdam for nearly three years.