Emmanuel Soulière, Executive Chef of Conrad Macau, Cotai Central and one of the founding members of the Association of the International Disciples Escoffier in Asia, is an innovator in many aspects, ranging from culinary innovation, communication and internal marketing to training his culturally diverse chefs. With 24 years of experience behind him in the food and beverage industry, he shares with us how creativity acts as one of the key components towards successful internal communication and cultural collaboration.Inside the hotel, Chef Emmanuel has set up a “photo laboratory” to strengthen the internal bonding by visualising quality as well as sharing it with the organisation. “We have chosen a place and decorated it with photos of food. The objective of this work is to communicate internally and to our organisation that the quest for excellence is embedded in our large-scale operations.” Appreciation towards the work of the chefs is translated into these pictures that are selected with demanding standards. Seeing himself as an internal marketing person, he plans to take his undertaking beyond any boundaries with a network of talent on the social media channels that shares both passion and knowledge.
Embracing a learning attitude, he shares with his team his culinary knowledge but modestly denies that he is the most innovative amongst them all. “We do not ask me for that; we ask me to be a good leader,’ he said. Learning the art of cooking is as if learning a language. Different techniques produce different results and the techniques are always evolving. In the end the dishes present the outcome of the combination of the techniques. “We are definitely influenced by what is around us. When it comes to cooking, we have done a lot of new discoveries. There are things that must be done in a classical way, when we do not change anything. We respect the original techniques and the recipes, to bring out the best of them. Yet, when we create special dinners or meals, we can mix the different techniques together and create more freely.” The respect for tradition goes parallel with the infusion of techniques when it is more practical according to Chef Emmanuel.
Considering himself a gourmand and a fan of different types of cuisine, he prefers enjoying the food where it comes from. Both food and professionalism travel, but he believes that where the recipe has been created with the chefs and the authors around it, it is worth traveling there for the best it has to offer. While food is worthy of travelling the distance for, he would encourage his team to travel a little bit further away from their own comfort zone. “Being sharp on what I would like them to achieve; yes I can be. And then later little by little mentality changes, so do the ideas. I move forward more slowly in some areas, but I know that I have changed a lot of habits.”
In the food and beverage industry, challenges are constant towards intellectuality and sensibility, which Chef Emmanuel sees as a very positive side of this profession. With the need to master enormous amount of techniques, it is important to continue to learn and evolve with the industry. To him, it is common sense to take confidence in the people whom he works with and make each individual progress as he does himself.