10 Oct. 2016
This year the Relais Desserts pastry chefs’ spouses met in Padua, Italy. For three days they participated in the Relais Desserts women seminar. This 100% women’s work yearly seminar is being met with increasing success.
At Relais Desserts 99% of the pastry chefs are men (with the exception of Claire Damon, the first woman member); these men focus mainly on creating and managing their team as well as their labs, but the women’s job is just as crucial… and time consuming. These ladies handle the boutiques, organize the work and the sales people’s training, some of them also handle bookkeeping and management..
Because it is necessary to learn new techniques and markets’ evolution in every industry, Hélène Cassel re-launched the Relais Desserts women Seminar in 2012. Every year it takes place right after the Yssingeaux one, which gathers the pastry chefs; it’s a 100 % women seminar designed to improve management and sales techniques, solve problems and share experiences. Indeed, sharing, exchanging and conviviality — Relais Desserts known values — are not just men’s domain!
So, Sandra Biasetto welcomed her counterparts in her pretty city of Padua at the end of September. This is where she and her husband Luigi Biasetto opened their boutique, 18 years ago. As she explains: “Women are indispensable and if we don’t work alongside our husbands, we cannot understand the abnegation this profession demands. As a matter of fact, a couple’s relationship would quickly be in trouble. It is important to nourish and share the same passion. Together, we are one.” Sandra has been working alongside her husband for 26 years now, ever since they met.
So, for this 5th edition (that followed the one in Annecy, France, organized last year by Nathalie Agnellet), no less than 21 women made the trip from France, Belgium, Luxemburg, Lebanon and of course Italy. “It is very important to get proper training in every profession, whether it be to share ideas or experiences but also problems because even though we are not in the same country, the problems remain the same. It is an opportunity for us to come up with solutions, work in better conditions, grow and of course meet each other.”
More specifically, these ladies got special training with Véronique Liniere on how to improve company’s profits through additional sales. But this seminar was also an opportunity to study up close the understanding of the aging of products and new techniques of conservation through the expertise of Luigi and Alessandro Biasetto. What else? A talk by Valrhona on a project of a “Cocoa Forest” as well as wine tasting organized during a luncheon the Biasettos offered in their boutique. Working lunch, certo! But on the fun side! As a matter of fact, the luncheon was followed with an Illy Coffee tasting to learn everything there is to know about savoring and coordinating sweets and coffee.
And since Padua is near the “Serenissima”, a guided visit to Venice to discover its nooks and crannies brought this Relais Desserts women seminar to a close. Stupendo!
Front page, the whole group of the Relais Desserts “wives” together for this 2016 edition.
Photo: Valentina Gallimberti Ballarin