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Creating Wines of Distinction

Nomvula in the Netherlands (2)

The past two weeks have been amazing. I am more independent and allowed to run my own section of tables, taking orders, putting them in the system, etc. The people who work with me have the confidence to let me work on my own and I also have more confidence in myself. I now know what I am doing, and if there’s something I don’t know, there are always my colleagues to help me out.

Teamwork is the key. It makes the workflow more manageable as we are constantly on our feet until the end of our shift. The only time we can sit down is when we are eating dinner at 16h30 – then at least one can have a 30 minute break. I have the best support system ever, from my managers and my colleagues.

No one babysits anyone here. One needs to take the responsibility of asking questions when you don’t know something. It doesn’t get to you when you get corrected for something (because it’s not personal). With the right attitude, you allow yourself to learn more. I am learning about myself every day, also how to be more patient.

The dinner shift is quieter, with lovely mellow music. Tables don’t get turned, as the chefs need to know the exact number of guests, and the guests can enjoy their three to four courses without being in a rush. Whenever the Creation Viognier is paired with a dish, there’s a discussion about the collaboration. So the next day when I serve breakfast or lunch, there will be guests interested in knowing more about my two fellow chefs and me. We feel like Celebrities!

I have two managers. Arnold helped me in my first weeks to get to know the menu. My second manager or director is Arjen, who likes to share his wine knowledge with me, even though I am not a host. I recently learned about one of the wines from the first black female winemaker in South Africa. She is from KwaZulu Natal and studied at the University of Stellenbosch. It was so interesting to learn about her and I had to share this with Artwell since he is one of the hosts and would like to make his own wine one day.

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