After her Grand Diplôme in 2006, Ratana made trips to improve her culinary experience. After that, she cames back in France to work in prestigious restaurants and she became private chef at the ambassador's residence in Paris.
Interview with Renata Portasio
What made you study cuisine?
After studying hospitality at university, I decided to specialize in cuisine.
What is your favourite memory from your adventure at Le Cordon Bleu Institute in Paris?
The 6 months I spent as assistant to the Chefs: they passed on so much of their expertise during that time.
Could you tell us briefly about your career path?
After graduating with my Diploma, I went to the Paul BOCUSE institute in the Lyon region of France then to the ICIF in Italy. I continued to strengthen my culinary skills by working in key roles in a number of prestigious restaurants in France, Italy and Portugal.
Upon my return to France, I worked for 5 years at Le Meridien Montparnasse, part of the Starwood Hotels & Resorts group. The hotel went on to become Le Pullman Paris Montparnasse, part of the AccorHotels group.
I wanted to continue to evolve and learn new skills and, thanks to the unwavering support of my family and friends, I went on to compete for the position of Executive Chef at the Brazilian Embassy, organized by the Brazilian government.
You are chef at the ambassador's residence in Paris, when and how this adventure began?
As I just said, in 2014, during a contest organized by the Brazilian government, I was selected to become Chef at the ambassador's residence in Paris, as a French Chef as that was the position I replaced.
In what being a private chef is different thant being a chef in a restaurant / hotel?
There is a great deal of responsibility. All the meals for the ambassador, and the leaders they invite to dine at the residence, must be both managed and made. Their status in France also makes this job unique. For me, it is like cooking for the "president" of my country and that makes me extremely proud.
What do you make to improve yourself everyday?
I make a concerted effort to remain "connected" to my former colleagues and the media in order to be aware of new trends. We change recipes and I try new things every week with the menus I prepare at the residency. I also read and travel extensively.
What advice would you give to future cuisine students?
It is important to be aware that the world of cuisine is not to be taken lightly, it is tiring and undervalued but if you have a dream, do your best to achieve it and don't let anyone tell you that you can't reach your goals. Make sure you stay true to yourself and remain focused on your objectives.
Could you describe your new life in Paris?
I have been living in France for the past 12 years, it is my adopted home, I think I am a little bit French now.
What are your plans for the future?
One day I would like to pass my love, work ethic, discipline and experience to a new generation of chefs. Perhaps as a teacher in this school, which is so highly reputed and which trained me, or perhaps in my very own cooking school.