Alumnus Fabio Mecchina
Diploma in Culinary Management
After graduating from high school Fabio worked as a butcher in a shop then as a pizza maker, and gradually got more into cooking. At the end of 2012 Fabio did a course in the culinary arts in Italy. Straight after this he moved to London where he trained and worked in many Michelin-starred Restaurants.
After gaining enough experience and confidence Fabio decided to move back to Italy to open up his own restaurant business, Soul, and to help him on this new venture, he decided to gain the Diploma in Culinary Management.
What made you decide to train in the culinary arts?
"I fell in love with cooking through my working experiences. Little by little, acknowledging that the culinary world is so wide, I decided I had to turn my passion into my profession. Expressing myself with cooking and seeing people happy after a dining experience makes me feel like I accomplish daily what I worked hard for."
Why did you choose to come to Le Cordon Bleu London?
"Ever since I got into business I strived for excellence. I’ve always seen Le Cordon Bleu London as a pivotal spot to complete my studying journey. That’s why I decided to join the Diploma in Culinary Management, having to learn exactly what’s behind starting and running a successful restaurant."
How did your culinary training studying at Le Cordon Bleu London help you to start your career?
"It mainly helped me a lot in creating the most realistic business plan possible. From that I was able to follow the timeline and stick to the planning. It helped a lot having the chance to consult with classmates from all around the world and open my mind.
Cooking is such a small component in running a business, which is a much bigger deal. Decision making was the most important skill I developed. Being able to see the mission from different angles and making the most appropriate decision definitely helped me through the huge problems caused by the pandemic."
What advice would you give to someone looking to follow in your footsteps?
"Be passionate, dedicate all the love you’ve got for cooking to push yourself beyond the limit. It’s a hard job but the more you sacrifice in it, the more you get back. I managed to work in some of the best places in the country learning from some of the best professionals in the world because I put everything into it. Share your knowledge with others, open up your mind and have fun."
What does Le Cordon Bleu represent for you in a few words?
"Le Cordon Bleu is the perfect example of professionalism, excellence and ambition. I feel like these are the values I can rely on the most. Example is the best way of leading. The Chefs and Teachers are able to transmit passion and love for their job to students and that’s the most important thing to me."
How would you describe your current role?
"I’m Chef and Owner of Soul Restaurant in Italy. I really have to take care of all the aspects of it.
Building the menu, doing mise en place and taking active part during service is the ‘easy’ part. Thanks to the Diploma in Culinary Management I’m able to take care of every aspect that go beyond."
How did you get into this role?
"After getting knowledge and experience both on the books and in the kitchen I managed to reach my goals opening my own restaurant."
What does your day-to-day look like?
"After waking up in the morning I go to the market where I can make sure every item of the menu is fresh and high quality. Late morning I get into the kitchen and start pushing on mise en place to make sure everything is ready to perfection by service time.
Meanwhile I have to build relationships and make orders to other suppliers, meeting the accountant and other people related to the management aspects of the activity. At 7pm we have a brief with the Front of the house to make sure everything is set and find out if we have particular requests from any guest. It’s pretty much every chef’s busy long day."
What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
"The hardest problem we are facing right now is the actual shortage of staff. Young people are generally not willing to understand that they have to sacrifice and put a lot of effort to achieve anything in this competitive industry.
Having a 30 seat fine dining restaurant and spending most of the time by myself in the kitchen is pretty challenging and forces me to have a minimum 14 hour shift. The worst I once did was 32 hours."
What is your inspiration?
"I would say my biggest inspiration is the desire to achieve my goals. I love to keep trying to improve and study a lot of techniques from some of the best Chefs in the world. Going out and dining in great restaurants helps me open my mind and come up with new ideas."
What part of the role are you most passionate about?
"We have the chance everyday to express ourselves through food. To see that it is an opportunity to make people happy, giving them a unique dining experience, I feel that is one of the best parts of the role. It is also a big responsibility, so we need to continue being passionate enough to keep up the standards and live up to expectations."
Do you have anything exciting coming up in the future?
"I consider the restaurant as an evolving project. First thing I’d like to find good staff to rely on and build a consistent high standard level of both food and service. Our biggest goal is to gain a Michelin star and I think we are moving in the right direction even though there’s still a lot of work to do. We’d also like to open another side business such as a wine bar that will help in the growth of our project.
Step by step everything is achievable by working hard, believing in ourselves and studying how to improve under every aspect."
Inspired by Fabio's journey? Find out how you can follow in her footsteps by finding out more about our Diploma in Culinary Management, or by visiting our programmes page to view the full list of courses available and start your culinary journey today.