We catch up with Chef Sylvain Marrai and get his take on the future of the industry
1. Can you tell us about your current role?
I am the Executive pastry chef of the Italian complex at la Centrale in Brickell city centre
in Miami. Based in a mall with 3 different floor, 6 restaurants, 2 pastry display and cooking class.
2. What has been some of the highlights of this position?
It been challenging since I took this position 6 months ago.
Building a new team, change all the desserts for the outlets, create a relation with our guests, improve the service are some of the highlights we went through.
3. Can you tell us abit about your career before this current position?
I started working in kitchen at the age of 16 years old, my mom gave me the love for the food, the passion. I did 4 years in the kitchen (in alternance : 1 week at the school & 3 weeks in the restaurant ). Then I did a speciality in pastry for 1 year with Christophe Lavocat in a relais & Chateaux. He taught me the basic, showed me the pastry world in a different perspective. Then I worked for few Michelins stars restaurant. ( L'oustau de Baumaniere / Michel Guerard / Alain Ducasse louis Xv / Pic / Chateau Eza & Chateau de la chevre d'or )
It’s been 6 years since I moved in America. I had the opportunity to take an Executive chef position for the Setai hotel in Miami. Then I worked for Chefs Club by Food & wine
in Aspen / NYC and then I came back to Miami at the Fisher island Club, and I just took over La centrale Italian food hall where we create a mix influence French / Italian with some Latinos vibes.
4. What do you see as the biggest challenges facing the industry at the moment?
The biggest challenge I wish we can have better Culinary School in America with affordable price for the students. Motivate the new generation with the hospitality industry, sharing the tips with FOH & BOH, encourage a better rate, find passionate employees.
5. What do you see as a possible solution to the growing shortage of chefs?
More appreciation & understanding for our job. Valorise quality and professionalism.