Team Out of Town Blog Hub (Outoftownblog.com) – Embellished with a flair in international hospitality management, discover how the constant motion from ocean to the ocean has enabled Jessa Jastrzemski, amid the ups and downs of the industry, to develop her professional experience under the guidance of world-renowned culinary masters and the environment of Michelin-star restaurants.
Jessa Gargollo Jastrzemski has always had a passion for hospitality. Her love for good food has guided her throughout her career, which gave her the same reason she pursued an international hospitality management degree in Enderun Colleges, specializing in culinary arts.
“One of the best things about hospitality for me are the countless opportunities to work and travel around the world. I grew up moving from country to country, [that’s why traveling] became quite comforting and a huge source of motivation for me,” she said. “Back in 2007, when Enderun first opened its doors in Ortigas, I thought Enderun had a great network that could help me get my career started abroad. I have to agree that it’s one of the best platforms in the country that will prepare you to work within competitive companies around the world.”
Jastrzemski started her career strong when she had her internship at The Fat Duck, ??Heston Blumenthal’s three Michelin-star restaurants in Maidenhead, England, famous for serving innovative modern British cuisine. She has learned valuable experiences on the nature of working under pressure and the standard of quality required at three Michelin-star restaurants.
After her compelling stint in the United Kingdom, Jastrzemski flew to Spain and was immersed in the culture and trend of Basque cuisine at Josean Martinez Alija Guggenheim Restaurant in Bilbao. She also attended training sessions in untitled meat and poultry, Mediterranean cuisine, and finger food under chefs Phillip Gollino, Timothy Briggs, and E. Lacaille at the Le Centre de Formation d’ Alain Ducasse in Argenteuil, France, which is presently known as Ducasse Paris. “I’ve been very fortunate to work with some incredible professionals in the industry who have been quite inspirational throughout my career. Sometimes, magic happens in the most unexpected places. And I feel like there have been parts of my career that have made me feel that way. Being at the right place at the right time with the right people.” she said.
In 2012, Jastrzemski had the opportunity to meet Giorgio Nava during The Flemish Primitives 2011 in Belgium while she was a senior student in graduate school. She gladly joined the “Meat Masterclass” presentation Nava conducted during the conference and expressed her interest in working with him upon graduation. She said, “He invited me to work with him the following year, and I spent five months in Cape Town, South Africa, until my working/holiday visa expired.”
Before the year ended, Jastrzemski moved to Paris, France, and joined Restaurant Rech—an opportunity came about through Enderun’s partnership with Alain Ducasse. She recalled that the most memorable experience she had was when she assisted Chef Adrien Trolloud in representing a dish by Alain Ducasse at the Peixe em Lisboa — Lisbon Fish & Flavors 2013, in Lisbon, Portugal. Eventually, she traveled back to London and explored a different path where she worked as a Sales Executive for FOUR, a multi-award-winning lifestyle magazine.
In 2015, she decided to move to Australia and explore the possibilities on the other side of the world. She became part of InterContinental Hotel Melbourne The Rialto, Pure South Dining, The Press Club, and Brae in Birregurra, Victoria.
Before the pandemic, Jastrzemski was due to start a new role after moving back to Melbourne’s central business district. She accepted a new role as an assistant restaurant manager for the country’s most anticipated restaurant opening, Society, which was due to open in June 2020. “By the time March came around, they announced that the city was going into lockdown, and so I made the decision to [spend the summer in Greece]. Little did I know, I would be out of the country until today. I made the decision to move back to London towards the end of 2020, after what felt like a year-long sabbatical,” she explained.
“I suppose I faced challenges similar to many people all over the world. Facing the reality that I could not re-enter a country I’ve considered home for the past five years, and a government that only gave sponsored visa workers the access to 25% of their retirement fund as a gesture of ‘goodwill.’”
As explained further by Jastrzemski, the real challenge was that Australia, like so many unique countries all over the world, was built by immigrants. She shared, “Speaking to friends and colleagues back in Melbourne, I’m told that they are facing immense skilled shortages which have impacted the food and lifestyle culture that everyone knows immensely.”
Currently, Jastrzemski is assisting the sommelier team at La Dame de Pic at The Four Seasons Hotel, a two-Michelin star restaurant located in London. She’s also at the moment organizing the coffee & tea program for The Ledbury, also a two Michelin star restaurant, which is set to open at the beginning of 2022, where she’ll be coming on board as the Assistant Restaurant Manager.
Jastrzemski believes that at the end of the day, the attitude you come with to work every day will determine how you feel, how your team perceives you, and eventually what the guest appreciates.
“Milestones for me are the memorable moments you create for others. They can remember the moments for the rest of their lives because of how you manage to make them feel. Human connection is so powerful, especially in such a divided world.”