The Four Seasons Hotel Canary Wharf wows guests with its spectacular views of the River Thames. And if
it’s also making waves for its cuisine during conferences and events, Julie Alkofer will have something to do with it.
Julie’s first ever full-time job was as a waitress at the very same hotel where she is now Associate Director of Catering.
She credits her passion for food and hard work for her success, but being focussed on her personal goals helped too.
Even at 17, having obtained her French, she knew she wanted a hands-on career where experience and skills were as important as academic achievement. Before enrolling at Institute Paul Bocuse, led by the famous Michelin-starred chef, she managed to secure a two-week placement in a 5-star hotel in Paris. She was on her way, and before joining Four Seasons enjoyed placements as a waitress, in room service, the kitchens and housekeeping.
Up to now she still can’t believe she was once the recipient of an Acorn Award for the UK hospitality industry’s young high fliers. ‘I worked really hard on my written essay and was never satisfied by the
result. Nonetheless, it seems to have worked!’ she says.
Today, Julie enjoys handling the various pressures of her job and juggling multiple priorities.
In the end, what counts to her is outperforming guests’ expectations and seeing the satisfaction this brings.
‘Be humble when you start in this industry,’ she advises. ‘Learn by observing and don’t be put off by starting at a junior level. It’s the best way to progress.
Find a role model you can look up to, and talk to. And make sure to follow one direction.
This is a demanding industry, and it’s easy to be diverted from your personal goals.’
Training & Qualifications:
Hotel Management Diploma, On-the-Job