Photo die from personal record
The story of Maksat Zulovchinov, a 35-year-old Almati resident, has become well-known in Kazakhstan for generations – the Millennium has long ceased to be self-imposed on Kazakhstan’s borders, but wants to use its potential around the world. Maxsat is one of the most famous examples of this, and today he works as the Chief Addict-Chef at the Sheraton Maldives Mulu Moon Resort and Spa, one of the top seven restaurants. And bars. As a kid, I used to be in the hotel business and he thought he would work thousands of miles from home.
– During my school years, I studied at the Classical Art Gallery, and I thought I would become an artist. After 9th grade, I entered Almaty Business College and began studying technology as a manager. In fact, I am not a chef because of my profile education, but I have to work in a food processing company. But after I finished my first year of college, I was sent to an internship at one of the city’s cafes, and I spent three summer peeling potatoes. He later found work in another cafe, where he began working as an assistant cook. Later I was appointed cook – I was just 16 years old. Two years later I went to a better lounge bar, where I was well-versed in everything – Machsht shares his memories.
A.D. In 2007, Zulovchinov accepted an offer to move to InterContinental Almaty. As the interviewer recalls, the offer to go to a restaurant in the hotel was very appealing – there was a lot of promise here, but at the same time the salary was very low – like cooking in a living room bar, then he already accepted. 80 thousand tenge, and offered 35,000 in a new workplace, and the place is not cooking, but one of his assistants.
– Of course I was embarrassed by the size of the new contract, but they told me that if I proved I could work in a hotel, they would raise my salary to a higher level. And so it was – a few months later my salary was doubling and increasing. And when I started working there, I realized that I would not be going back to the bar or restaurant.
According to him, everything is clearly structured in large hotels and especially in hotel chains, and you understand that you are working in a really large group. There is more work here, but the work is more fun. In an ordinary restaurant, work is more common: you can prepare the same menu for several months. And there will be many more activities at the hotel: a variety of dishes and snacks for the coffee break, menus, banquets, banquets and weddings.
– This is a more diverse work in a larger group – We were only 60 chefs. And I worked in this hotel for 9 years, almost every year I was promoted, I worked up to three chefs, I took full responsibility for the kitchen… In 2016 I was asked to go to the same place. By Ritz Carlton in Almaty. And this is a completely different league – this is a luxury hotel, part of the Marriott International Hotel chain, with over 7,500 hotels, over 1 million rooms worldwide. Although they did not want me to leave, I convinced my superiors. And so I ended up in my new family, – the cooking continued the story.
A newcomer had to pass many interviews and pass exams in English to get a three-chef seat at a large hotel conglomerate. I had to learn a lot more.
– Marriott International Luxury Hotels has their own quality standards, every operation is clearly stated. This applies to both room service and restaurants. And The Ritz Carlton is no different. Here we have a special view of customers, we have to meet everything that guests want. I have never seen this in any hotel. I say this not as an employee, but as a beginner who has gone through all of this. In an ordinary restaurant, you can sometimes take simple liberties, but here this is not acceptable. So, yes, I had to learn a lot from a professional perspective – he added.
During his two years at the luxury hotel, Zulovchinov gained a lot of experience, and in 2018 he was offered the position of Chef de Quizzin by his former chef at the Ritz Carlton in Saudi Arabia. Another successful multi-level election, and after that – and going to this Muslim country.
– Ritz Carlton in Riyadh is considered to be the most important member of the Ritz Carlton brand family. This, of course, can be said to be a standard of luxury service for one. You have to understand that Saudi Arabia has many of its own laws and restrictions, and this is now, when religious requirements for living in this country have already been reduced and then – four years ago – it was even harder. Moreover, the checks themselves are very demanding in the ministry and the staff there are very well trained. In addition, a real institution remained in our hotel. For example, once a year the Saudi ruling family invites 5,000 guests from all over the world – top government officials, big investors, celebrities and so on. We also feed them three days a year. Around the clock. There were only 150 people working as cooks, and we were saddened by the staff of other Marriott hotels these days. There, the wedding with 1,000 guests is the minimum size, – said Maksat.
He has worked in Saudi Arabia for three years and By the end of 2021, he was moving to the Maldives, Furanafushi Island, the Full Moon Resort and Spa at the Sheraton Maldives. . According to Maksat, he happily agreed to the transfer.
– This is not an easy task in a Muslim country where three years of strict laws, and two years of strict sanctions, are not easy. The Maldives are also a truly wonderful place to relax after work or on vacation. Lists the interlocutor.
But Kazakhstan, he explained, had no time to relax – he had to control the operation of the hotel’s seven bars and restaurants on the island. Its working day lasts at least 14 hours, so there is not much free time.
In addition to supervising the work of the staff of Kazakhstan, they often stand behind the stove when the flow of visitors is very high or when a large family night is needed. According to Maksat, he should guide the chefs, and not just order which food to cook. Among other things, when you visit institutions, whether you have wishes with guests every day and how satisfied you are with everything. After all, the choice and preferences of visitors can be very different.
– Our chefs serve a wide variety of world cuisine to guests – from Pan-Asian to traditional European landing Mediterranean, Italian, French. They are all skilled at it. But there are also differences. Tom Yam, for example, can vary from Thai food, such as Thai regions and islands, to both cooking and preparation, and some guests may find it unusual. So, we try to find some standard options for certain foods, although sometimes we have disagreements with this. A girl from Koh Samui worked for us, and she did the same Tom-Yum in a slightly different way, and we argued about it. But she had no problem replacing it with a cook from Bangkok. We also try to order all products from home countries. Because the Sheraton Maldives Ful Moon Resort and Spa is a luxury hotel, our guests should not have any questions about food, says Maksta.
Moreover, it is often necessary to prepare foods that are not included in the menu. He also teaches the chefs to do this – the customer has to fill the restaurant to the brim.
– It is often difficult to get children to eat fast food or other snacks during the holidays. Not all kids like fish, unusual foods for themselves – so. So, to order, according to their needs, we started preparing menus for the children. We also have food for children up to the age of 12 – free of charge. It was like this when I somehow cooked a typical chicken noodle soup, and then my parents were very enthusiastic about it. These are small things, but the perception of the hotel is based on them – Plovlovinov.
He also recalls that he often made Bashbarmach for his guests.
-One of our guests in Kazakhstan brought Kazi and Zahin in foil. I did not ask him why he was telling the truth. He generally gave me this meat and told me to keep it for myself. In response, I offered to cook our national dish. He called many cooks, rolled up the dough in front of them, prepared the meat, and presented it to our guests. He was very happy. The chefs I served at Shbarmak appreciated this and asked them to cook it for them sometimes – Maksta smiled. – I arrived from Almaty in May and had some horse meat. I try not to forget how to cook Kazakhstan food.