Waking up in the mountains and heading straight out to the snow for an exhilarating day of skiing (or snowboarding!) is truly enchanting.

But we all know the key to a good ski session is a delicious, filling breakfast — freshly baked, soft yet flaky croissants are the best way to start any day. And after hitting the slopes and mingling on the peaks and in the valleys at après, there’s nothing better than getting back to the cosy warmth of the chalet to indulge in some seriously mouth-watering food.

Who makes the magic happen behind the scenes? The wonderful chalet hosts, of course!

There’s far more to a ski season than the skiing itself. In a day in the life of a chalet worker, you’ll do it all: planning, shopping, cooking, cleaning, restocking. You’re in charge of the day-to-day running of the chalet, and it’s your job to ensure your guests have an enjoyable, stress-free stay — as well as full stomachs (and glasses!).

Feeding a houseful (chaletful?) of strangers may be a daunting prospect, but with the proper knowledge and a bit of preparation — and a handful of sure-fire recipes — you’ll be amazed at what you can do.

Whether you’re new to the world of cooking or already have a few go-to recipes up your sleeve, a chalet cookery course is an ideal way to gain confidence as a cook and a host.

Skills that’ll stick around — even after the snow melts

Ski seasons provide the opportunity to work as part of a team and learn valuable skills for life. Not only will you have fun on the slopes (or après!) and make firm friends with like-minded people, but you’ll also be learning on your feet.

It might be the first time you’re living away from home — and in a whole new country — for a significant period. So, even if you won’t be heading off to shoop shoop your way down a mountain for a while yet, there’s no harm in equipping yourself with the skills and confidence you’ll need — especially as having a cookery course under your salopettes could help you secure a chalet job at your dream resort. (We love Meribel in France!)

A cookery course can also offer many skills that’ll prove invaluable in other aspects of life — from developing your knife skills and learning how to meal prep to effective time management and organisation in the kitchen.

Knowing how to budget, host and cook will be an asset to you beyond the season — from university to future ‘grown-up’ dinner parties. If you can deliver breakfast, afternoon tea AND dinner to a group of strangers every day, there’s nothing much that could phase you in the kitchen back at home!

Melt their hearts with food they’ll apré-ciate

As a chalet host, you’ll be making a wide range of dishes and courses, and your menu will vary depending on your guests’ preferences and dietary requirements.

Chalet guests might love waking up to a fresh stack of fluffy American pancakes or look forward to returning home to an afternoon tea spread — complete with a star-baker dark chocolate and sea salt cake. If you really want to show off, you could try pulling out all the stops with homemade ravioli or a confit duck leg (impressive!). Followed by a rich sticky toffee pudding packed with dates and a silky sauce, your guests are guaranteed to leave the table thoroughly satisfied.

Learning how to nail an arsenal of staple, reliable dishes will give you an excellent basis to work from and the confidence to get creative in the kitchen.

Just make sure you save some bites for yourself, too! One of the best things about living and cooking abroad is the opportunity to experience other cuisines. In France, tartiflette — an indulgent dish stacked with layers of reblochon cheese, potatoes, lardons and onions — is a fond favourite.

But in the meantime, why not have a go at cooking something that will make you feel like you’re already on top of a snowy mountain? Our spiced pumpkin soup should fit the bill…

Peaked your interest?

Pun intended. If you aspire to work a ski season for a company like The Chalet Company, why not start building your CV with a cookery course? Our five-day and 10-day Chalet Cooks courses have limited availability for 2021, but keep an eye out for 2022 dates!

We also offer many other classes that’ll teach you all you need to know. From mastering the basics like perfectly poached eggs to extreme challenges like a squid ink ravioli with salmon and prawns, prawn bisque, tomato fluid gel and a squid ink tuille…

Fancy, huh?