The Reception and Events Coordinator at Tredwells, Beth, recently went to New York, and had the fantastic opportunity of experiencing a day of work the NoMad hotel on Broadway. Find out how she got on below.
BETHANY MORGAN JONES,
RECEPTION AND EVENTS COORDINATOR, TREDWELLS
I am extremely lucky as my boyfriend is currently working as a chef at Eleven Madison Park in New York, which means I get to visit him! During my latest trip to NYC, I undertook a day stage at EMP’s 1 michelin starred sister restaurant, the NoMad, kindly organized by our Group Operations Director, Chantelle Nicholson.
On the day of my visit, storm Stella had struck the city. Weather warnings and news reports advised not to travel and to stay indoors, but I had been so excited for this day, neither Stella nor anyone was going to stop me! Manhattan was covered in a foot of snow and the city was a ghost town.
I met Bryan, the Food and Beverage Manager, at 11am in the dark, elegant lobby. He showed me the dining rooms: the Atrium, The Parlour, The Elephant Bar, The Nomad Bar, the Fireplace, the Library, and the Rooftop where they host exclusive events. He took me to the back of house, to the offices and to the huge, beautiful kitchen. I was amazed at the size and the grandeur of the hotel and restaurant, without being pretentious. It felt warm and cosy but still very special.
Before every service, the front of house team take part in a line-up to brief them and gear up for service. I received lovely, genuine greetings from everyone. The team was asked to recall warm memories of freak weather, snowstorms and the winter. These stories were very entertaining and the atmosphere amongst the team was elevated.
Next, I was whisked away to speak to Laura, who had worked for Make It Nice (the umbrella company for EMP and the NoMad) for 10 years. Laura was in charge of events and culture at the NoMad. I am currently on the events team at Tredwells so it was great to gain an insight of the processes they use at the NoMad. What really stood out to me from our chat was the culture of the business. The NoMad uses the Rolling Stones as a guide on how they want to be: cool, successful, cutting edge, reinventing, glamorous and rock ‘n roll. Pictures of the band are all around the back of house to remind the teams of this and I definitely saw these attributes throughout my day.
For the rest of lunch service, I shadowed the Duty Manager, Chip. It really struck me how professional Chip was. His eye for detail and anticipating the guests’ needs was impressive. He ran the service across the Atrium, Elephant Bar and Library with class and perfection. I then met Alex, the Assistant General Manager, who talked me through how he prepares for the dinner service, allocating specific people to specific sections for the evening to generate the best team.
At 4:15pm, we had a delicious family meal in The Parlour. Before dinner service, I actually attended a very special line up as the Executive Chef of the company, who had been working there for 10 years, was leaving to start his own restaurant. The Parlour was bursting with members of both restaurants, who wanted to bid their farewells and thanks. I was absolutely thrilled (and star struck) to see Will Guardia and Chef Daniel Humm there as well! It was so amazing to see such a large, successful group of people that had become so close. It was very emotional, even I was made to feel like I was part of their family.
I started the dinner service trailing one of the kitchen servers, Sunny. Everyone starts off in this position. They have to ensure the kitchen is well stocked with clean plates, freshly made butters, but most importantly stand on guard to take the dishes to the tables. It was great to be in the kitchen for service. I loved watching how the different sections of the kitchens worked and how the chef ran service. It was so calm and the dishes looked delicious and beautiful. I then trailed the manger on duty for dinner service. The dining room had transformed. What had been a bright, airy, breezy lunch was now a super cool, buzzing atmosphere with fun music and dim lighting. I was in my element, watching the guests enjoy their homemade breads, roast chickens, cocktails and fine wines. The staff were having fun too, whilst staying completely professional and dedicated to every guest’s needs.
Bryan came to find me around 9pm and invited me for a cocktail in the library. Alex joined us and not only did we enjoy fantastic cocktails from the award winning bar but we also ordered food! I was able to try: the homemade flat bread with sage, rosemary and sweet potato, the black truffle tart and the carrot and pickled egg tartare. Next we ordered the braised oxtail and beets rigatoni and the suckling pig confit, with red endive, dandelions and dates. Both dishes were absolutely stunning and so very different. Finally, Bryan ordered the desserts: a mango flan,the famous milk and honey (dehydrated milk crisps, milk ice cream and buckwheat honey!) and finally cookies and cream which is ice cream wrapped in cookie crumbs just like oreos!
My fantastic day had ended with an amazing treat, one that I was not expecting. Bryan had been so generous! That really sums up how they are at the NoMad. It goes without saying that the food is incredible, the cocktails inventive and the service perfect. But what really struck me was the level of hospitality they provide. The staff are so wonderful and happy. They all take fantastic care of the guests, which included me!