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Augusto Landazuri did an internship in 2016 of nine months in the prestigious Restaurant Arzumendi in Bilbao, Spain in the specialty of Restaurant and Bar Service. This thanks to the sponsorship of the Alliance between Gastón Acurio and Telefónica “Together to Transform”.
“On graduation day I got the news that I had won the scholarship, I was very excited because it meant a great opportunity to leave the country and gain experience in another environment” Augusto tells us.
Upon arriving at the Azurmendi restaurant, the structure that it has, both outside and inside, caught its attention. It is a building that has a greenhouse inside and outside a garden, where they plant what they subsequently use in the kitchen, such as the “Indian”, a kind of chili pepper that is widely used in various dishes. In addition, the restaurant’s work system also surprised him: “the kitchen and the room service worked together, there was a very good synchronization, as soon as the client finished eating the next dish, it was ready.” p>
The presentations and details of Azurmendi dishes are very important, one of the representative dishes is the hedgehog, this was served with different textures: hedgehog with sponge cake, hedgehog with emulsion, etc. Also, the Rapper dish was served with oysters, garlic mushrooms, basil emulsion, and garden flowers. These are some of the dishes that he remembers most from his experience.
Augusto tells us that although at first it was a bit difficult to adapt then he could perform very well: “the work environment was different, there was work under pressure, it was more dynamic. I started as a room assistant, I also assumed activities as a broker, and then became head of ranks, there I became responsible for five and was responsible for his attention from the time the guests arrived until they left. In the end I got to attend twenty diners; and I did well, proof of that was that they congratulated me and left me very good tips. ”
“While at first it is not easy, one adapts to the rhythm, if we do not give up everything can be done and, if one believes in oneself, it can reach very high”
Augusto rescues from his experience and learning having learned from the hand of a great professional in his field. “The room manager had worked at the El Bulli Restaurant (which was the world’s number one restaurant at the time it was open). He was quite demanding and special to work, and taught us that one has to adapt to the client. The strategy to provide good care is for one to stand in a central place and from there see the whole room, if the person eats slowly then they will be given their space and time so that they can enjoy the food. You have to read the client, if you eat with the left or the right, if you are talkative or not, if you eat fast or slow; and from that measure the times to have the dishes ready at the right time ”, a challenge for a good service professional.
On the other hand, about the surroundings of Bilbao, Augusto tells us: “I liked the culture of the place; for example, in the escalators people are located on the right side, and leave the left side for people with some urgency, all are respectful, organized and honest. ”
On his days off he began to walk and travel to nearby places, but then he had the idea of studying Hotel and Restaurant Administration at the University of Leioa, which he could to realize thanks to the economic and unconditional support of his family, in addition to the motivation of his companions, who take advantage of his free time in studying. This summer he will resume his studies. “At the end of January I am returning to Spain to continue studying the race, and I will take advantage of working part time and thus gain more experience.”
“I believe that on the personal side I have grown a lot, I have learned to be a leader, to have greater confidence in myself. Now my plans are to finish studying, to work in the long term, to have my own restaurant. ”