As a ‘right –on’ young student I recall attending a poetry event during International Women’s Day, with my friend Cynthia, we were watching a radical feminist poet called Stormy Weather recite a poem about lost love; for some reason we found this hilarious and fought hard to stifle our giggles throughout her very ernest performance. That was the first and last time that I had any direct involvement with International Women’s Day.
March 8th is International Women’s Day and in order to make up for my former immaturity I present the profiles of four women who are making valuable contributions across the travel and hospitality industry.
The Award – Winning Chef
Hélène Darroze was born in Landes in South West France, into a family comprising three generations of chefs. In 1990, after graduating from business school L’Ecole Superieure de Commerce de Bordeaux, she joined Alain Ducasse’s team at the prestigious three Michelin-starred Le Louis XV restaurant in Monte Carlo. Helene opened her own establishment ‘Retaurant Helene Darroze’ in Paris in 1999 and was awarded her first Michelin star within two years. In July 2008, Helene launched her first UK restaurant ‘Helene Darroze at The Connaught’, which won a second Michelin star in 2011.
Hélène’s cuisine expresses the authentic and seasonal flavours of her native region as well as influences from Italy and the Basque country. She strives to tap into her emotions and memories, to create dishes that are personally meaningful and shared with a generosity of spirit. Hélène calls this approach “cuisine d’auteur” (author’s cuisine). Using trusted suppliers, the emphasis of her vibrant dishes is on the ingredients and their source.
The Luxury Travel PR Veteran
Spotting a niche in the travel market, Tanya Rose founded Mason Rose in 1993, one of the only agencies offering integrated sales, marketing and PR services to the luxury travel industry. Prior to founding Mason Rose, Tanya was Director of Sales & Marketing for The Savoy Group in London for six years and before that launched the St James’ Club in Paris. Due to her work and experience in the travel industry, Tanya Rose has become one of the foremost authorities in luxury travel, recognised across multiple business sectors and media, including a nomination for the Women of the Year Awards.
Tanya inspires others to achieve their goals through encouragement. She lives her life around the motto: If you can dream it, you can achieve it! She values compassion and education and has sat on various educational and charitable boards. She is a trustee at her old school, Gordonstoun as well as at the English National Ballet School, WellChild, and CLIC Sargent. She has helped raise large sums of money and established scholarship funds for underprivileged children to ensure that they get to experience an education that would not be available to them otherwise.
The Executive Chef
Michelle Berstein opened her first restaurant, Michy’s, with her husband David Martinez in Miami in 2005, and the couple also own local-favourite, Crumb on Parchment, which opened in the Miami Design District in 2011. In addition to managing her restaurants and making frequent appearances on national television, Chef Bernstein continues to host her PBS weekly television series, Check, Please! South Florida. She opened casually elegant Floridian brasserie Seagrape at Thomson Miami Beach Hotel in November 2014 with locally sourced bounty from both land and sea, offering a menu rich with regional influences.
The provenance of her ingredients are paramount to Michelle. She has commissioned a handful of local farmers to grow specific products exclusively for her Seagrape menu, which feature an abundance of fresh vegetables simply prepared, creative small plates, a selection of pedigreed, a-la-carte steaks and a rich raw bar.
Valentina De Santis is proud owner and CEO of Grand Hotel Tremezzo, a stunning palace that sits overlooking Italy’s famed Lake Como. Her attention to detail with each individual guest and personalised efforts to make the hotel a warm, welcoming place for travellers has led to a nomination for ‘Hotelier of the Year’ in the Best of the Best Awards by Virtuoso 2014.
According to Valentina: “A successful hotel is one where a guest feels at home, whatever that may mean for each individual. My personal philosophy is to determine what would make each guest feel at home as soon as they walk through our door. The pillars are hospitality and attention to detail. Our mission, thanks to everybody’s efforts and passion, is to let guests have unique and tailored-made experiences while staying with us.”
To celebrate International Women’s Day, Grand Hotel Tremezzo have put together an Exclusive Women’s Day package which includes indulgent spa treatments. For further details please visit: m.grandhoteltremezzo.com