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Name: Ivan Maminta
Graduation year: 1996
Program name and specialization: Hotel Management
Current position, company and job title: Culinary Director, Brotzeit Philippines
Ivan Maminta’s journey has been an exciting and unpredictable one, and it all began at Les Roches Global Hospitality Education. Since learning key culinary and management skills at the school, he’s gone on to win a competition, enjoy managerial positions with a four-star hotel and, in his current role, work as Culinary Director for German restaurant Brotzeit Philippines.
Ivan mastered a number of core competencies while studying at Les Roches. “Under expert tutelage, I was able to expand my culinary and managerial skills running the Italian restaurant for two semesters,” he said. “I also learned vital food and beverage management skills.”
By the time Ivan graduated in 1996, he had already enjoyed a stint working as an Assistant Head Chef at Tre Cucine in Zurich. Returning to his country of birth, the Philippines, Ivan began working as a chef at the Peninsula Hotel Manila. “While there, the Executive Chef thought I should compete for an international culinary competition,” he said. “I competed and won the Gold medal. The hotel still has the trophy in its kitchen.”
There have been challenges along the way, but Ivan has been able to turn them into something positive. “When the recession hit Asia, I was soon out of a job and had to evaluate my situation,” Ivan said. “I took up management positions at the four-star Century Park Hotel. While there, I worked as Room Service Manager and Restaurant Manager. During this time, I also learned valuable skills in human resource management, marketing and public relations.”
Ivan credits the late, great Anthony Bourdain as a major influence. “He has been my hero for a long time and has been a positive influence on my career.”
In 2012, Brotzeit came calling. One of the leading franchises of German dining, Brotzeit has a particularly strong footprint in Asia. It boasts 10 franchises across the continent, two of them located in the Philippines. “They contacted me as they needed a Culinary Director for the Philippines,” Ivan said. “I’ve been enjoying working there ever since.”
Ivan enjoys his role as it gives both the team and himself the chance to be creative. “I wanted my team to be able to enjoy themselves and be very efficient in their operations,” he said. “Cooking has always been my passion, so every day I try to learn something new. I have collected numerous cookbooks over the years, but I treat the recipes within as guides rather than rules. There are systems in place at work for me to develop new recipes and improve the old ones.”
Ivan credits the late, great Anthony Bourdain as a major influence. “In all my professional years of cooking, his book Kitchen Confidential has accompanied me,” he said. “He has been my hero for a long time and has been a positive influence on my career. He had great insights on life and how the world turns.
What advice can Ivan offer to our students? “I’m not much of a genius, but the following things are what I tell my team,” he said. “Firstly, the sign of a professional cook is somebody who can make something a thousand times and still achieve the same result. Secondly, experience is the best teacher. Thirdly, as Sun Tzu says, ‘know the conditions of victory before you begin the battle.’ And, finally, be humble. Learn something new every day.”
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