Name: Clinton Jackson
Position title: Executive Chef
Company name: InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto
When and why did you join the industry?
From 15 years old I had been helping my farther part time in his bakery after school, greasing bread tins and scraping baking trays in preparation for that nights baking. That bakery smell and the alchemy of bread production is what had me fascinated in the artisan trade, so at 16 I begged for an apprenticeship then pretty much dropped everything to start work at 1 hour to midnight and then sleep through the day. I know right, living the dream. I worked around during my 4 years as an apprentice baker and nearing the end of my indenture I started questioning my friend who was an apprentice Chef. The stars aligned and 4 days after qualifying as a baker/pastry cook I was signed up again as an apprentice Chef. I still remember looking in front of the mirror being so proud of myself the first time I put on that chef’s jacket.
Now I have worked in almost all aspects of the food production industry and am still learning daily.
What do you like most about your job?
My team. Recognizing the diversity in food variety and the culture of where it and the people have come from, to create the true taste of hospitality.
What’s one of the biggest achievements of your career so far?
Our property being recognized as Oceania’s Leading Hotel 2019.
What’s the best advice ever given to you and who gave it?
“Always work at a level above in which you are employed, this way when a promotion opportunity presents itself you are well prepared and a natural choice…”
Who do you admire and see as a role model in the industry?
I admire all the Female success stories. There are so many glass ceilings and social challenges that women face in today’s society. So to see a female succeed and rise into the top of her field you know that it is has really come from a place of inner strength true ambition.
What can people expect from your company and what sets it apart from the rest?
We offer our guests the InterContinental Life. A glamorous way of life that makes international travel more attractive, and creates an atmosphere where great things happen, for our guests, our hotels, and our teams.
What destinations are on your travel bucket list?
New Caledonia, South America, Norway and Egypt.
What’s a memorable travel experience you’ve had (good or bad)?
Vietnam was fantastic, talk about a brain vacation; everything was an assault on the sensors as there were so many new and exciting things happening all the time. I hired a scooter for a week to experience the real traffic sensation, using echolocation by beeping my horn just to stay alive.
What are three things you always take with you when travelling?
My curtesy, respect and an open mind.
Name someone famous you’d like to travel with and a destination you’d like to go with them.
Richard Ayoade , The Travel Man; I love efficiency and humor. Destination; any non-typical place to challenge the sensors and the mind.
What direction do you see the industry heading in over the next five to ten years?
Leisure; Emotional experiences are at the fore front of luxury, being recognized and forming connections to create real worth. Sometimes a room is just a room, but when you provide a connection and immersion into the local culture of the destination this serves as a true hospitality experience.
Business; The exclusivity and security of service. Knowing your supply chain is ethically sourced to provide you with a productive and sustainable point of difference. A proud business model of high standard for others to envy, desire and want to follow.
Source = InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto