In this 50th episode special, Ragnar catches up with Worldchefs President Thomas Gugler, with insights and updates on the new “normal”, new projects, and new opportunities to grow together.
This year and a half have been grounding. Not just because Thomas hasn’t been jet-setting around the globe to connect with Worldchefs members, or adding to his list of countries visited (189, for the record). In new ways, he’s been working harder than ever hustle for his professional life and that of Worldchefs members everywhere.
The COVID-19 pandemic meant pivoting, innovating, and remembering, too. Remembering and reprioritizing why we cook, why we work, and why we need to support each other.
Losing friends and colleagues to COVID, seeing the struggles of our community and of people everywhere, brought clarity and insight. “That made us think very, very deeply how we can actually make the world a safer place,” says Thomas. “Not only a better place, a safer place.”
“Our helpers, our assistants, our cleaners, our washers, and pot washers. They are part of our success or failure. So I urge you all — Think not only about yourself. Think about the culinary directions, the ethics behind which great culinarians, like Auguste Escoffier, put in place through their rules and regulations.”
“Our biggest honor,” says Thomas,” is not the payments at the end. It’s the respect. When a guest tells you, ‘I enjoyed having dinner, lunch, breakfast with you. It was for me something wow.’ This is worth more than any money in the world because it gives you a direct compliment. And these compliments I think are our energetic drive — the phases and fuses which make us as chefs and culinarians going into this direction.”
In so many ways this year has felt like a setback. But don’t get discouraged. “Every bad thing has a good thing,” Thomas reminds. If you believe in your power, and in the power of the community, we can grow further.
From new training initiatives to uplifting heritage cuisine, Thomas and the Worldchefs team are here to support you.
As Ragnar says, “the road to success goes through the grassroots, through your own cultural heritage, and your own mother’s cooking, and what you see on the along the road.” We hope we’ll help you along the way.
Hear more from Thomas and Ragnar on this episode of World on a Plate.
About our Guest
Thomas A. Gugler has worked in 13 different countries, from 5-star hotels to select restaurants, hospitals to airlines, and caterer to university professor.
The German national has played an instrumental role in the World Association of Chefs’ Societies, where he is currently the acting President. In this role, he leads millions of members across 110 countries.
Thomas has won hundreds of medals and awards as well as tokens of appreciation from all around the globe. For the past 16 years, Thomas has lived in Saudi Arabia, where he works as the Corporate Director of Kitchens for AFS (Arabian Food Supplies) Naghi Group. He is also the owner of TAG (Thomas Andrea Gugler) Consultancy Food Products and VVIP Catering.
We hope to see you and reunite at the next Worldchefs Congress & Expo in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 30 May to 2 June 2022. Register now to get early bird ticket rates and save up to €300: www.worldchefscongress.org.
In the meantime, we at Worldchefs want to hear from you! Give us your feedback here.
Looking for free training? Sign up for our free Pre-Commis Chef training program and get ready for your first job in a professional kitchen. The program is available in English, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian. Get started today at www.worldchefsacademy.com.
You can also check out our E-Events calendar for webinars, webcasts, and more at latest.worldchefs.org/e-events.
Have a heritage cuisine story or recipe to share? Get featured on Worldchefs social media and newsletter by submitting it here.
To keep listening, learn about Thomas and his development as a chef on Episode 15 of World on a Plate.
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Special thanks to President Thomas Gugler for joining as a guest.
World on a Plate is supported by Nestlé Professional and our podcast sponsors.