In the first instalment of our 2019 'Getting to Know Vue' series, we'd like to introduce you to Vue de monde's Restaurant Manager, Christoph Schrottenbaum. A friendly face that has greeted thousands of our guests, and an integral part of our team for over two years. Ahead of the finals for the Gault Millau Australia Awards where Christoph is nominated for Professional of the Year, Vue Journal sat down with Christoph to chat about his journey so far...
Vue Journal: How did you find yourself working in hospitality?
Christoph Schrottenbaum: In my family, we were always encouraged from a young age to choose a career path and work towards it. As a teenager, my brother was working in hospitality and it seemed like a pretty exciting industry, so I decided to follow in his footsteps and joined him on the floor, then moved to London from Austria for 3 1/2 years. At first, my parents were reluctant to see both their sons working in what can sometimes be seen as a thankless industry, but they're extremely proud of us and how far we've come. I think it makes them happy to see us working in jobs that we genuinely enjoy.
VJ: What prompted the move from London to Melbourne?
CS: In London, I was working at Dinner by Heston and knew that fine-dining was where I wanted to be. Some of my friends (including Vue de monde's General Manager Hugo Simoes Santos) moved over here when Dinner opened in Melbourne, and would not stop raving about how amazing the city is. When a job opened up at Vue de monde, I went for it and have never looked back.
VJ: What's the best part about working for Vue de monde and Vue Group?
CS: First and foremost - the people. I get to work with some incredibly talented people who are very driven, creative and inspiring. We work together, eat together, we spend Christmas together, and there's a real sense of family in our team. On the other hand, I get to meet and build a rapport with our guests every single day. Some are regulars, some are one-time visitors, but each of them brings a story and I really like that part of my job. Finally, the creative freedom we are given is a definite highlight. In other business in hospitality, teams can be quite restricted, but at Vue there is no set formula. We can chop and change things and inject our own personality into things without set guidelines, which is still quite rare, particularly in fine-dining establishments.
VJ: What's your take on Melbourne's food scene?
CS: The food in Melbourne is brilliant. In London and in many parts of Europe you need to spend a lot of money for a good meal. In Melbourne, there are so many great options at both ends of the scale - you can go high-end, or you can have a great meal at a nameless wine bar down a random laneway. There's so much variety, and it just continues to grow and grow.
VJ: Top three things about living in Melbourne?
CS: Eating out, drinks with friends in the sun, and the huge number of live sports events.