Shane - Trainee Assistant Manager at Bo & Muc
A lot of our guests know Shane as the moustached whisky expert here at The Torridon. Since we have made a few changes here at the resort, Shane has moved to Bo&Muc restaurant as a Trainee Assistant Manager. We caught up with Shane to talk about his new role.
What is your role and how long have you been here at The Torridon?
I’m currently following an Assistant Manager Training programme at the Bo&Muc restaurant. I started my adventure at the previously know Torridon Inn in 2017 and was meant to stay for a season of 6 months as a waiter but soon I realised that the tools to improve my skills and knowledge could be provided by The Torridons’ training schemes. Four years later I am still here!
Tell us a bit about your professional journey here at The Torridon?
After a season at the Inn, I was offered the opportunity to discover the 1887 fine dining restaurant in 2018. At the time it was a real challenge as I had never worked in a fine dining environment before. After a couple of months, Rohaise Rose-Bristow and my restaurant manager offered me the support and trust for me to be able to step up and follow a supervisor training programme with coaching from both of them which I finished at the end of the year. At the hotel, I was dealing mostly with the Library’s afternoon teas, the welcoming of the guests in our Lounge and taking care of our guests before and after their diner experience. But also I was learning how to evolve my skills with my new responsibilities and roles for and with the Team and the Guests in a 5 stars environment.
In 2019, I was promoted once again and I was more involved in the popular and impressive Whisky and Gin bar, over the months and the help of Dan Rose-Bristow and Rosie Wilkins we have readapted the gin selection and worked on a new cocktail menu where the Northern Lights cocktail first appeared and seemed to be a big success with our guests. As I was surrounded by this huge selection, as you can imagine I have learnt a lot thanks to my colleagues, my own homework but also guests who were happy to share their own experiences.
What key training opportunities have shaped your skillset?
The Torridon planned a few whisky distilleries’ tours for our F&B teams, planned training with some others and at the end of the year offered Gautier Cartron and myself a weekend in Edinburgh where we followed a whisky course and exam at the Whisky Training School, that we have both learnt a lot from and passed the exam successfully at the end! This last experience was offered by the Torridon due to our involvement and passion we had put in the caring of the bar and the hard work we had done over the previous months and also as a thank you for the impact it had on the customer service we were already providing to our guests.
Why did you decide to move to Bo&Muc after trying out the 1887 restaurant?
Deep inside I wanted to follow my manager Simon Ribalet and go back to the more casual restaurant Bo&Muc which has been fully rebranded and raised up in standards for the 2020 season. I do love the art of theatre at work but I have realised that this type of stage is allowing me to be me myself and that I could apply all my training over at the Bo&Muc with more confidence.
What does a perfect day at The Torridon look like to you?
As winter is coming and the stars are out, I would go for an Aberlour A’Bunadh in the Gin Garden by night time with a cheeky cigar on the side. If unfortunately, the weather is not great, I would sit in the lounge next to the fireplace enjoying an Afternoon Tea with a Glenffidich Grand Cru (new release); or at the Beinn Bar with a Sticky Toffee Pudding paired with a Bunnahabhain 12. If oysters are on the specials at the Bo&Muc definitely an Ardbeg 10 instead of the Muscadet Sur Lie.
What do you love so much about the Torridon that keeps you here?
On both professional but also personal aspects, I have learnt and (re)discovered a lot by working and living at The Torridon. Obviously, the surroundings have a lot to do on me staying over for so long, but not as much as the people I have met and the warmth of the local communities living in the area.
Do you have any advice for people coming to work at The Torridon?
After nearly four years of living in this wonderful part of the world, I would recommend people to drive up so they can be free to move around the area. By doing this, you are able to discover far much more, connect and embrace the wilderness of the Munros and lochs and challenge your limits with all the outdoor activities you can do in the area. Stay curious and passionate in all aspects of your experiences at the Torridon.