Portrait of a “diving” Dishwasher without an air tank
Unless you manage to sneak into the kitchen, you will not be able to easily meet her. A gentle voice and a slender figure, which she seems to reveal at first glance, truly, hide a woman of character who appreciates only well done things. Cécile Salo invites you to discover, from another perspective, her role at the Hôtel du Centre.
Difficult timetable and challenging days: this is what most people spontaneously imagine at the mentioning of the occupation, often poorly known, of being a Dishwasher in a restaurant. No task or routine, though, in Cécile’s eyes!
Native of Maré (Loyalty Islands), she worked there in a snack, as a waitress and cook’s assistant, before deciding to follow her husband to Noumea, who himself had to settle in the New Caledonian capital for professional reasons.
Remembering those times, she tells us that she then wished to dedicate herself to the education of her children, still in infancy.
“And then, with the cost of living increasing, I had to find a job. We lived near Ducos and the Hôtel du Centre was just being built. I gave my résumé and I was hired. So I did the opening of the La Pergola restaurant in September 2012… and today I’m still here!“
Her daily schedule, split into two shifts from 9.00 am till 2.00 pm, and from 5.30 pm till 10.00 pm, always starts with the morning tour ritual, which she is very keen on from 8.30 am to say hello to everyone… on all floors of the hotel!
Versatile and meticulous by nature
Servicing both the kitchen and the dining room, Cécile holds a central position, at the controls of which she perfectly orchestrates a frenzied back and forth of dishes. Reception, manual pre-wash, in and out in the dishwasher, drying, storage, reuse… Everything goes: plates, cups, glassware, cutlery, trays, utensils, stewpots, saucepans, frying pans, dishes!
“A machine that breaks down is obviously one of the inconveniences I fear the most. In this case, it’s absolutely necessary to wash everything by hand… Fortunately, I’ve very rarely experienced this!“
In all honesty, she sometimes admits “grumbling”, when the cooks smear too many containers and dishes… before adding with a smile that they are very nice and that they often worry about her.
- If you were a crockery component? A strainer. It filters to retain only what is clean.
- If you were a cookware component? A gastro tray. It is a large baking dish; everything goes in at once!
- If you were a moment of service at the restaurant? The rush. In full action, it boosts. I do not like to get bored.
- 3 things you have always at hand in the kitchen? A scraper and a sponge. And my hygiene cap (on the head).
- The person, famous or not, who inspires you? Yvette, my nephew’s wife. When we do not see each other, we have to call each other.
- If you were not a Dishwasher in a restaurant? I would have chosen a cleaning company. I love cleaning!
- Your best quality and your main imperfection? Many people think I am brave. People also say that I am very nosy… it is true, I like to stick my nose everywhere!
A great maternal fibre
Within a team and an establishment she considers to be like her family and she protects as her home, Cécile has her little habits and knows everything at her fingertips.
It is therefore not a coincidence that time passes without her thinking for a moment to leave her place of Dishwasher to anyone and if all at the Hôtel du Centre, regardless of their age or role, have unanimously begun to give her the nickname “Granny“…