A Vatel Nimes alumnus, class of 1996, Jerome Ferrer is not only a Canadian Master Chef, but also an exceptional businessman.
When he moved to Quebec in 2001 with two friends who were also Vateliens, he created what has become an empire: Groupe Europea, now including several restaurants and coffee shops, specialized boutiques, a vineyard, a catering department, and he has just added a food-processing and transformation facility.
A remarkable Vatel success story!
In 1996, you and your classmates, Ludovic Delonca and Patrice de Felice graduated from Vatel. Tell us about emigrating to Canada and how your corporate empire was built.
Our story began because we all shared the same dream: each having our own restaurant.
And I well remember what Mr. Sebban, who founded Vatel, once told us: “don’t dream your lives, live your dreams.” And we all decided to take his advice.
So we left for Quebec in October, 2001 and we founded Groupe Europea” which grew as the years went by when we opened the Europea Boutique Mall,, the Beaver Hall Brasserie the Andiamo restaurant, and our two coffee shops, Birksand Grevin. Our Group also has four restaurants we jointly own with a partner in Brazil and a very big catering department.
And quite recently I bought a few acres of vineyards from my cousin that my father, a grape producer, formerly owned, to create my own wine domain ‘La Terre de mon Pere’ [My Father’s Land], and our first bottles of wine are now on sale through AMG, an import company.
With Spanish, Italian and Catalonian dishes, our ‘techno-emotional’ cooking of the Europea brand was inspired by the roots of all three of us have.
We were lucky that we succeeded so quickly in the eyes of our customers and peers. In 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, Europea won the Restaurant of the Year Award by the Societé des Chefs, Pâtissiers et Cuisiniers du Québec [Quebec Chefs, Pastry Cooks, and Cooks], as well as by Le Devoir, Le Journal de Montréal, [Montreal Daily] and the Debeur Guidebook. And in 2011, I personally won the Chef of the Year Award from the Quebec Chefs Association as well as theRelais & Chateaux Master Chef Award. In 2012 our restaurant was ranked as one of the ten best restaurants in the world by Travelers Choice and the well-known web site, Trip Advisor, and in 2013, we were asked to join the prestigious association ‘Grandes Tables du Monde’ [World’s Best Restaurants.]
All three of us are really proud of these awards and particularly proud of our employees. And very special thanks for Jean-Marc Guillot, who has the distinction of Best French Pastry Chef, and who works with me to make and create our exceptional desserts.
What advice could you give to Vatel students who want to own their own hotel or restaurant?
The advice I could give them would be to visualize the end of their projects before even beginning them. Too often we draw up these really optimistic business plans while forgetting the most important thing: everything that’s started must also be finished. Whether it’s a contract for an association, a take-over, etc. You have to have a long-term vision and set milestones; that allows you to be in harmony with yourself and keeps you from choosing poor solutions.
You’ve also written several books, you’re very active on social utility sites where you regularly propose to your followers, fans and friends “Thoughts to Meditate.” Could you tell us a bit more about this one? ‘To succeed and enjoy working in the restaurant business, you must want to give much more than you want to receive. This is an essential frame of mind.’
Our profession has really changed. We used to be inn-keepers and now we are culinary specialists. Just like artists when performing in public, we have to give 100% of what we’ve got.
‘If you want to receive, you have to know how to give,’ summarizes my philosophy, both in my personal and professional life.
You also said ‘Word of mouth is the real key to success, but it only works well when you reach a certain level.’ What do you mean by this?
In my opinion, success goes through these stages I call the ‘3Ks”:
- Transmitting this know-how to your employees and
- Making this known.
And finally, you also said: ‘A Chef who is an extraordinary cook but a poor manager will never succeed.’ How come?
Simply because to succeed in business, you also have to have an entrepreneurial and visionary spirit!
What are your medium and long-term projects?
As we can never refuse a good challenge, in the summer of 2013, we founded CDA-TEQ, a new-generation food-processing center with a customized subcontracting department, where we can process 10,000 dishes per day that will be sold in supermarkets.
Engagement actif de Mr Azema dans la lutte contre la drogue à travers des formations et de la sensibilisation!Read more
Rejoignez Vatel au Caudan Arts Centre le 1er et 2 septembre !Read more
Rejoignez-nous au SVICC du 25 au 27 Aout - Salon Prêt à Partir avec Vatel Mauritius !Read more
Realising your career aspirations has never been closer to home. Your bright future awaits now at Pierrefonds Campus, an inclusive lifestyle student experience to make you thrive within a supportive, green and diverse learning environment.Read more
Becoming a chef cannot be improvised.Read more
Vatel Business School enables young entrepreneurs to live their passion.Read more
After Covid and despite the postponement of the HSC exams, we are relaunching the Vatel Quiz Inter Collèges.Read more
My journey at Vatel Mauritius started back in 2017 as a novice in hotel industry. As I went around and kept discovering the hotel operations and the industry - my path at Vatel rhymed with an overall reassessment of myself.Read more
Passionate about travel, gastronomy and new encounters, I have naturally focused on the hotel industry. The perfect balance between studies and practical internships is what attracted me to this institution.Read more
I am 26 years old and a Alumni at Vatel Mauritius, I studied in culinary arts in Perth and I’ve worked in fine dining establishments such as ascot Perth racing, Crown Perth, bistro 2I, silk road, Bentley pines restaurantRead more
A soul of hospitality and a heart of humanity is a house full of love, growth and peace. I have always been passionate about the hospitality industry and to be a Rooms Division Director is a dream that I have been carving for years.Read more
I have always been attracted by the hospitality industry since a young age. I decided to pursue my studies in this proactive sector as I know it would allow me to meet new people every day and learn about new cultures to open myself to the world.Read more
More and more human communities consider ecotourism to be a solution that promotes their way of life, and preserves their culture and biodiversity surrounding them.Read more
Martin Rousset, a Vatel Nimes student, flew to Antananarivo for Vatel Madagascar’s specialization in ecotourism management for his last MBA year.Read more
The tourism sector, one that now attracts millions of young students throughout the world, is in tune with globalizationthat is currently being overturned by inequalities and environmental threats.Read more
Vatel Rwanda started in 2016, we began to prepare the first intake for 2018, headed by Nicole Bamukunde, a Rwandese graduate of Vatel, and who has worked in startups in her country, which is totally renewing itself.Read more
This last week of November, 339 5th year students competed in English for 1st place on the podium.Read more
Hi everyone. I am Ganeshwaree Sumbhoo, a third-year middler at Vatel Business School Mauritius. I am someone pretty positive about every aspect of life.Read more
Sister beauties are a rare find in the fashion industry, more so with wit and intelligence. This week, our "we are" series gets bolstered up by the appearances of model siblings - Anaïs and Felicia Lagrosse, both from Vatel Business School Mauritius.Read more
Hello everyone. I am Yashil Naga, a first-year junior at Vatel Business School Mauritius. I am particularly thankful to the editorial team of 'The Vatelian' for this marvellous opportunity given to share a few words with you all.Read more
Blessed are those students who earn themselves an internship not only challenging but inspiring. Whilst, on a roll and enviable, are those who get the possibility to learn and evolve alongside their revered mentor.Read more
Vincent Berthelot, just another third-year middler of ours, is no brick-and-mortar retailer. Yet, contrary to others, he already aces his line of production founded only last April.Read more
Hello, world! I’m Shania Rampersad, a third-year middler at Vatel Business School Mauritius. Join me as I describe my experience as a Vatel student, how I was open to a rich and thriving journey full of challenges and opportunities so far.Read more
Generous, lively, charming, bright.. we might probably run out of superlatives to best describe the soul about to come to light.Read more
Hello. I am Zubeir Burkutally, a third-year bachelor degree senior at Vatel Business School Mauritius.Read more
There's Nicolas Quin, an 18" BA/ MBA alumnus of French origin; then there's Luvesh Dhurmea, a fourth-year senior from Mauritius itself.Read more
Deux semaines après que l'Université ait annoncé que le personnel non-enseignant pouvait se présenter au bureau, les autorités locales ont decrété l'état d'urgence suite aux conditions météorologiques défavorables qui prévalaient alors depuis mercredRead more
Some 110 students will start university term as from Monday 19th April 2021 and would return to campus for face-to-face learning sessions, as guidance from local authorities allows…Read more
Since December 2020, Vatel Business school Mauritius has launched a new concept called "Be our guest".Read more