The Private Service Chef – Making the Right Impression

Mis en PlaceOn the way into work this morning I was surprised and happy to hear a piece on how the practice of Mis en Place can help us all in the time management of our daily lives. I’m sure the recognition of the work required in the kitchen was appreciated by anybody who has spent time there. Mis en Place has been an established term in kitchens since the time of Auguste Escoffier. The great chef and father of the grand cuisine who still influences us today saw much in the military that could be applied to kitchens. Our classic uniforms where based on those of the soldier in the hot climate of North Africa. The Brigade system, the underlying structure on which the organization of the kitchen staff was based is very much a product of the military. From our first day of training, Mis en Place or “put things in place” was the basic tenet of our profession. Organization of the station; the food we prep and place in ninth pans, the sauté pans and side towels, the salt and pepper all have to be where they can be grabbed exactly when needed. As important but less often acknowledged is the need to remain clear and unencumbered as we work. You may know that everything in the kitchen is where you want it, but what happens after that pan or product is used? If you are truly going to be on top of your game, cleaning as you go is imperative. The kitchen must not be cluttered with all of the equipment and utensils that you used thirty minutes ago. The kitchen, not just the dinning room, is part of the Ballet of Service we perform during an event. During events you may have a staff member to help accomplish this work but for the day to day it is your responsibility to see it gets done. Often times Mrs. Starkey will offer guests a peek at the kitchen upon the completion of an event. They are curious where, hopefully, such a fine meal came from. How would you like yourself to be seen? What would you like the last impression of your Principals’ guest to be?

As a Private Service Chef or Cook there is much we can do in managing ourselves within the kitchen. Our self-directed motivation requires us to have a clean uniform, a clean appearance, and timeliness in our arrival and meal presentation. Mis en Place requires us to have an organized mind. We accomplish our “to do” lists, and then rewrite them and write them again until the task is completed to the high standards of the household.

All our planning and organization however can be undermined if the execution is not professional. We teach the established wisdom here at Starkey International that we a judged first by how we look, then by how we speak, how we act and last by what we say. If the kitchen appears clean and organized, stress can be eliminated and you can focus your mind on the task at hand and still be able to direct the other activities around you during service. In order for this to happen, cleanliness throughout the day, not just at the end of it, is essential.

Your Principal will notice and appreciate the impression of professionalism you have given their guests. It will give them confidence in you when you fulfill these standards on a daily basis. These are the values that elevate a Private Service Chef above the ordinary. Now let’s cook (and keep it clean !).

Chef Dale EidenChef Dale Eiden C.E.C.,
Private Service Instructor,
Starkey International Institute

Satter Foundation

Starkey International
Scholarships for our Military 2014

The Satter Foundation has again contributed scholarship monies to Starkey’s non-profit Restoring the Art scholarship fund specifically designated for Military personnel in earning their Starkey Certifications.  Starkey International has long supported Military Enlisted Aides and Officers who wish to professionally join Starkey’s family of Certified Household Management Graduates.  Please contact Paula Faulkner, CFO of Starkey for information regarding the Satter scholarship monies and other Funding and Scholarship opportunities.   Thank you Satter Foundation!

 

Announcing Starkey China

Starkey ChinaStarkey International has reached agreements with China’s largest household service organization, China Home Services Association, and Gaoyang Vocational Education Development Center which is working with top universities to provide Starkey education and curriculum throughout China. This would allow Starkey International to engage in the training and education of Chinese household service professionals through mutual cooperation. Gaoyang center was established in 2003 and was one of the earliest entities that helped introduce international programs into China.

These efforts were made possible by Starkey International and Gaoyang’s vision for quality service in China. Working with Starkey, Gaoyang will be launching training programs for Butlers, Housekeepers and other related household service specialties by mid 2013.

 

 

 

Starkey China Starkey China Starkey China Starkey ChinaStarkey China
For more information, please contact Starkey International.

Note of Appreciation from Denver Professional Mens Club

 

Service for Denver Professional Mens Club

Mary,

Just a note of appreciation to you for hosting the Denver Professional Mens Club for our meeting in September!

Time slipped away from me however you have been in my thoughts as I think it is really grand of you to host us at your wonderful home and business.  Your staff as always were great and I’ve attached a photo of them that wonderful night.

Have a great holiday season, 2012 has slipped by so very fast but as they say the older people become the quicker time flies by due to our mind’s reference of time.

David York

Visit the Denver Professional Mens Club website at: http://dpmc.org/

 

Placement Update

Starkey Certified Household ManagersThe Starkey International Institute has a rich lineage in the private service industry. In fact Starkey invented, coined, and began utilizing the majority of terminology that has spread all across the entire private service world.

This is why we sometime struggle with the title Placement Department at Starkey International. This department’s title has connotations to an employment agency, simply matching employers to employees. Maybe we should change the department within Starkey to the Mosaic Department.  A mosaic is a breath-taking piece of art or decoration in composition, yet being made up of diverse elements. Starkey Certified Household Manager Alumni are the amazing colored pieces glass inlaid to become part of an astonishing whole.

 

Protocol

Formal Dinner SettingSocial protocol is an aspect of etiquette defined as a code of behavior that delineates expectations for social behavior according to contemporary norms within a society, social class or group.  The French word etiquette literally signified a tag or label first used in the French Royal Court in the early to mid 1700’s to instruct guests on how to behave when dining at the King’s Table. In modern times, in the more common situation where the dinner table or other social gathering must be organized according to the degree of social rank and familial or professional relationships among the guests, it falls to the discretion of the hostess to determine who will take the highest position at the table as Guest of Honor to be seated at the right of the Hostess, with the Guest of Honor’s partner seated to the right of the Host.  At our Formal Dinners here at the Starkey Mansion, whatever the nature of our guests, this principal is still the foundation upon which the seating placement is based, and it does much to determine the social interaction and conversation during and after the meal.

Placement Update

Certified ManagersLast week was very exciting for us in the Placement Department. We began on a path of discovery that examined our dedication to Starkey’s applicants,  as they become graduates.

Our question was how to better support future students through the admissions process and into the placement phase.  This led to a new “Education First” process. Launching this program has galvanized admissions and placement departments.  This means that an applicant, thinking about enrolling at Starkey International, will have access to the placement department to ask any questions, outline the process, and begin a relationship with placement from their very first steps. 

We are excited about this new project. Both the Admissions Department and the Placement Department are looking forward to hearing feedback from applicants, students, and Certified Household Manager graduates.

Protocol

IntroductionsFormal Protocol in Private Service has evolved a great deal in recent decades since Private Service emerged from the shadows of servitude! The old language of “Inferiors” and “Superiors” has long since passed, but some things have stayed the same. The Starkey International Institute has strongly advanced the education of both Service Professionals and Principals based on the premise that mutual respect is the only stable foundation for the Relationship of Service.  Our clients have consistently emphasized the importance of propriety and respect in dealing with their employers and co-workers, but Household and Estate Managers also learn to set proper boundaries with Principals in order to honor their role as professionals. Protocol always serves good manners and efficiency.  The order of introductions at social events offers a fine example.

Starkey On Board… Yachts, Education and More

Ms. Alene KeenanWe are pleased to announce that we are collaborating with educator Yachtswoman Ms. Alene Keenan, owner and president of the acclaimed International Yacht Stew Solutions. Miss Keenan has been a yacht stewardess for over 20 years. She has dedicated her life to service, and has been developing and installing service training systems for private and charter yachts since 2007, worldwide.

“I am excited about working with Mrs. Starkey. I am a big fan of her philosophy of service and products. I look forward to combining the knowledge and expertise we each bring from our respective fields to co-develop a unique Service Management System and specialized curriculum and publications that will elevate service to new levels on board private and charter yachts.”

For more information on Ms. Keenan or Yacht Education Services, please contact us at services@starkeyintl.com or call us 800-888-4904.

Ultra Luxury Home Division Update

Ultra Luxury Home DivisionStarkey is delighted to have a relationship with Luxury Portfolio International (LPI), the Ultra Luxury Home Division of Leading Real Estate Companies of the world to share our private expertise with those LPI member real estate professionals who serve the High Net Worth. I along with Mr. Tollison, our Marketing and Strategy Officer here at Starkey were invited to present at their conference in March in Orlando, Florida.  Mr. Robert Frank, author of Richistan and the High Beta Net Worth, and Senior Editor of the Wall Street Journal moderated Realities of the High Beta Rich and a panel with Mrs. Starkey regarding high-end staffing, Luxury Realtor Joshua Saslove of Aspen, Colorado, Todd Ballenger known for Financial Services, and Anthony Cutugno who is a luxury marketing expert.

Mr. Frank spoke to this very elite group of 250 Luxury Realtors about the future of real estate on a world stage, about the different styles of high-net worth, how they made their money, the volatility of the market and its effect of the availability of money, how we are on another 2 year bubble, about how the smarter investor has become more conservative in their spending habits, and finally how to create added value for those clients when purchasing homes and estates in excess of $8 Million with the availability of quality staff to support their lifestyles. It was high for me to be in the same room with so many type A personalities making it happen in the world of real estate.  I also delivered a Presentation on Serving the High Net Worth.  My 30 years in service has taught me much in who they are, how they think, and what quality of life typically means for them.  If you have not read The High Beta Rich, it’s an excellent read.

Starkey International on the History Channel with the Sklar Twins!

Mary Starkey and the Sklar twinsAll of us at Starkey are thrilled to share with you that we had the opportunity to play with the well-known comedy team of Randy and Jason Sklar.  Learning Service made fun as we bantered back and forth our service perspective. Our feature, produced by Left/Right TV is part of a special Sklar Twins series and is called “United Stats of America.” It will air on The History Channel in February.  The Sklar Twins are most intelligent and humorous; the show features a Colorado gold mine, the Denver Mint, the Frugal Millionaire, and Starkey International.  It has a witty but serious undertone about learning what service is, and looking at the US and our attachments to money.  They discovered what we already know; Graduates of Starkey are “in the house but not of the house!”   Catch the Sklar Twins by visiting the following link.  http://www.supersklars.com

 

Starkey International will appear on United Stats of America on June 12th for the episode “Money Talks”

http://www.history.com/shows/united-stats-of-america

United Stats of America

Mary Louise Starkey CHEVAL BLANC COURCHEVEL PRIZE AWARD VIDEO

{rokbox title=|Mary Louise Starkey Cheval Blanc Courchevel Prize Award Video :: Mrs. Starkey and Starkey International Provide a week of honorary education to a special butler of the Palace Hotel Cheval Blanc Courchevel, France.| thumb=|/images/blog/cheval_blanc.jpg|}http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtHZ9pCbUgI&hd=1{/rokbox}

Private Service as an Accepted Profession

Mary Starkey EducationTagged with the title “The First Lady of Service”, I am often asked by the media, by our applicants, and by our Principals “Why education?”   I wrinkle my forehead in disbelief and respond, “We must educate if we are to be a profession!”

Why is it that there are those who think that their working experience cannot be challenged to succeed at a much higher, more demanding, level? 

How is it that currently the profession of Household Management does not demand educational know-how, yet still ethically expects to earn that $100k plus per year salary?  Is this a throwback to the perception that service is still servitude?

How is it that there are some who think so little of themselves that they fail to obtain professional education for their benefit as any other professional would in any other professional field? It makes their lives easier and helps them take on those highly sophisticated roles required of today’s Household and Estate Managers. Today they are really required to be the Chief Operating Officers capable of creating and implementing comprehensive service management plans to adeptly oversee, support and work with a the staff, vendors, and resources on their Principals’ behalf.

Who are we cheating when we don’t fully educate ourselves?  I believe that both the employer and the employee lose.

Today’s world requires that all professionals, in all professions, need to be educated.  Consider the advantages of having Private Service terms and language unique to our Profession just like other professions have!  Do you know that having a specialized language gives our Principals the opening to realize that you have an expertise that they don’t have? 

Consider what professional ethics are essential to Private Service so that our counterparts do not ruin our collective reputations and bring down our salaries. 

Consider having real management tools unique to and expected in Private Service, which have been tried proven over many years by others in our specific roles of Household Management. Management Tools provide the means to no longer operate in crisis mode.

Tea ServiceConsider what service in Private Service really is: can you define it? Can you list the essential components, and easily put them in place? Do you know what is missing when your efforts are not succeeding?

All professions, in order to be considered a real profession, must stay on the leading edge of their industry’s knowledge so that they are able to consistently compare our abilities to what others have learned. We must constantly nourish ourselves with new ideas and ways of succeeding, and to keep our focus on what our profession really is.  This is why education is essential.  It is the foundation of our ethics, our management tools, and our ability to serve not only our employers, but ourselves! 

I tell my clientele, “I do not care who you are interviewing, if Starkey has not trained them, they will ultimately be on their own agenda, not yours”.  After 30 years of placing Professionals in Private Service, and 20 years of educating them, it is clear that this skill is the hardest ability to teach, the most difficult for Service Hearts to take on, and is the real art form of service to master.

When untrained, egos lay in abilities, and how they accomplish tasks.  Our Grads ego’s lay in their ability to be on their employer’s agenda, knowing the best of the best, while always fine tuning what they do, and always doing the task their employer’s way.  This is a subtle, but huge and essential difference in the Profession of Service. Education does indeed make all the difference!

The Essentials in Service

 

Mary Louise Starkey

Here at Starkey, we strive to teach the most important lessons of Service Management.  We know that two of the most essential abilities of a Household Manager are:

  1. The Pattern Factor:  Seek out and identify procedures and patterns that are regular “ways” of doing things within a home.  Follow them until you find out whether they are the real requests or preferences of the family or are “ways” of default established by a prior staff person.  Once defined as a preference, make them a written procedure; if they are not, then seek out the preferred way and only then change the pattern by communication and example until it sticks.
  2. Creating Quality of Life: Task Sheets defined are the list of tasks performed or completed daily or weekly, or even seasonally by staff member within a home.  While following established Tasks is essential,  it is the role of the Household Manager to be sure the task is appropriate for that day.  For instance, if the weather is unseasonably warm, and the stated Task is to “turn on the space heater every morning in the sun porch” you must remember to come back after an hour or so and turn off the space heater as the added heat is no longer needed.  Always be in the moment, as your ultimate goal is creating creating Quality of Life!

Events at the Starkey Mansion

strawberries, apricots, pearsThe Denver Professional Mens Club held their annual meeting at The Starkey Institute last Saturday, January 21, 2012.  Seven or eight of Denver’s great professional men enjoyed a convivial evening of business mixed with pleasure while enjoying Chef Althoff’s customized culinary creations and delectable buffet with a good stiff drink!  Mrs. Starkey welcomed the group, shared a little of the Mansion’s 110 year history.  She invited these special guests to join with their friends or charities and choose the perfect date to experience one of Starkey’s prestigious formal dinners.

The Denver Woman’s Press Club was invited to tour Starkey’s 1901 Historic Mansion last week, still decked in its Christmas apparel.  Starkey has been located across the street since the Press Club was built in 1916.  Mrs. Starkey was recently invited to join this most interesting group of women writers as she will have forthcoming new publications to share with the service industry and many other followers.

Speaking of writing and words; did you know that in 1981, Mrs. Starkey while sitting with her dictionary, found the phrase “household manager” in a definition and immediately knew it would replace the out- dated old guard title of Majordomo?  She began to use the phrase in her advertisements and history was made!  “Household Manager” is now an official Department of Labor employment title and Starkey is now celebrating their 125 class.  Starkey International has now educated over 1000 Certified Household Managers and placed them world-wide!

World-Class Private Service on the Caribbean Island of Anguilla

Mary Starkey and Bruce Hearn at the Starkey MansionStarkey International and Properties in Paradise announce world-class private service on the Caribbean island of Anguilla.

Anquilla, a tropical jewel in the Caribbean known for its pristine white sand beaches, is a favorite of celebrities and VIPs in search of perfect seclusion in an idyllic setting.  Beyond the stunning natural beauty, sophisticated guests can now experience the trademark Starkey International private service at Ani Villas — a luxurious 10 bedroom estate impeccably designed and outfitted for ultimate comfort and relaxation.

As a consultant to Ani Villas, Bruce Hearn, of Properties in Paradise and representative for Starkey Caribbean, has put together an exceptional private service team.  With Starkey graduate Felix M. Pina as property manager, a highly trained staff, and the implementation of the Starkey Management System, Mr. Hearn has established a new level of service to Ani Villas and the island. The guest experience will be the perfect combination of natural surroundings, outstanding private service and impressive amenities. (more…)