Working in the snow as a vegetarian
Every year Veggie Snow gets asked by veggies and vegans what work there is for vegetarians in the mountains. So although we don't have vast experience of this, here are some ideas to get you started if you would like to work a season in the snow.
I never worked a ski season myself and wish I had. Don't let being veggie put you off it, although there may be no exclusively veggie food jobs out there.
On the food side, you could go for an assistant chalet host type of position where you could ask to specialise in doing the vegetarian dishes, desserts and side dishes. Larger chalets (over 12 people) normally have 2 hosts. Emphasise in your interview how you could make the veggie dishes better for their clients with your experience and focus. Say how you know how to make great dairy-free deserts (see our recipes!) for their dairy intolerant and vegan customers. Have food photos, menu plans and recipes with you to show them. You could even suggest they move you between chalets depending on the clientèle that week. Medium sized chalet companies like the ones I mention below may see this as an interesting idea.
Many jobs in resorts do not directly involve serving food, such as drivers, guides, admin, massage, managers, childcare - so look around. Companies will be hiring in the Summer and Autumn, so get on with applying as early as you can.
Some companies treat staff well and others badly, so check the Internet for forum discussions on any company you inquire about. The locations we list are at least hospitable to veggies and vegans, so apply to them directly if interested. Ski Beat seem to treat their staff pretty well, as do Ski Olympic. Equally they expect more of their staff - more experience and skills and a great attitude. Language knowledge can be handy too. Some companies like it if you apply with a friend/partner you work well with as you are more likely to be an effective team in your chalet/resort. The more adaptable you are the more chances you'll have.
Apply directly to companies you have an interest in, and also look at sites like Natives for widely advertised jobs. Go to ski and boarding shows and talk to companies directly - that way they'll see you as a person and may be more adaptable than through paper or email communication. Shows like the Metro Ski Show in Olympia run on week days as well as at a weekend, so there will be quiet days when people will have much more time to talk to you. They sometimes host jobs fairs too.
Check what the staff accommodation is like - if it is self-catering or you can eat the food you prepare in the chalet that should be fine.
Good luck and please feed back to us what works and doesn't for you - your experiences will help other vegetarians and vegans!
Author: Sophie Fenwick-Paul
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Story posted by on 2009-10-12 10:47:42.
Story last updated by on 2011-01-27 11:13:21.
Veggie Snow is a bunch of people who want to make it easier for you to cater for all the dairy-intolerant people, vegetarians and vegans who stay with you. People with special diets tend to be loyal customers who bring their friends. Giving them tasty dishes should serve you well and give you experience of making dairy-free dishes that are widely required and enjoyed.
Our tips and recipes will seriously help you if you have dairy-free or egg-free guests as well, as well as halal, kosher and other religious customers. Your eyes will be opened to a whole new tasty suite of dishes suitable for everyone.
There are no two ways about it, global warming is set to severely impact skiing in Europe and the rest of the world. So even if you are no environmentalist, if you want to be skiing in your later life, it's time to do something now!
We've found traveling by train to be the most restful and enjoyable way to the Alps. It is often the fastest, with short transfers, and can give you an extra couple of days skiing if you take a sleeper. We find that by taking a sleeper there is no better way to get there ready to ski. You'll also be helping the snow to last for many more years to come.
However, it is just not immediately obvious how easy it is to get to so many resorts in this way. So we're here to help.