Chef Lucrèce Lacchio in the kitchen at Le Berceau des Sens at EHL Lausanne

April 23, 2024 •

5 min reading

Lucrèce Lacchio at Berceau des Sens: A chef with a unique background

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Read our exclusive interview with Lucrèce Lacchio, Chef at the EHL training restaurant Berceau des Sens and holder of a Michelin star, as well as 16 Gault et Millau points. Lacchio shares her passion and unique vision of gastronomy.

How important is it to you that you pass on your skill?

Passing on skills is the essence of why I’m at EHL's Berceau des Sens. The desire to teach and share stems from my background, the experiences I've gathered along the way, and my passion for gastronomy. When I decided to join EHL, I wasn’t just looking for a new professional challenge; I was looking for a place where my desire to share could fully flourish, where every day would be an opportunity to help others get to know this passion of mine.

Working for a hotel school radically changes the way you perceive our profession. Here, every action has the potential to become a valuable lesson for someone. You’re not just teaching techniques or recipes; you’re passing on a philosophy, a way of being in the kitchen with others.

Every dish we prepare and every detail on the plate are the fruit of an ongoing process of shared learning.

Cheffe Lucrèce Lacchio - transmission

I have always strived to be a consistent, reassuring presence for my team and students. I haven't missed a single service since I arrived. I am committed and fully dedicated to their progress and success. In being present and actively participating in each service, I can ensure that the teaching is always personalized and adapted to each person's needs.

Patience, effective teaching methods and open-mindedness are essential qualities. You have to be able to set aside your own emotions and focus on other people’s needs—to put on a kind of superhero cape and help everyone overcome their difficulties.

But it’s more than that. Taking care of my team and students is fundamental: this exchange and sharing are where the true riches of our profession lie. I’m always encouraging my team to get out of their comfort zone, to experiment, to dare to make mistakes for the sake of learning. Mistakes are an integral part of the learning process, and I want them to understand that a dish or technique can always be improved and reinvented.

I often remind my students that perfection doesn’t exist in this world, but it is possible to get close to it, one dish at a time.

What have you learned seven months after taking the helm at Berceau des Sens?

These seven months at the head of Berceau des Sens have been a great adventure for me on many levels. If I had to sum it up in three words, I would say: fulfilment, progression, and sharing. It's a journey that has taught me the vital importance of taking care of myself both physically and emotionally. I discovered that a leader cannot offer the best of herself without a solid life balance. Now I make sure I’m taking time for myself, as well as exercising, which was unimaginable before. It’s been very beneficial.

On a professional level, the experience I've gained in the last few months is indescribable. I've grown, matured, and yes, maybe even aged a little overnight—as evidenced by a few white hairs!

But on a more serious note, every day has given me the opportunity to learn something new, whether about myself, my team, or the art of cooking itself. The challenge of leading a team and maintaining excellence at a starred restaurant, all while passing on a passion, constantly pushes you to evolve, rethink your methods, be creative and listen.

Lucrèce Lacchio  (1)

Sharing my profession and passion with my team and EHL students is one of the most rewarding parts of this adventure. Seeing the light in a student’s eyes when they successfully perform a technical move for the first time; feeling the pride in a team member's smile after a successful service... these are the moments that fill me with joy.

Of course, we are part of the EHL's effervescent and demanding setting, but Berceau des Sens is a place where we can all express ourselves, experiment, and above all, learn from each other. This unique atmosphere and feeling of belonging have contributed to my wellbeing, as well as that of my team. It's an environment that’s not only conducive to technical learning, but to personal growth, as well.

All in all, these seven months have been an intense but incredibly rewarding time. I deeply believe that we never stop learning, especially in a field as lively as gastronomy.

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What are your thoughts on being the only woman at the top in a male brigade?

As a woman in a traditionally male culinary world, leading a team is an experience that builds character and refines sensitivity. It’s important to clarify that an “all-male brigade” does not reflect the reality of our team at Berceau des Sens. There is a strong female presence, both front of house and in the kitchen with my colleague Julia Berthet.

This diversity enriches our work and demonstrates that talent and passion transcend gender.

Being a woman in this role doesn’t fundamentally change the work dynamic. What matters is competence, commitment, and the ability to inspire and lead a team towards excellence. However, I don't mind saying that my arrival as head chef initially caused some surprise among the team, mainly because very few had had the opportunity to work under a woman before. The transition required adjustments on both sides, but the shared desire to succeed with a common vision for Berceau des Sens soon got rid of any reservations.

Lucrèce Lacchio  (6)

My relationship with Julia symbolizes this perfectly. Having worked together in Geneva before meeting at EHL, the fact that we already had a rapport meant that I could be more demanding with her—and not in a gratuitously severe way, but because I know her potential and want to see her flourish and take on challenges. I take that approach to push her to surpass herself, in the knowledge that she has the ability to shine in this competitive environment.

Bringing a female head chef to the team has undoubtedly mellowed certain aspects of our cuisine. This doesn’t mean a lack of rigor or diligence, but rather an openness to more balance in our creations and interactions. I encourage the active participation of every team member in the creative process, and value their ideas and feedback. This collaborative approach has allowed us to develop a work dynamic where curiosity and innovation are at the forefront. When we test new dishes or techniques, dialogue is an essential element. If the majority of the team expresses reservations, I take that very seriously.

It's this listening and mutual respect that allow us to make progress together and offer a culinary experience that reflects us: authentic and of quality.

Lucrèce Lacchio  (4)

Ultimately, my experience as the leader of a diverse brigade has taught me that leadership knows no gender. What matters is the ability to unite people around a common passion, lead with integrity, and cultivate an environment in which everyone is valued and feeling inspired to be their best.

After all, cooking is an art that thrives on the richness of our differences, and I am proud to contribute to this wonderful tradition at Berceau des Sens.


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