Flash-grilled: Sara Masarotti

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Flash-grilled: Sara Masarotti general manager at The Drunken Butler in London's Clerkenwell

Related tags: The Drunken Butler, Fine dining, London, Restaurant

The general manager at The Drunken Butler in London's Clerkenwell on how confidence can keep you calm under pressure during a busy service, and an unusual Pokémon-related guest request.

What was your first job?
My first job was as a waitress for my dad’s restaurant in Italy.

Why did you want to work in restaurants?
I decided to work in restaurants when I was very young because I want my independence as soon as possible. I’ve been around my dad’s restaurants all my life and I’ve always admired his passion and energy for the job, so I decided to start to be part of that world fully.

If you weren’t in the industry, what would you do?
Probably a florist. Flowers and plants bring me so much peace.

What industry figure do you most admire, and why?
One person that I admire is Jean-Claude Breton, maitre d’ at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay since the opening of the restaurant. His loyalty, finesse and elegance is something I will carry with me forever.

Pet hate in the dining room?
Not much bothers me. Actual pets on the other hand... not in the dining room, too distracting.

What’s your best tip for keeping calm under pressure during a busy service?
Breathe and engage with your guests. A good positive atmosphere helps to build confidence. Confidence is what breaks all the limits or fears.

What’s the oddest thing a customer has said to you?
A couple asked me if they could keep a life size Pikachu at the table with them, in a three Michelin Star restaurant.

What’s the best meal you’ve ever eaten in a restaurant?
'Eggs on eggs on eggs' at The Modern in New York City - caviar, poached egg yolk and egg custard with toasted brioche. It's one of the best dishes I’ve eaten.

What’s your favourite comfort food, post shift?
Definitely ramen.

MasterChef ​or Great British Menu​?
Great British Menu​.

If you could serve anyone, who would it be and why?
If I could serve anyone I would serve anyone who had doubts about me. I would love to show them what I have done so far.

What’s your earliest food memory?
My earliest food memory is eating prosciutto crudo, San Daniele in particular.

Tipple of choice?
Negroni

What’s your favourite dish to cook at home?
My favourite food to cook at home is risotto.

What advice would you give someone starting out in the industry?
Invest your savings in dining out. Travel for food and learn from others. I promise one day it will pay off.

Related topics: Restaurant

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