Story #23 Eric

Winning the award of Food & Beverage Professional of the year 2016

  • 04.10.16

Eric Andersen is lecturer Food and Beverage Management at the Academy of Hotel and Facility Management and this is his #NHTVStory:

”Every trip is nice. I organize a wine trip for second year NHTV Hotel Management students and every year we choose a destination. Actually it has grown to some fixed destinations in France, but sometimes we have to deviate the destinations to Germany or other areas than Bordeaux in France; that is where we usually go to. The groups we go with are somewhere between 80 or a 100 students, so two busses or touring cars. Then we visit several wine estates in addition to the wine education theory they receive here. We go to the Cognac, we go to the Champagne, sometimes we go to the Loire valley. But, like I said, we have also been to Germany, Rheingau, the Moezel of course.

We visit wine estates, we have a tour where they visualize what they have, or allegedly have learned here at school so students can see how it actually works in such an estate. The wine growers, or the marketing department of those wine growers explain what making wines enhances and how the wine is treated until it ends up in a bottle and eventually in a glass. But also marketing value and export possibilities of the estates are topics that will be discussed: which markets are the most important ones? Why is the brand or the label that they have is as it is? Why do they have the classification in France and why does it differ between the French wine regions? That is what we do.

Besides the excursions, we have a full programme. The students experience being together as a matter of bonding, so they go together in another setting than being in a lecture hall. The experience is one of the best things, at least, that is what I am being told when students graduate. “Yeah, the wine trip, that was quite some experience and all together sharing the visits and sharing the knowledge on location”. That is what they experience. We see it when they come back to Breda, at the train station when they part ways.

Before students part ways and go on their international internship it is tears all over and they hug each other. This way of bonding for hotel students is fantastic I think and that is how it should be. That is what makes the hotel world. Not everybody cries. But it is sad not seeing each other for quite some time and the mixed feelings come out when they have been together for a week in a bus, or two busses.

In 2005 it was decided that NHTV Hotel Management was going to stay at this current location and together with the architect and the academy director, we designed -or I designed- this kitchen. It was an existing kitchen so there were also lay-outs of the kitchen. I took the room that we had, copy pasted it and this is what came out. Exactly as it was on the floorplan.

I graduated at the Hotel Management school in Maastricht but that was a long time ago. I went to the sea for ten years, sail for the Holland America Line, the cruise business. I started as a trainee of course, but most of the time I was a Food and Beverage Manager and very shortly Hotel Manager. So I was responsible for the hotel department on board of the ships. The ‘Damships’ we called it, because they were going to dam-cities, Amsterdam etcetera. I did that for ten years, came back to Holland, worked in different types of hotel businesses, CenterParcs, Hotel Sanders, the hotel that is now Pullman Eindhoven, then it was Dorinth Eindhoven. And then I ended up at NHTV. I think 13 or 14 years now, I don’t count, I still enjoy it here.

I was awarded as Food and Beverage Professional of 2016 by the Association of Food and Beverage Management which I am a member of on behalf of NHTV. I frequently visit the meetings they organize, every two months approximately. I would say it is a network of F&B professionals from the hospitality business in The Netherlands; so quite a few F&B managers, hotel directors or directors of operations responsible for food & beverage come here. Every year they nominate a few professionals for this award. I was nominated as one out of six professionals for this award as well. I ended up in the final together with two alumni of NHTV Hotel Management as well, so that was quite funny. I was selected as Food and Beverage Professional of the year 2016. I am very proud of it and it was a very good decision of the jury (with experts from the industry) that they went for someone in education. I think that that is very good for hotel management education in The Netherlands.

At times we were being told that the hotel management industry is lacking actuality and that we were behind and I totally disagree with that. I think this award is sort of proof and also a confirmation that we are doing things according to what the industry needs and that is quite valuable because we are of course a University of Applied Sciences and application should be part of the curriculum here. The award is confirming that.

It is now half a year ago and life goes on. I think I won because I share my love and passion for the food and beverage trade with the younger generations, not only here at NHTV”

I try to involve young professionals in food and beverage in general and try to make them enthusiastic for their future in food and beverage. I think that summarizes why I was elected.