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“Des Etoiles et des Femmes”: when Chefs help women join the world of work in high-end restaurants

Combining joining the world of work with high-end restaurants? This is possible and it’s the challenge which La Table de Cana in Marseille decided to accept by implementing the “Des Etoiles & des Femmes” programme.


On Tuesday 22 September 2015, Solidarity AccorHotels team went to Marseille for the launch of this innovative training programme for 12 women from the Northern districts of Marseille on high-end restaurant jobs. On this occasion, Sylvie Guerville, the South-East Regional Recruitment Manager for AccorHotels and project holder, spoke about the strong involvement by AccorHotels Chefs in the region.

Five of them were present that morning: Dominique Frérard from the Sofitel Marseille Vieux Port, Isabelle Alexandre from the Pullman Marseille Palm Beach, Xavier Leleux from the Pullman Marseille Provence, Thomas Roret from the Grand Hôtel Roi René (MGallery) and Nicolas Brenier from the MAMA Shelter.


In the scope of this project, these Chefs committed to sponsor and provide assistance to one of the women taking part in the programme throughout her training by creating a solid two-person team. This unique experience enabled the Chefs to pass on their expertise and develop strong bonds with these women with varied profiles. Solidarity AccorHotels supports this solidarity initiative and praises the strong implication by the Group’s teams!

Testimonials by the chefs...

The beneficiaries of the project and the Chefs had the opportunity to meet each other in their respective kitchens several days before the event. During the launch, they gave their first impressions and expressed their hopes for the future:

Dominique Frérad, Chef at the Sofitel Marseille Vieux Port, wanted to share his experience: “I have been working in cookery for 37 years, 37 years marked by happiness and passion. I’m happy today to be able to give them the opportunity to discover this world.” He added, by way of advice for the future: “They have stars in their eyes. Make yourself respected, have character and the chef will always be behind you”. Xavier Leleux, Chef at the Pullman Marseille Provence, said that he was “very happy to welcome Cynthia” to his team and assured that she “is already well integrated”.

Isabelle Alexandre, Chef at the Pullman Marseille Palm Beach, stated that she felt “very proud. You need to be a fighter and very passionate to get ahead”. Thomas Roret, Chef at the Grand Hôtel Roi René (MGallery), was touched by the values of “inclusion, tolerance and sharing” encouraged by the project, “a true lesson in humanity!”.

Finally, Nicolas Brenier, Chef at the MAMA Shelter, concluded by saying that “seeing these women who are so motivated restores your confidence! Nothing is owed to you, you have to fight to achieve success. The best present that I could receive would be for you to pass your diplomas and find a job”. We wish them all the best!