Meet the team: Els 

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Meet the team: Els 
July 27, 2023

Every month we put one of the employees of Leerhotel Het Klooster and/or restaurant Novice in the spotlight. This way you get to know our professionals, who together with the students of Hotelschool Amersfoort give all our guests a unique experience. 

This month we give the stage to Els van den Berg. Our 'rock in the fire' Els has worked with us for over 16 years and is now going to enjoy her well-deserved retirement! She is going to miss the students and her colleagues the most. And we her! 

Els lives in Achterveld and has been working for Leerhotel Het Klooster for 16 years. She has been working for MBO Amersfoort (formerly SBBO, among others) for 38 years. On the advice of Bert van Wede (director of Education in Business), among others, she applied to Leerhotel Het Klooster, which was a good choice. (Also for us! Red.) She still enjoys going to work every day, especially since she works together with her colleague Hetty. 

Els runs our internal Catering Department together with Hetty, where they are two true kitchen princesses, providing lunch and dinner daily for colleagues of the Leerhotel and for students and teachers of the Hotel School. In catering, Els supervises first-, second- and third-year students and together they prepare all that delicious food. 

What makes you happy?  

"When I drive here in the morning, I always take a look at the property and how beautiful it is here. I always enjoy it for a moment. And of course the students. That's most of it anyway. 

Blunder 

"I haven't really had any memorable blunders here at the Leerhotel. But when I was still in Leusden I did.... 

We were still working with gas and we always put the tea towels on the counter and there was 1 on a stove. When we went home, it didn't feel right. So I said to a co-worker, "I'm going to check upstairs anyway. Well is just as well, because the flames were already flying through the kitchen. 

I do remember that students never know how sharp such a lid of a can is. And they sometimes throw them loose in the trash. They had, about 10 years ago, done that too. So I went to change trash bags at night, and I had a whole gash in my hand! Since then, I always get a pain in my stomach when I see a student busy with a can. Now I always show them how sharp such a can is. And I always teach them: Put the lid in the bottom and then squeeze it shut. Then nothing can go wrong. Talking about it now gives me a stomach ache. It is quite a thing." 

What does hospitality mean to you?  

"That the students have a good time and pass this on to their fellow students who are then guests of ours. Very often they forget that because they are their friends. It is sometimes difficult to motivate them and make them realize that they are also our guests. I do try to pass that on. Hospitality is very important, even if they are their classmates." 

What can we wake you up for? 

"Delicious peanut butter with a little sugar! Preferably on a rusk. And I love licorice, no matter what flavor. I only eat licorice in the car. Because when I have it at home, I eat it all day long. Only my car is going out soon, so that's going to be a thing." (She treated her co-workers to a small jar of peanut butter with a bag of sugar and some licorice at her farewell. Red.) 

Are you also on social media?  

"I'm on Instagram from time to time. Don't put many pictures on there myself, but am enjoying myself." 

I just want to say that I'm going to miss my kitchen team! Do I think it's a thing.  

(They are going to miss you too) 

With colleagues, we asked them to send in words they thought fit Els. We processed these into a word cloud.  

What irritates you the most? 

That the youth is different than it was many years ago. But also in terms of cleaning up. Less respectful to others and especially older people like the instructors. If someone addresses me with "Hey ya," I always say, "Don't talk like that, I'm not your boyfriend!" "Oh sorry ma'am," they then say. But they could show more respect, even to each other. 

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