Spice Temple’s Alessia Votto’s childhood passion turned hospitality career
Spice Temple Sydney General Manager Alessia Votto arrived in Australia almost seven years ago.
Alessia planned to stay for a two-year working holiday. She landed her first job with Hunter St. Hospitality as a Host at Saké Restaurant & Bar in The Rocks. Her career in hospitality has gone from strength to strength. Alessia progressed to become a Manager at the busy restaurant. Next, she headed to Melbourne for the reopening of Spice Temple after the Covid-induced industry shut-down. Alessia took over the front-of-house reins at Spice Temple Sydney in March 2021.
Family Hospitality Ties
Alessia spent her whole adult life working in hospitality. She was destined for a life in hospitality it seems. Her dad is a pizza chef and her mum works with pastry. She helped in her family’s restaurant in Italy from the age of 12.
Watching her parents at work meant she picked up many skills on the job. Later, she topped up her knowledge at a hospitality school in Italy. At Hunter St. Hospitality her career has been filled with constant learning and upskilling, she says.
“When I arrived in Sydney, I didn’t know anything about Japanese cuisine. I learned everything I know about the food and the culture at Saké where I worked alongside the city’s best Japanese chefs,” she says.
“Then I switched to learning all about Chinese cuisine – particularly regional Chinese cuisine, which is Spice Temple’s specialty and point of difference. This has been another learning curve and equally rewarding.”
Alessia enjoys getting to know new cuisines and cultures. Her exposure to this would not have happened back home in Italy.
“I’ve discovered a whole new world of food,” she says.
Hospitality Challenge Accepted
Alessia embraced the Covid-19 challenges brought upon the industry. She believes the pros by far out-way the cons.
“For me, the interaction, with my team members as well as our guests, is one of the most rewarding aspects of my job,” she says.
“At Spice Temple, we have created a new kind of family. It’s a team where you meet people from different cultures and many of them become your friends.”
The supportive nature of life at Spice Temple, and the broader hospitality sector in Australia, was a significant help over the past few years.
“It’s a very supportive industry to work in,” she says.
Supporting Hospitality Recruits
Training and supporting the next generation of team members is one of Alessia’s biggest passions.
“We’ve recruited individuals who have never worked in hospitality. I’m enjoying passing on my knowledge and experience,” she says.
“To work in hospitality takes passion, which is not a skill you can learn – you have to feel it.”
“I hope I inspire my team members in this way.”
If you’re inspired to work alongside Alessia Votto at Spice Temple, or another Hunter St. Hospitality venue, check out our career opportunities here.