Close this search box.

At just 22 Natete became Marriot’s Pastry Chef: Her journey to the top

At just 28 years old, Christmas Natete wears her chef’s hat with pride as she reflects on her journey from interning to becoming a pastry chef at just 22 years old. Her journey is nothing short of inspiring.

“I became a Chef here at Marriott Hotel at 22, in culinary arts, but I especially work in pastry,” Natete shares, her eyes alight with enthusiasm. “I do baking, I do bread, sweet cookies, and mousse. I like to eat sweets and to even make it.”

Natete’s journey began after completing secondary school when she embarked on a culinary arts course. Eager to immerse herself in the world of gastronomy, she seized the opportunity to intern at the Marriott Hotel for six months.

“After six months I was done with my internship. After a year they reached out to me with an offer to become a casual,” she recalls. “A casual worker helps the chef to do the mise en place, and even you help the chef in different ways.”

It was during this time that Natete’s talent and dedication caught the attention of her mentors. “Because of the enjoyment of working in pastry and helping chefs, I started to become better and they decided to give me a job,” she explains with a smile. “Then I started as a commis two, then I got the promotion to become a Pastry Chef. Now I am a chef.”

For Natete, the role of a pastry chef isn’t just about creating delectable desserts—it’s about breaking barriers and defying stereotypes. “When I started, I saw that men dominated the hospitality industry,” she reflects.

“There are many misconceptions about women. For example, here in hospitality, we work in shifts. There is an afternoon shift, morning shift, and evening. So about the women, they were like, I can not work a night shift. But now, I proved them wrong, because even now I work the night shift, I bake, I produce, whatever man can do, even me I do now.”

Her determination to challenge norms extends beyond the kitchen as Natete embraces opportunities for personal and professional growth. “After the EF program, now I have improved in communication,” she shares. “Now, I can talk with anyone without being afraid. I can explain to them whatever I do in English.”

Natete’s commitment to continuous improvement is evident in her eagerness to enhance her skills and broaden her horizons. “Now my research skills have improved,” she adds. “Now I can research different recipes online, which can help me in my everyday job.”

As she reflects on her journey, Natete emphasizes the importance of empowering women in the culinary world. “It is important to give women opportunities because they have ideas,” she asserts. “They have different ideas, they can practice.”

Her message to young women is one of empowerment and seizing opportunities. “Let’s stand up, work hard, and use the opportunity we have,” she urges. “In Rwanda, we have so many opportunities… Let’s take advantage of the opportunities around us.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Straight out of Twitter