A Maître d’hôtel with an iron will
It was definitely her innate sense of service and listening skills, as well as her love of challenges, that propelled Lucienne Mohareo to the position of Maître d'hôtel at La Pergola, one of the Hôtel du Centre's two restaurants.
She welcomed us into the restaurant with a friendly smile and shared her day-to-day life. The interview was full of emotion for this young woman, who is not used to revealing her personal ups and downs or opening up about her tiredness and worries.
A born fighter, she displays impressive strength and courage. She is used to responsibility, having helped out with her siblings from a young age and is always willing to lend a helping hand and show generosity.
With origins in Lifou on her mother's side and Boulouparis on her father's, Lucienne – a.k.a Lulu – was in no way predestined for a hotel career and even less for managing a restaurant team. She originally set her sights on a career in the health and social sector. Once she had obtained her BEP (BTEC first diploma), she began her professional life in a day nursery.
Later on, she held down two jobs. During the day, she worked as a nursery assistant in a school in Boulouparis and afterwards took on a project helping children with their homework in the evenings as part of the activities carried out by the Pass pour la réussite (Pass for success) association in La Foa.
However, her dislike of routines and her need for change quickly led her to Noumea. There she joined her aunt, who is a Station chef at the Les 3 Brasseurs restaurant, where Lucienne herself made her debut as an Assistant chef.
Curious and enthusiastic, she quickly climbed the ladder until she was asked to help out in the dining room one day when it was understaffed. There, she demonstrated her true service qualities, having already honed them in the private sphere during the many weddings she attended while growing up in the Loyalty Islands. Within a month, she was promoted to Head waitress and her career path in the restaurant industry was clearly established.
Room manager and one-woman band
When she was hired at La Pergola restaurant in Noumea, Lucienne's first task was to organise the front of house team. Although the challenge was daunting, it was also a new goal that she was excited about.
So, she is training the waitresses and is delighted to be able to pass on her experience to them. A true one-woman band, she manages the inventories, places orders, keeps the schedules and allocates the tables before the lunch and evening services.
"What motivates me more than anything else is interaction with the customers and with my colleagues. It's a pleasure for me and I've always had very good relationships at work."
- If you were a table in the restaurant? The BA03, in a non-smoking area and with a bench.
- If you were a type of customer? A tourist, because I prefer to have a good time when I go to restaurants, rather than talk about work.
- If you were a particular moment during the meal? The shot, synonymous with adrenaline and overcoming one's limits.
- 3 things you always have with you at La Pergola? Perfume, lipstick and eyeliner. Thanks to my experience, I don't need a pen to write down orders, I remember everything in my head!
- The person, famous or not, who inspires you? My father, whose character is similar to mine, and my mother, who is very loving and affectionate.
- If you were not a Maître d’hôtel? I would advocate for women's rights. I would be a hairdresser. I’d love to work in fashion and do makeovers. I love anything that makes people look good...
- Your best quality and your main imperfection? I always forgive. I grumble when I'm tired, especially to my partner who is a sweetheart.
A well-organised mother
Juggling restaurant schedules and family routines? It is an art that Lucienne has mastered to perfection. This hyperactive mother's schedule has to run like clockwork.
During her daily break, she takes care of her three children. As soon as she can, she goes home to help them with their homework, and organise showers and meals, before handing over to their father and returning to the restaurant in the evening.