In this interview, Peter Lamb, General Manager of Wy & Co, tells how he first entered the industry and shares some current projects.
What do you do and how did you get into the industry?
I am a General Manager with Wy & Co, managing PS150, Tickets and Krung Thep. I have been in the industry since I was 15 years old, with my first job as a waiter. The atmosphere and people interaction got me hooked. I was amazed at all the etiquette, techniques and formalities of service and of course the people you meet. I have been in the industry ever since and never looked back.
Share with us an interesting story from behind the scenes.
I once served the Queen of England at a lunch with the UK Prime Minister at that time. The lunch took three days of careful planning involving multiple security departments, over 20 Chefs cooking three courses, 15 Front-of-House, four Managers and two Sommeliers. We planned the menus, cooked the dishes more than 10 times and practised the service until perfect. We spent around 40 hours planning the event. The lunch was over within 45 minutes. The numbers reduced from 12 to six people, and most of the food was untouched. The moral of the story is so much planning goes into everything we do, but it is rarely ever noticed or understood at the front end.
What’s the best and worst part of your job?
There are so many amazing parts of the job. From meeting a variety of people to being able to travel and experience new cultures through food and drinks. The worst part of the job would be not being able to make a difference to a guest’s experience if it isn’t going well. In the past, guests would usually voice this up and we would have a chance to turn it around. Nowadays, with the preference of social media and keyboard warriors, guests often voice out after the occasion, without giving the venue the opportunity to conduct proper service recovery.
What’s your favourite experience PS150?
Friday nights! The venue is alive with shining eyes, memorable interactions, a buzz of conversations, all packaged with the electric energy that goes with running a service you know is going really well.
Share with us what sets Tickets apart from the many bars in KL.
Tickets is an intimate cocktail bar with a disguised facade of a curtained Ticket booth, which isn’t unusual for a bar in KL, but certainly makes for a theatrical entrance. However what sets Tickets apart is that in its similarity to a theatre, both in concept and interior design. The bar will run a series of ‘shows’, which are scheduled to last a period of circa nine months. As with a classic theatre program, this schedule is flexible dependant on popularity and availability. ‘Maguey’ is the star of our first show, where we showcase Tequila and Mezcal cocktails, so keep an eye out on our social media for the next upcoming show!
What’s something you’d like guests to know about Krung Thep?
Krung Thep is the Thai word for Bangkok. Thais never refer to Bangkok as Bangkok, only foreigners do this. We choose to call our restaurant Krung Thep because we showcase regional Thai food and in reality, Krung Thep is the central point in Thailand where everyone comes to showcase their particular speciality from their own region. It’s a melting pot of recipes, flavours and ingredients.
What’s your view on the food and beverage scene in KL?
KL has a diverse cuisine showcasing amazing local flavours, covering all spectrums of the price range and flavour profiles. Pairing that with the recent influx of international operators, KL is standing on its own amidst its Southeast Asian neighbours. We are very proud to be operating here and we have more to come.
What’s one of your most memorable food and beverage pairing?
Pan-Seared Foie Gras / Apricot Relish / Toasted Poilane + a Glass of Sauternes = Heavenly
What’s in store for you in the upcoming months?
Spending time in the outlets with the teams as a few of them have recently opened. It takes practice and more practice to get things perfect. Even the most practised cannot always be perfect, but one hopes you can try and get near.
A day in the life of a General Manager is…
An adventure, a challenge, an experience, and a lesson.
Find more interviews such as this one with Peter Lamb here.