Sylva Volna has been with FishWorks Swallow Street for just under 2 years and is now taking up the challenge of opening our new FishWorks restaurant in the heart of Covent Garden. See her amazing journey and what she is most excited about for this much anticipated opening...
What’s made you choose a career in hospitality?
As a little girl I loved to be on stage! I wanted to be a singer. I was performing all my life until my mum felt that singing wasn’t a ‘real’ career choice, so I decided to study Hotel Management, Business and Tourism. At an open day, one of the show rooms was demonstrating cocktail making with flair…. I fell in love and went home to start mixing my parents liquor, very poorly may I add. That year I enrolled and started on my hospitality journey.
What is your career background before coming to FishWorks?
As part of my college course, I would partake in student exchange programmes. I started off in a 5 star Hotel in Germany when I was on my college Summer holiday and realised how much I enjoyed travelling. I then went on to study at the University of Prague where I also worked in the Hilton hotel. I had a great time learning about hotel management and had an incredible mentor. The Hilton F&B Manger saw some potential in me and said I should improve my English…. So I took a trip to London! I went from a 5 star hotel to working behind the counter in a McDonalds, life has its funny twists and turns. Now when I look back at those days, I know that it has taught me one very valuable lesson: that every job is important and you should always respect people, no matter where they work and what they do. After a rocky start, I worked my way up in the catering industry from fine dining to small intimate cocktail bars. I came across the opportunity at FishWorks through an agent and was a bit unsure about it at first (given my passion for the drinks scene). I politely went to the interview with the current Head of Operations at FishWorks, Caroline, and we instantly hit it off… I couldn’t refuse the position. Caroline has been an incredible mentor to me: she inspires me and challenges me in my role. I’m looking forward to building the new Covent Garden restaurant together.
What is your favourite FishWorks dish?
I love them all, but if I had to pick one it would have to be the Oven Roasted Peterhead Monkfish Tail with chilli, ginger and garlic mash. YUMMY!
How are you feeling about the new Covent Garden opening? Want to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon.
Well considering this is the site that we've all been waiting for…the pressure is on baby! But seriously, I am super excited. We have been planning from a few months back and now that that it’s almost here it’s all becoming very real to me. It will be our flagship site and with that comes massive responsibility. I am very honoured to be part of it.
What are you most excited about when you are officially open?
There is not one thing, it never is. If I was to pick one, then for me it is to see the excitement on other people’s faces. Not only the new or existing customers, but also the team’s faces. This is what makes my heart sing! To see the shining eyes of someone who you have just served one of our incredibly tasty looking fish or the grin on the face of a team member who you say well done to! I believe that with hospitality we make the world a better place by creating memories of happy moments. This is something that no one can ever take away from you.
If you were to host a celebrity dinner party at FishWorks, who would be your top 3 guests?
This is easy! Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp and Lady Gaga. I honestly think it would be a lot of fun and that is what a dinner party is all about.