Q: Look at the 20 years of Vivo Catering today?
The beginnings were simple and modest. But I was happy because it was the one job that I loved and I focused all my energy into it. Goethe said that distinguishes us what we love. The art of setting goals is to start with small steps. As the old saying says: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.”

Q: What has changed in the field of catering from your beginnings to today?
The first years of my entrepreneurial path catering activity in Slovenia was unknown, I still remember the questions what it Vivo catering means. With today’s lifestyles we are used to different forms of catering at every turn, so there is also more offer. The market is becoming more demanding, both in terms of national cuisine and world cuisines. Also there has been a great progress in technology. Otherwise, today innovation, creativity, boldness and following of trends are increasingly important. Therefore, it takes a lot of practice and continuing education.

Q: How do you remember the days when you started your catering path?
In my childhood and my youth, I regularly followed my mother on her work travels related with culture, education and tourism. Hard work and entrepreneurial-ship were placed in my cradle; my parents were professors, and grandparents entrepreneurs.

So it is no coincidence that I offered myself as a student, to our dear, now unfortunately deceased, a long-time family friend Olga Markovič, for a holiday job at the Ljubljana Castle. I soon found that the secret of happiness is simple, work that makes you happy is work that one does with joy. Work organization and interpersonal communication during studies as a challenge have taken me to set up own company. This launch was a challenge. With my colleagues we have worked dedicated, persistent, with love, and were, from the outset striving for excellence. We have started with smaller orders that have soon turned into larger projects. So mastery has become our way of living.

Q: Who was at the beginning of your business path your business angel?
My business angel was my mentor, the great master and author of many cookbooks, Mrs. Olga Markovič. My faithful angels, who give me the flight and power, are my family and my mother who is with me at all the ups and downs with.

Q: If you would not deal with the catering, what do you think you would be today?
In all probability, I would deal with education in the field of tourism and hospitality. Education is my eternal challenge, teaching is my hobby. Years ago I got my Master Degree the field of tourism, today I am a lecturer and associate professor at the high and higher school.

Q: What kind of a challenge is it to be a woman in a senior position? What is your experience?
For a woman with clearly defined personal, professional and spiritual goals, with enough courage, energy, good will and heart culture a management position is a real challenge. 

Q: What were your biggest and most memorable events?
Trust of the Queen Elizabeth II. to Vivo Catering to carry out the banquet on her visit to Slovenia is certainly the largest international reference for both Vivo as a company and for the staff who took care of the queen and her guests. In the meetings industry, we were most marked by the autoimmunity congress of organisers Kenes International, and in the media world catering at the visit of Kevin Costner, Monica Belucci, David Guetta and Bill Clinton. In addition there were a lot of memorable events both at home and abroad. 

Q: What do you think about the quality of Slovenian catering compared to the European level?
According to European standards, the quality of Slovenian catering is excellent, in many areas we are innovators. We work a lot in Europe and the response of guests shows that our service is of the highest quality. 

Q: Vivo Catering has won a number of medals and awards in the field of business excellence, attitude towards employees. What motivates you for progress and success?
One of the prizes, which I and also my colleagues are most proud of is three times award for the Best Employer Golden Thread. The main motivation for our work is quality service. Cuisine is creating, which includes personal talents, the secret of success is desire for excellence and perfection, which is also the desire for progress and teamwork and interconnectedness and trust.

Q: What are today’s major innovations in the field of catering?
Among the most important are certainly conveying cooling and heating boxes that allow us to flawlessly transport food from the kitchen to the location of the event. One of the most important innovations, particularly in the development of meetings industry are transportation convection ovens with which we can transport a small kitchen practically to the location of the catering. In terms of design it is certainly an inventory for entertainment.

Q: Your special future is affection for younger people. You have educated many and trained them for the job. Why?
Constant concern for the education Vivo staff. We are transferring the knowledge and culture of event catering to generations of students and students of catering and tourism and with our scholarship fund we are achieving superior results and are thus shaping the world of culinary excellence for the most demanding guests. We realize that only by co-creating we can create excellence at all times, so we see our young scholars as central a rising stars of catering. We involve them in the functioning of Vivo catering with the goal of common successful trip in the future, different, fragrant, delicious and friendly cuisine. I see a particular challenge in the intergenerational knowledge sharing and creation, which will be developed through IMI. We want to continue to expand our operation also outside of Slovenia.

Q: What will be in the future, that you feel as a risk or an opportunity for Vivo catering?
20 years ago Vivo chose its own path, followed own goal with the same principles as today. We risked and we succeeded. This was the only way for us and will be.
We know that food is a medicine, so we want to pay more attention to healthy, organically grown food, traceability of food, locally sourced food, right food combinations and healthy food preparation.

The risk, professionalism, ethics and morals was Vivo’s opportunity 20 years ago and the same principles will also be recorded in the next 20. Welcome!

Jerneja KAMNIKAR 1
Jerneja Kamnikar, VIVO Catering

Favourite drink?
Champagne, wine, cognac

Favourite food?
Pates and terrines

Favourite meetings location?
The nicest and safest city in the world – Ljubljana J


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