reCHARGE® Your Life

Ep60: Kiran Robinson reCHARGED

June 08, 2022 Dr. Keri Ohlrich & Kelly Guenther
reCHARGE® Your Life
Ep60: Kiran Robinson reCHARGED
Show Notes Transcript

Kiran Robinson's story of innovation, perseverance and determination led her to her passion around hospitality and giving everyone the best experience possible. As an entrepreneur and a professional chef she shares her journey from Hong Kong to becoming the first female chef at a major hospital system in California, leading...designing and leading a kitchen from the ground up! Kiran's exploration of service, which has now led her to Luxembourg, is powerful and moving.

Kiran Robinson has dedicated her career to perfecting the art of service. She has served as a culinarian, concept designer and service curator on three different continents. As a chef, Kiran launched her own catering, consultancy, and concept design business in Hong Kong. 

Her accomplishments include developing her own line of specialty foods and branding under her label ‘Tazah’, projects with 5-star hotels and some of the leading chefs in the Asian region.

Kiran pivoted from entrepreneur to professional when she relocated to San Francisco. She joined one of the country’s top 10 hospitals where spent the next 16 plus years holding a variety of positions: Executive Chef, Executive Dining Room Manager and Operations Manager.

Kiran’s passion for service informs her whole life-from family, community, and profession to her charitable work with vulnerable children in Malawi, Africa.

Based in Luxembourg, Kiran devotes her time to writing, speaking, mentoring, and advising on service-leadership and the true heart of hospitality-selfless service (Seva).

Kiran launched her book Seva: The Art of Hospitality in November 2021.

Connect with Kiran to learn more about her and her background:

Sign up for our newsletter at Please subscribe, leave a review and tell your friends about our podcast. Learn more about the CHARGE® model by purchasing the book, The Way of the HR Warrior. Let us know about the moments for you that changed your life trajectory. Drop us a note via our website. 

Keri [00:00:14] Welcome to the Recharge Your Life podcast with me Dr. Keri Ohlrich and Kelly Guenther. We are thrilled to talk to people who have made a decision that recharges their lives. Often they push themselves out of their comfort zones and took risks. We want to know about that decision point. Why did they make that decision? And most importantly, how can we learn from them? Kelly and I are passionate HR professionals, and together we co-founded our HR consulting firm Abbracci Group. We have talked to amazing people throughout our careers and listen to them as they make decisions that change their lives and knew that these inspirational stories would help others. And why did we call it reCHARGE®? It's based on a book I coauthored called The Way of the HR Warrior. And in it we have a leadership model CHARGE which stands for Courage, Humility, Accuracy, resiliency, goal oriented and exemplary. We know that people used one or more of these qualities to help them make their decisions, and we want to learn from them. Now sit back, listen, and be inspired by these stories and then do something to recharge your life. Let's get to it. 

Kelly [00:01:21] Hi, everyone. It's Kelly. We're so excited to have Kiran Robinson as our special guest. Kiran has dedicated her professional career to perfecting the art of service. She has served as a culinary and concept designer and service curator on three different continents as a chef. Kiran launched her own catering consultancy and concept design business in Hong Kong. Her accomplishments include Develop Your Own Line of specialty foods and branding under her label Tazah with five star hotels and some of the leading chefs in the Asian region. Kiran pivoted from entrepreneur to professional when she relocated to San Francisco. She joined one of the country's top ten hotels or excuse me, top ten hospitals where she spent the next 16 plus years holding a variety of positions. Executive Chef. Executive Dining Room Manager and operations manager. Kiran's passion for service informs her whole life from her family, community and profession to her charitable work with vulnerable children in Malawi, Africa based in Luxembourg. Kiran devotes her time to writing, speaking, mentoring and advising and service leadership and the true heart of hospitality. Selfless Service. Savor. Kiran launched her book, Seva the Art of Hospitality in November 2021. Kiran We're always we always like to start our podcast by asking what you do when you want to expand your thinking. 

Kiran [00:02:56] Hi, ladies. How are you? 

Kelly [00:02:59] We're great. Thank you so much for joining us today. 

Kiran [00:03:01] Absolutely. Thank you for having me on your platform. This is such an honor. So excited to be here. 

Kelly [00:03:08] Thank you. It's an honor for us as well. 

Kiran [00:03:10] I'll jump in right into your question and if I may answer. You know, after 30 years of a dedicated life saver in hospitality, mentoring and sharing, what I have learned, I find myself tending to gravitate towards other strong leaders in the field, especially as I had to reinvent myself here in Luxembourg. I've been here for two years now. I just want to learn more about their leadership skills and experience. And honestly, it takes a bold mindset to step out of one's comfort zone, to reach out to someone and ask for help. You know, and I think the word I would use here is courage, definitely. Those gifts to me just by reaching out, asking for help. This gives me an opportunity to expand my knowledge, to face what I may not know or what might be difficult or uncomfortable for me, per se. I do the same with new and budding chefs to get a perspective of their resiliency. How? How do they manage to spring back and recover? What fresh ideas and technologies they're bringing to the table, especially during challenging times. I go into their kitchens, regardless of Michelin stars or otherwise. Engage with them and share their, by pushing myself, I see the rewards in my inspired weekly articles, articles on food, travel, service, seasons, holidays, lifestyle, the whole thing. And I also got a domain for Female Fingerprints, which is an article that I publish once a month, which is a primarily for the purpose of empowering women globally. 

Keri [00:05:13] Vega. Kiran, it's so great that you're here. My mind is racing with about 100 different things I want to talk to you about, none of which are actually related to this podcast. I want to talk about your travel. I want. I want, like, oh, so I'll try to calm down and focus on what we want to talk about. But what how do you you're so curious and it sounds like that's one of the themes in your life is always expanding your thinking and pushing yourself and expanding your your brain and open to new concepts. What are some of the things that like just right now that you're so interested in that really kind of you're like, that really has put me out, like you said, outside of your comfort zone, maybe. What's the one or two things you do? So many. I just thought maybe we can narrow it down to one or two. 

Kelly [00:06:18] Kiran. 

Kiran [00:06:22] Hello. 

Keri [00:06:23] Hi. 

Kiran [00:06:24] Hi. Sorry about that. I don't know how much of that you missed. 

Keri [00:06:29] I didn't hear it. Go ahead. One time kind of one or two things that maybe are really you're curious about right now and really pushing expanding your thinking. 

Kiran [00:06:37] Right. I mean, that that's that's a great question. I don't I had done a lot of mentoring back in the hospital for, you know, the 16 plus years that I was there. I don't want to forget those young ones. I don't want to forget the the chefs, the cooks, you know, the the the sauces, the the people who do the prep work and all of that. I want to continue to reach out to them and see where they are and see if I can come alongside and encourage them and see if they need help. So I've been very fortunate actually in doing that because Luxembourg is such a small country. I mean, it is a country actually on its own. It's, it's, it's a duchy. So there's the duke and duchess and princes and princesses and they have a little palace and all of those wonderful things. It's like a fairytale land, you know. So I've been very fortunate in in connecting with the restaurants and hotels here and connecting with those chefs, and they're really friendly. And I remember during COVID time, I made a few chef friends and I thought it would be a good idea to just extend my hospitality and have them over for dinner, just to encourage them and honor them and tell them, you know, put your feet up and let me cook for you. So they accepted my invitation. So I had a bunch of them. Well, bunch of them for that was the curfew period. And we were only allowed four guests per, per home, you know, events, whatever. 

Keri [00:08:29] Yeah. 

Kiran [00:08:29] And they all came and I said, oops, what, what do I do? And I said, okay, what about Indian street food? So I met Barney Paris, and I write about this story in my book about the art of hospitality. It was such a fun concept, and we were standing around behind my kitchen and I'm making these little bunny bricks, and the chefs are looking at me and they're like, Can we come around and make a few ourselves? I said, Sure, have fun. And the next thing you know, we're talking about what can we do? How could we stretch ourselves, you know, with the restaurants closed? And I suggested, what about a food truck? And somebody said, Oh, I have a friend who has a food truck. I said, okay. So all of the restaurants here have their own terraces. I said, Hold the food truck on the terrace. I gave them the recipe. We're doing production virtually, and they made Beautiful Planet Paris. And the weekend that they opened was the food truck concept. It was minus eight degrees here. It was snowing. I come from India, Hong Kong, California. I don't play with snow. I can play in the snow. It was freezing, my nose is leaking. But I'm like, No, I got to go and support them. And there are lines all the way up the hill and all around. So you can see the community participation is immense here. So people came out in the in spite of the cold weather, they came out, they queued up and they had invited a michelin star chef, guest chef in the truck. So there was only room for two of them. And I met the guests, the guest chef, and he asked me if he could take my recipe and use it in his restaurant. I said in my own means, go right ahead. He turned the bunny bouris into an enormous bush in his restaurant. And that's that's what happened for me. It was like, okay, inspired. And I called it The Planetary Journey. That was the title of my story in the chapter. It was so fun. So that's what I'm looking to do. Keep on with the community building, make friends, show that we're here to save up with you. And, you know, just keep them encouraged and inspired. 

Keri [00:11:04] Yes. What I love about how you expand thinking is that connection with others. And so just sitting down, it just starts with. Come over for dinner and who knows what's going to happen. And so expanding yourself, expanding, like you said, the community. And I have and this is it'll be a whole other podcast. But I do have chefs themselves. If you don't constantly take in new ideas and get inspired others, you you can evolve your dishes and your food and then you're not serving the same plate that you have for the past ten years. 

Kiran [00:11:39] Exactly. 

Keri [00:11:40] You're constantly having to push yourself. So you're already to me just listening to you and the and what you focus on your career path to expand your your mind and evolve and keep and keep learning and growing and being curious. But what a great story. And I'm right cold. I am I am from Chicago but I was living in California has changed me. I don't do it anymore. So I feel your pain. 

Kiran [00:12:09] Yeah, it's. It's. It's hard, you know? It's hard, but. But it's fun. It's fun doing Seva with your community. And I had to. I had to build a whole new community and come up with different ideas. So we have a coffee shop here just a couple of minutes away from where I am. And I made it a point to get up at 7:00 in the morning every morning, and that's when they open. I said, I'm going to go over there, get my cappuccino, make friends. And I did. And I write about them as well in my book, a whole chapter on them. And they see me coming up the street and they'll go the usual and it boom. In one minute, my cappuccino, extra hot with a little less milk, is ready for me, delivered in my face, in my hands. 

Keri [00:13:00] And just that community building and just connecting with people. When I when Kelly and I even look back at all these great things that have happened in our careers is because, like you said, you had coffee, dinner, and you're all kind of sitting around talking about something and went, Oh, my goodness, this would be a great idea. That's amazing. So again, what did I say? This could be we have like 20 podcasts in one here. What is the decision that you made or was made for you that really changed the trajectory of your life? And what are some of those charge qualities that you use to help you through it? 

Kiran [00:13:39] Sure. Great question. This is a big one. Okay. So I lived in I grew up in Hong Kong. I was born in India, moved to Hong Kong, grew up in Hong Kong. And then after 1997, which is the, you know, the handover period, a subtle shift began in our lives. And within the year, we were talking about moving to the Bay Area and considering our girls going to university and being close to them as as we transitioned into this next chapter of our lives, this was a huge change after 37 years of my life in Hong Kong. I mean, I had my family in Hong Kong, my sisters, my you know, my siblings. It was hard, however. You know, I was an entrepreneur in Hong Kong. I had a successful business that I'd built from scratch. We made that decision. We said, you know, this is an opportunity and we're going to do it. So after a we moved to California and the Bay Area after a couple of years was settling in in our new home. I started thinking about what I would do next. I didn't I knew that I didn't want to start my own business again, per se. And just like that, I got a call. I went out. I went back to visit my son in Hong Kong. And I got a call there saying that one of the top ten hospitals in the Bay Area in Palo Alto was looking for a chef in the executive dining room. So this was an opportunity for me to serve a larger audience. I was a little nervous, but I took courage and I said, I'm going to do it. You know, I also had this mantra of, I can do this, I can do this, I can do this way back. You know, for the past 30 years, it's it's been like that, you know. And I did. I accepted that opportunity. And I thought. This would serve a larger audience. And that's what I love. I love extending myself and doing bigger things and wearing many hats. So I made that decision to join the top ten health care provider. I was the first and only female chef in the kitchen, and I started to ponder on how I could marry hospitality with hospital. You know, the same word. The word in the word. 

Keri [00:16:14] Yeah. 

Kiran [00:16:15] Yeah. It required courage, resilience. I did not have any experience in health care. The executive dining space was in the C-suite. I was surrounded by leadership every day. And I had a fear. I thought, what if they see through me? I don't have any experience in health care or leadership. I was surrounded every day by leaders. What if they saw through me? But you know what I learned? I learned that sometimes one's own fears can cripple if allowed. If they're unchecked. 

Keri [00:17:01] Mm hmm. 

Kiran [00:17:01] And there. There I was on my mantra again. I can do this. I can do this. So this is what happened. So instead of. You know, instead of thinking like, okay, what's going to happen? Are they going to see through me? I received words of praise such as, Can you exude confidence? Kiran, You know so much about food and travels. Kiran, you speak so many languages. You are perfect for our visitors that come in from Hong Kong. Each attribute pointed out was I was like a check on my credentials. Nutrition check. Leadership check. Hiring skills check. Yes, I was a hiring manager. Mentoring check. Hospitality check. Language skills check. The courage of accepting these dynamic roles to change, to educate, to heal, to care for. And the mantra I can do this ended up encouraging me, uplifting me and igniting me to want to do more, to give all of myself here. And that's exactly what I did. Because the next thing that happened was they asked me to manage the dining room, come out of the kitchen. Then they gave me the whole catering division next to the coffee shop and then the special events planning. And then they had a building. They had been building the new hospital for the past eight years and they brought me in and asked me to and I was instrumental in this to take part in the planning of the state of the art kitchen for the new hospital. There were so many programs. I organized stages with chefs. When I was interviewing them, there were special themed meals for patients, physicians, menus, wellbeing and mindfulness events. Farmer's Markets Program. Then they gave me the cafeteria and that I introduced the seasonal salad programs. We were serving employees, visitors, and then one day HR approached me and said, Our people, the night shift are feeling left out because everybody's talking about such that there are such great meal programs over the holidays, meaning Thanksgiving and Christmas. The night shift service feels left out. Kiran, can you help? Can you do something about it? I went to our director and he said, You think you can do this? I said, Absolutely. So I would come in and open up the cafeteria and feed 3000 people for a whole Thanksgiving and Christmas meal. A hot meal. We're talking about a full fledged hot meal. And that was amazing. 

Keri [00:20:04] Yeah. 

Kiran [00:20:05] Yeah. That is amazing. 

Keri [00:20:07] Where where did this where is amazing story and where did this. Did you always have this? I can do it mantra. Like even when you were a kid and you're like, I, of course, can do it. So where did that come from? 

Kiran [00:20:25] Oh, my gosh. I think my calling developed more from an instinct than than a blueprint. I was born with a drive that formed and shaped my life's work. A predisposition, if you will, that permeates every area of my life. This instinct to serve others took root at a very early age and grew throughout my entire life. And I think it was the fuel of my 30 year career. The reality of a young Indian girl destined for duty, which affords little opportunity to contemplate having a career. Yet in the most inhospitable of circumstances, this instinct continued to emerge until at last it just evolved from sheer drive into an art form and a really it was my maternal grandmother, the matriarch, the leader who had inspired me at the tender age of 12. The reality of my amma, my grandmother, subtly gifting me a portion of her repertoire, sharing her legacy with me was an incredible gift, a rite of passage of sorts. And I really think that that's how I started. And I write about her in my first chapter, and I call it Poppadoms and Pickles. I mean, who teaches a girl who is barely 12 how to make poppadoms really? 

Keri [00:22:01] Right. 

Kiran [00:22:03] Yeah. And then I ended up it was, you know, after I'd finished her story and I thought, you know what? She deserves an epilog. And I want to share with my readers how she literally hands me the legacy. And I'm not going to say any more because everybody's going to have to buy the book. 

Keri [00:22:27] But you just you you highlight what what we call watching the show. It's just the power of one person. And so the power of your grandmother. Can you at least I don't want to give too much away, but can you give what's kind of the maybe the one bit of advice or the one just super clear memory you have and you're like, and that set of her just inspiring you. 

Kiran [00:22:54] A vision in white. 

Keri [00:22:56] Mm hmm. 

Kiran [00:22:58] Yeah. I mean, come on. I'm. I'm, like, barely 12, and I haven't seen her for, what, six years since we moved to Hong Kong. And I'm greeted by this vision in white. She's dressed in white. She has white long hair, which she braids and, you know, smooth sit back. And she's got these incredibly pearly white teeth, you know, and and she's just I don't know, she's just shining, you know? 

Kiran [00:23:36] Yeah. Amazing woman. And she just takes me in her arms and she's like, All right, let's go sit on the mat and let's start working. 

Keri [00:23:49] Oh, what a beautiful memory and vision. And no wonder you're so one. You're your passion for helping other women as well. Yes. I mean, that. Yes, you you mentioned when you took this hospital role, which is it? You could say nontraditional, entrepreneurial, like where you were, because now you're kind of moving into this bigger corporation. Right. You mentioned that you had yes. You had some doubts and things, but those were kind of overcome with you got some external compliments and checkmarks on your work. But what internally kind of went through as well with this shift? How when did you say, all right, I got this for sure now in your head, like internally, because I think a lot of our listeners kind of struggle with some of that, too, or I know people who you kind of feel like it's that imposter syndrome a little bit. And so how how did that how did you kind of internally manage through that? 

Kiran [00:24:48] Great question. You know, it happened twice both in Hong Kong and then in California as well, being the only female chef here. If I may, let's talk about Hong Kong first. If it's not just okay, first of all, you're female. What are you doing in the kitchen? You're not supposed to be as strong as the male dominated. Era area here. Arena. Sorry. The word I was looking for. What are you doing here? And you're not supposed to know more than we do. That kind of thing, you know? And then wait on top of that. You're not even Chinese. You're Indian. 

Keri [00:25:31] Mm hmm. 

Kiran [00:25:31] What are you doing in our kitchen? So it was kind of like that. So if I may jump, I don't know about time, if I may jump into a very for sure up. Okay. It's it's a very sweet story. And I titled it inclusivity. I was asked to come help out at the convention center. They had seen some of my work, and I was a consultant. And they they engaged me to do an Arabian Night theme for 19 days. So I said, okay, how am I going to go into this kitchen with the executive chef and his whole team? Are they going to take me a female seriously? And how how do I approach this? So I thought I would use the inclusivity approach, which is coming alongside wearing my big smile and saying surprising them in my very fluent Cantonese that I was here to work together with them and. I'm going to help them understand what all these spices are, what Sharama means, and how we're going to assemble the whole Sharama, and that they would be the first ones ever in Hong Kong to have created and served a Sharama to 500 dining guests every night for 19 days. And they looked at me with. With with these huge eyes. And the the only word that came out of all of their mouths was like, Wha. And when Chinese say. Wow. That big deal, that's a big wow, you know. 

Kiran [00:27:25] So and that's what I did. And it was it was just that there were over 15 kitchen staff in this space. You know, they had a sushi chef, the party guy, Marge Saucier, pastry girl, all these guys, commies, prep cooks and all just gathered around me, and they're taking a whiff of the spices and tasting this and that. And I'm bantering away in my Cantonese with hand gestures and sharing stories of each recipe. The whole Silk Road, where they come from, what the colors mean, how pungent the spices are, the darker the color of the spice is because it's been hand roasted. And then there were just that whole aroma that permeated through the kitchen. Was it was it was awesome. I felt like I wanted to be a fly on the wall looking at the scene rather than being in the scene, you know what I mean? Ah, importing it. I wish somebody had taken pictures and recorded all of that. It was so amazing. But you know what I got out of all of that, I mean, it was it was a huge success. The first night was a thousand people because they decided to have a cocktail party and invite all of their peers from the hospitality industry, meaning all the five star hotels in Hong Kong. And it was media and everything. It was it was huge. And then the next 18 nights, there were 500 diners each night. But the the day we started, the first day, Chef Chow, the executive chef, he took me down to housekeeping and he said, carrying this, go get some things for you. I said, Oh, sure, we go down to housekeeping and he pulls out two beautiful white new chef's coats and two talks for me. And on the chef's coats there is my name embroidered on the breast pocket in the same color thread as his swore. 

Keri [00:29:41] Mm. 

Kiran [00:29:43] So that and that he it he puts it, he holds it in his two hands and he goes down and he gives me the jackets and the toques. Now when you have the same color thread embroidered on your coat as the executive chef, that means it's an honor. He is honoring me and saying, you are like me, the same caliber, the same category, the whole nine yards. I was like, okay, let those tears come. It's okay. I'm showing humility here. Let them come. 

Keri [00:30:20] Right. 

Kiran [00:30:21] That that was an amazing acceptance.  

Keri [00:30:24] Wow. 

Kiran [00:30:25] Yeah. 

Keri [00:30:26] I think, too, though, with the themes that I heard, your inclusivity, you explained why you helped advocate like Kelly and I do, a lot of change management. It's all about why, you know, leadership, why? Yes, why. And training people and educating and just sharing your experience and being open also speak their language. So but what a good lesson just for everyone to kind of hear that. Like, how do I kind of manage through these hard situations in my in my life? And I love that. What you're going to say about the hospital, too. I want to give you. 

Kiran [00:31:05] You had. Yeah, I'll make it. I'll make it very quick and short. So when I first started there, I noticed that the the reason they were having some problems, you know, retaining the right person up there. Yes. Okay. It's C-suite. You know, people get nervous working so close to the leaders in the kitchen, but especially because you're up there, reputation matters. The kitchen needs to be 100% as far as regulatory and compliance, right? 

Keri [00:31:41] Yeah. 

Kiran [00:31:42] They had never achieved that. So. I, I mean that that is like a big deal for me. And I was able to get them 100 marks, 100 points as far as the scores. And I kept it. To that same level for the 16 years I was there. And that was. Yeah. And my, you know, my bosses and even my team would kid around with me and they'd say, Kiran, what about 99%? I said, No, I don't know what, it's 99, only hundred percent. This is a place where we heal people. So it has to be safe. 

Keri [00:32:29] I love that exemplary two ad. And by the way, you don't want to be the person who's eating there if you're the point. One of the 99.9. Right. Because I had a pretty bad experience. 

Kiran [00:32:40] No way 

Keri [00:32:40] I really like the one. 

Kiran [00:32:42] No way. 

Kiran [00:32:43] You know, it is I would die of embarrassment if I'm right there with the leaders and something were to happen or my score is 99%. What does that say about me? 

Keri [00:32:55] Mm hmm. 

Kiran [00:32:56] Oh, yeah, Everything you do. You have to do in excellence. Right? 

Keri [00:33:01] Yeah. Especially when you are in service, to your point.  

Kiran [00:33:05] Yes. 

Keri [00:33:06] Well, are relying on you and and. Yeah, 99% sounds wonderful. But again, in a hospital setting or a chef setting, there's. Yeah. Then who are like, I had a horrible experience or I got sick from the food or whatever and you don't. I absolutely found that what you have given us already such beautiful. I can listen to your stories forever and add to what I have already been to Luxembourg once I'm coming back,. 

Kiran [00:33:33] Huh? 

Keri [00:33:33] Yes, I have. So Kelly and I are coming back for a meal. 

Kiran [00:33:38] You have to come. You have to come visit me. Okay? We'll have so much fun. 

Keri [00:33:43] What are you already given? Such beautiful advice? I do lose out. Are there some other kind of pearls of wisdom that you have? Besides, y'all need to get the book? What are. What are some other. Just kind of this with this beautiful career you've had and other kind of bits of advice that you'd like to share. 

Kiran [00:34:06] You know, I learned so much. I mean, it was amazing where I was working the hospital because it's a teaching hospital. They'll develop leaders. I learned so much. I am indebted to them. If I didn't have that, I, I don't know what I would be doing. You know, I really learned a lot. So hats off to to everything they did. But for the viewers. I would say derive strength and courage through service. A job that I can do this mantra. Next. Develop resilience. Resiliency. Consciously, not just okay. Resiliency and moving up, but more consciously know when and how to pivot. That's important. The third one, I would say is demonstrate exemplary and unparalleled skills. Everything you do, do in excellence. 

Keri [00:35:16] Yeah. So beautiful. It's like here we have the same mind around the charge qualities and what you need to do. And so, Kelly, I know we're already making the plans for Luxembourg, Kelly. 

Kelly [00:35:30] I can't wait. I'm so excited. 

Keri [00:35:35] It's got everything. Kelly in the kitchen, which is horrifying. 

Kelly [00:35:40] So you just never. You've never been trained by someone like Kieran and there you go. 

Kiran [00:35:45] Out there.

Keri [00:35:48] Yeah. And I think the one thing that really resonated with me and I'm feeling some of what Kelly's probably going to say, but that having that confidence and like I can do it. Kelly Sometimes we look at each other like, what do we just commit to? And then we always say to each other, But we got it. 

Kiran [00:36:05] Yeah, there you go. 

Keri [00:36:07] Like that kind of trust in yourself that it seems kind of scary and you kind of think, can I do it? And you just the beauty in just saying to yourself, I got it. I don't know how we do it, but I know I got it. And so I don't know what else. Kelly resonated with you with all these beautiful stories and kind of hungry. Now, tell you wondering. 

Kiran [00:36:31] You know, how sometimes people say Fake it till you make it. 

Keri [00:36:38] Yes, I've heard that.  

Kiran [00:36:40] Yeah. And I think I kind of started with that. I remember advising my my hairstylist in California, you know, she you know, whenever I go visit her, she would talk to me about her problems, whatever. And I would say, oh, just fake it till you make it. But I grew away. I grew up from from saying that, you know, you don't have to fake it till you make it. You can do it. 

Kiran [00:37:07] Yes. 

Keri [00:37:08] And do really well. Right. 

Kiran [00:37:11] Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. 

Kelly [00:37:15] Well, I think one of the key takeaways for me, Kiran, and thank you so much for sharing your story, is just how how humble you are. Because some people would say and look at all the stuff I've just done Mike drop and but you're so you're so about the moment and the experience and the story and the what and making everyone feel comfortable in your presence and and just the entire process of cooking the meal or learning about how the spices are interacting with the rest of the meal, that it's, you know, that you're I mean, it really isn't about you. And just that that entire. As you were telling that story about. About inclusivity and approaching that. You know that executive chef and his team of 15 to do an Arabian nights theme for nineteen days. 

Kiran [00:38:10] Mm hmm. 

Kelly [00:38:11] That that the presence of mind, you had to really kind of approach it the way that you did. 

Kiran [00:38:16] Yeah,. 

Kelly [00:38:16] I would anticipate that you probably would approach that like you would anything else. You know, that they do natural to you that it really wasn't a big leap for you to kind of approach it as you would anything else that you might have done because it's so ingrained in who you are and how you, how you, how you engage people, that's just your style. But I'd be right in saying that. Is that does that sound right?

Kiran [00:38:40] Yeah. Yeah, I it people love stories. So when you're incorporating teaching with your stories, it makes it easier for them to understand. And then when you use yourself an example in the storytelling, like, oh, I was, you know, when I was asked to decorate the Mandarin Hotel and it would come the whole holiday theme Christmas. I was standing on this hydraulic ladder 18 foot high because I didn't want any of my team to be on that tall ladder to put the star on top of the tree off the tree. I wanted to do it myself, you know. And when you're mentoring young people, which I did a lot of, you know, there were cooks who at the age of 16, they're in my kitchen. Renzo is one of them star quality. I saw what he had and I mentored him all the way through. He didn't even know what he was capable of doing. And then when I and then he's now a chef, he became a chef. And he writes to me the day I'm leaving for Luxembourg. And he says, Miss Kiran, everything I am today, it's because of you. You will always be my work, mom. So. And I'm like, Oh, and the day I'm leaving, like, oh, that's so touching, but it's so sweet. So when you're working with young people who don't even know who they are, they're not 100% developed yet. You see something in them, you're mentoring them, you're talking to them, you're telling them your stories. You learn. You end up learning from that. 

Kelly [00:40:24] Mm hmm. 

Kiran [00:40:26] You know what I'm saying? 

Kelly [00:40:27] Absolutely.

Kiran [00:40:28] They tell you that. Yeah. You learn that. That perseverance, that patience. You learn the art of there is a different way of talking to young people. Mm hmm. And if you don't put all of that into application because they're showing it to you, they're showing you and telling you it's their body language that you have to talk to me in a certain way. Otherwise, I'm not going to get you, lady. 

Kelly [00:40:53] Mm hmm. 

Kiran [00:40:54] You end up learning, and then your skills in that area start developing. You know, like, this is how I need to approach different people. I need to include them, bring them in closer, you know? 

Kelly [00:41:08] Absolutely. 

Kiran [00:41:09] So it works. That's all they want. They want that attention. They want to be included. Mm hmm. Yeah.  

Kelly [00:41:17] Absolutely. It's very poignant. I mean, all your stories, there's such a poignant component to it. It's it's I can visualize the setting as you're telling this story, which is, to me, you're a great storyteller as well. I don't know if you've been told that before, but there's a. In development, there's this idea of, yes, you want a leader to develop you, but you also have to be willing to be developed and you have to be interested in taking the information or the opportunity and doing something with it. 

Kiran [00:41:51] Yes. 

Kelly [00:41:51] And you very much strike me as somebody who's all in regardless, like whatever opportunity you are given or whatever, you know, building the the, the, the kitchen and every single operative you had at that hospital system. 

Kiran [00:42:04] Yeah. 

Kelly [00:42:04] It was. Yes, I will do it. I mean, you didn't there wasn't a moment's hesitation. You did it regardless, because you were that interested in curious by nature. 

Kiran [00:42:15] Hmm. 

Kelly [00:42:16] And so to me, that just speaks volumes about your your willingness to always try something new, even if you, to your point, didn't know everything. Yeah. You you had the key components that you could figure it out. 

Kiran [00:42:29] No. But to tell you honestly, there were times when I was really frustrated, and especially with Renzo and I was like, okay, I love this whole thing of mentoring, mentoring Renzo. And he's like, my son, but I'm getting a little frustrated. And lo and behold, what happens is we have a Michelin star chef and he's there and he he wants to, you know, because of patient privacy, I can't say a lot. But but because he's been taken care of in in the hospital, he wants to give back. So he comes to me and asks if he can use my kitchen to take care of the people who took care of him in the hospital. And I was like, Yeah, sure. And I'd be happy to stay back and open the kitchen for you and we'll work together. And then I had a thought. I was like, Oh my gosh, Michelin star in my kitchen. And it's, it's in my book, the story. And I immediately asked Renzo, I said, Renzo, did you want to stay back? You know, this guy's really fun and you might want to see what he's doing. It's it's really interesting. And Renzo was like, okay, Miss Karen, he stayed back. And I just, you know, didn't say a lot. And I watched the chef how he pulled Renzo in quietly just by pushing the spices in front of him. He was he made some Egyptian food, push the spices in front of him and told him, smell it, take a whiff of it. Go ahead. Taste it Renzo. Just what do you think? Haha, you know what? It was such lovely, sweet banter. And when, you know, when we had a moment together, the chef and I and I was like, oh my gosh, you made me rethink. I was just so frustrated, you know, I wanted to give up. And you just encouraged me and told me, No, we have to keep doing this. We were of the same mindset, you know, that, yes, he believed in mentoring, too. Yes, he knew I was frustrated and it was like he wasn't there for me just to help me with this this lesson here, you know? 

Kelly [00:44:52] Well, definitely another noteworthy reason why everyone should be picking up the book, savor the hospitality to which we will make sure we will include that in the show notes for everyone to see in the podcast. Absolutely, for sure. But I definitely encourage everyone to connect with Kiran and will make sure all of our contact information, along with a link to the book, is in the show notes for this episode. Thank you, Kiran, so much for joining us. 

Kiran [00:45:22] Thank you, Kelly. Keri, you ladies are awesome. This is such a privilege. Thank you. 

Kelly [00:45:27] Well, the privilege was all ours. Thank you so much again. Really appreciate you. 

Kiran [00:45:32] All right. Thank you. Bye bye. 

Kelly [00:45:34] Thank you. 

Kelly [00:45:38] Thank you for listening to the Recharge Your Life podcast. Please sign up for our newsletter at Abbracci and follow us on social media. You can find us on LinkedIn at Abbracci Group. Instagram at WarriorsofHR and Twitter at Warriors_HR. Remember to subscribe to our podcast. Leave a review and please tell a friend and be sure to drop us a note on how you are recharging your life. We can't wait to hear from you.