Tessa Thompson

Tessa Thompson

Executive Recruiter at Amy Falbaum & Associates

Food and restaurants are my passion, and I have devoted a great deal of my personal & professional time, energy, and resources to pursuing this world. I’ve been given countless opportunities in the industry, and it is now my mission to give back. I’m committed to the efforts of making the industry even more professional and sustainable, especially when it comes to the people who work hard in it every day.

For me, inspiration comes through connecting with people who are passionate about what they’re doing, learning, or experiencing. It comes from meeting people who do what they do with gusto. Or sitting at a bar alone with great food, great wine, great service…and dreaming about the possibilities that life holds.
There are a million paths to take in this industry and no ‘right’ one. However, once you decide to enter this industry, go work at a great place, for great people who treat you fairly & with respect, and devote yourself completely. There are opportunities everywhere if you’ll keep your head down but your eyes open.
My position as a Career Advisor at ICE requires two things: experience and people skills. I believe I am good at what I do because I have a wide variety of experience from which to draw - from BOH to FOH to management and restaurant openings to international work experience. The fact that I have ‘been there’ is the only reason I’m able to do what I do.
My position also requires that I’m able to talk to and listen to people – from students to chefs to employers. I love working with the passion and enthusiasm of students. And I especially love connecting people. The idea of ‘giving back’ hadn’t really occurred to me until I took this position, but it happens to be one of my favorite parts of my job.
Working at ICE has been an opportunity to be constantly surrounded by incredible resources in this industry – from the ability to attend conferences and networking events to the programs hosted by the school to having daily interactions with students who are the future leaders of this industry.
Although there were always clues along the way, I knew I was in the right place when I took the position at Pearl Oyster Bar. I had just moved back from Europe with no money, and the financial prospects of working in this industry were grim. But I was determined to put my head down and fully immerse myself. Within a week of working at Pearl, I was so happy and excited to be there, even with all the cuts and scrapes and nightmares (literally) of shucking oysters, that I forgot all about the money. That’s when I knew I’d made the right decision. Rebecca Charles took a chance on me by constantly giving me more responsibility, which I relished. I loved (and still love) her restaurant, and it is where I first believed that I had what it takes to open my own business one day.

Disclaimer: Individuals featured in the Inspirational Career Timelines section have been nominated by peers, colleagues and/or other members of the hospitality industry. It is to the best of our knowledge that each individual has demonstrated leadership and acted as a positive role model for others.

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