I consider myself to have been very fortunate in my career to have been able to meet such amazing and inspiring people, from all over the world. Hospitality is such a rewarding and challenging career in many ways, but a love of food, wine and service has always been in my blood. When your passion is also your work it’s a real pleasure greeting the day.
I fell into the business by accident when I was 15, helping out a friend and washing dishes and peeling potatoes in the evenings. When I left school, I got my first job as a waiter in a hotel in the New Forest. Looking back, it was pretty daunting, but I was also very lucky. It was a simple three-star hotel but the service team was one of the best I have ever worked with. They had a great philosophy towards almost every duty – do it to the best way that it can possibly be done, and then do it consistently well! After five years I had made it to Head Waiter and when the sommelier suddenly left, it was up to me to learn about wine quickly. I didn’t have a clue, so decided to take the plunge and study the subject in detail. Once the wine bug had taken hold, that was all I wanted to do.
After a few moves, and working in amazing restaurants around the South Coast and Thames Valley, I entered a few competitions and was lucky enough to win a few. A move to London in the 90’s allowed me to get noticed by the international recruiters, and a few years later got a call one day from Dubai. The Burj Al Arab were looking for a wine manager and I was recommended by a very famous journalist. With overseas exposure and super luxury properties I took a side-step into restaurant management, returning to London and Reading as a Restaurant Manager, but still looking after the wine cellar. After four years I was again tempted back overseas, this time to Asia. Working in Malaysia, Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore was amazing, especially with such multi-cultural teams and incredible properties. My chance to direct operations finally came with a move to Jersey in 2010, and my first appointment as Director of Food and Beverage. When the opportunity to work back in the Middle East tempted me to Saudi Arabia directing operations for a portfolio of ultra-luxury private residences, it was amazing to see what can be achieved with vision in that capacity.
When your passion is also your work it’s a real pleasure greeting the day