A dynamic duo has joined one of the kingdom’s premier five-star beachfront resorts as it prepares for the hectic festive season with an outlet opening, expanded offerings and mixology marvels shortly to be unveiled.
Andrea Colla has joined the Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain as executive assistant manager (EAM)-food & beverage and Jeremy Canivet takes on the director of sales & marketing role where he will oversee the catering & conference services and sales division.
The pair will play crucial roles in recently-appointed GM Bernard de Villèle’s executive team in the island’s highly-competitive and constantly expanding hospitality sector. Bernard, a man not frightened to give youth a chance following the introduction of a pioneering Millennials Board, knows that when it comes to business success it’s all about the mix … and alongside youthful exuberance comes a blend of experience and knowledge.
Bringing over two decades of luxury hospitality experience to the resort, Andrea has worked for some of the greatest brands in hospitality, including The Ritz and The Savoy in London, St. Regis Hotels along with the Four Season Hotels & Resorts where he worked across Europe and, most recently, in Riyadh for the last five years.
“It’s great to be in Bahrain and I’m looking forward to further experiencing this great kingdom,” he told GulfWeekly. “Having lived in Saudi Arabia I had the chance to explore Bahrain a few times and had already formed a positive impression of the island, particularly as far as food and beverages were concerned.
“Indeed, I had the chance to test the opposition before I came as well as sampling the fare on offer here. So I’ve been able to compare some of the best restaurants and I have to say I have been very impressed with the quality of what’s on offer.
“There’s variety, lots of different outlets, concepts and cuisines, plus a superb vibe and great atmosphere for someone like me who really loves the food and beverage sector.”
The 46-year-old Italian is married to Agnes, and has two children, Ale, 10, and Lio, seven.
His timely arrival coincided with the new menu launch at the property’s award-winning Primavera Italian restaurant and next comes the grand opening of bar de la plage. “It comes within the concept of our beach and poolside restaurant La Plage,” he explained. “There was a space which was not fully utilised, a beautiful space – so we decided to reinvent it and create a very trendy setting for mixology.”
The hotel has just recruited the ‘young and dynamic’ Riccardo Fabian Ciancilla, who was director of mixology at the acclaimed Atari gastroteka in Spain’s San Sebastian.
Mixologists are considered artists with all the flash and dazzle of a great bartender but with a burning passion for creating inspired flavour combinations.
Mocktails have become a growing attraction with drinks such as Shirley Temple, a mixture of lemon-lime soda and maraschino cherries, well established in the kingdom but there’s so much more to come.
“It’s a kind of science and goes above and beyond the mixing,” explained Andrea, “it’s also about creating your own syrups, your own juices, your own infused items – and Riccardo is a real drink artiste. We are looking at creating these amazing tasting juices and there is a great concept behind it.”
Virgin Frozen Margarita, a little bit tart, a little bit sour and a little bit sweet, is popular, particularly when happily sipping one alongside a plate of tacos and salsa, which neatly moves the conversation on to the hotel’s Mexican outlet, Cantina Kahlo, with its new Chef de Cuisine, Hector Miguel Mandoza Becerra.
He’s a protégée of Pujol’s Enrique Olvera and has been recruited from Mexico City’s Jorge Vallejo at Quintonil, recognised as one of the world’s Top 50 dining destinations.
“We’re very happy to capture his services,” said Andrea, “the restaurant was already performing at a great level but this will give it a step up to make it a really unique place, where you can find fun and enjoy the finesse of the food as well. It’s a fantastic combination.
“We have to do it, as I say, ‘a la grande’ (in a big way) – in style and with perfect execution.”
And making sure it all falls into place will be Jeremy who brings nearly two decades of market experience to the fold, including a three-year spell at The Ritz-Carlton, Al Bustan Palace, in Oman.
In addition to working for notable brands such as the Fairmont Hotel and Resorts, St Regis and Kempinski, his career has also brought him to work in key market cities including Toronto, Zurich, London, Abu Dhabi and Muscat.
“I’m very happy to be here to ensure this property goes from strength to strength. I’m blessed with a great team with no fixing required, just little tweaks here and there, and I’m looking forward to being a part of the team that leads the luxury landscape in the kingdom.
“This hotel just doesn’t sit still and say ‘we have great rooms, great venues, a great beach and facilities so let’s just carry on’. No, this hotel is a chameleon, it keeps changing and adapting and moving to fulfil market demands.”
He has settled in well and is sincerely appreciative, like many newcomers, by the kingdom’s friendliness and its warm welcome. The Canadian is married to Alexandra and has two children, Natasha, 15, and Nate, 10.
Jeremy, 44, boasts a background of successful conference and events management which will come in useful as the Ritz-Carton, Bahrain expands its stunning octagon-shaped structure called Masaya, set up originally for Ramadan on the lawn area between the villas, into a permanent facility with an additional 1200sqm of function space. “This hotel is well positioned to jump on top of that segment of the market and really make the most of it,” he explained. “The timing could not be more perfect.”
Stanley Louis Szecowka
Editor/Journalist & Blogger, Restaurant & Motors Reviewer, FinTech Writer, Manager, Trainer.
Website Designed by Ahmed Khan.