In your travels, what were some of your most aweinspiring moments?
Tough question, but I’ll go with the time I visited Le Méridien Kota Kinabalu. We were fascinated by the warm welcome of the Malaysian people. The concierge organized a unique tour for us that included a ride on the longest zipline in Malaysia from island to island, local authentic lunch and a mind blowing seafood dinner right next to the ocean.
You’re also Le Méridien’s Global Master Barista. Coffee can be an even more personal experience than cocktails. How do you appeal across such a wide range of tastes?
For me, espresso is the original Facebook. Coffee is all about socializing, getting together with friends, family and colleagues. Coffee is part of our day to day routine and every one of us knows exactly how we would like to enjoy our daily cup. Increased awareness about the art of growing and preparing coffee has made the product easily comparable with wine.
It’s clear you’re passionate about experimenting with new ideas while still pleasing your guests. Where do you find the balance?
I have worked with Le Méridien since 2009 when I started my career at our Vienna hotel. There’s no greater pleasure for me than tasting something new. Even when I am not working, I just love to discover new trends, products, bars or restaurants, and exchange ideas or simply just jump behind my home bar and try out something completely different.
Where do you find the inspiration?
My family owns a restaurant back home in Austria and whilst I was growing up, I supported the business along with my dad from an early age. In the beginning, I was usually working behind the bar and the best selling drink on a hot Sunday is a pint of beer. In Austria it’s an art to draft a beer. No matter if the restaurant was packed, there was no chance my dad would ever serve a less than perfect beer. I was lucky enough to learn from my dad, witnessing his passion for every single detail. Ever since then, I always knew that this was exactly the industry I wanted to work in and today I am still as passionate as ever.