GUN­NAR KUCHEN­BECKER

Exquisite Taste - - Behind The Scenes -

: De­scribe your typ­i­cal day in a sen­tence.

Gun­nar: My typ­i­cal day is full of in­spi­ra­tion from meet­ings and team ses­sions, to ac­ti­vat­ing guest ex­pe­ri­ences with that ex­tra step. There are no stan­dard days; all are spe­cial with much con­nec­tion, mo­ti­vat­ing and driv­ing cre­ativ­ity.

: So how did you come to be the Di­rec­tor of F&B for The La­guna, a Lux­ury Col­lec­tion Re­sort & Spa, Nusa Dua?

G: My culi­nary ca­reer stretches for more than 24 years, in­volv­ing Park Hy­att, Sof­i­tel, Kempin­ski, Pull­man, W Hong Kong and open­ing W Bei­jing Chang’an. I have been in­spired by my ex­pe­ri­ences in Ban­ten, Jakarta, Hong Kong, Bei­jing, Xi’an and Yinchuan. With all th­ese ex­pe­ri­ences and my drive, I had the chance to join the fan­tas­tic team at The La­guna, and fi­nally re­alise my dream of work­ing in Bali.

: What’s the tough­est part of your job?

G: Not be­ing able to drive all my projects in a short time, since pro­mo­tions need to be well planned and or­gan­ised be­fore be­ing launched.

: What mo­ti­vates you?

G: I love cre­ativ­ity and re­al­is­ing all my ideas. Hav­ing wellplanned projects that make peo­ple happy is my big­gest mo­ti­va­tion. Ac­tu­ally if the com­pe­ti­tion moves left, I try to move right to cre­ate dif­fer­en­tia­tors. If the plan works out, that’s my big­gest mo­ti­va­tion.

: Would things fall apart if you weren’t around?

G: I am sure the team is very sta­ble and do­ing a great job. All ac­tiv­i­ties are planned within the team and will con­tinue if I’m not around. It is my job is to pull the team to­gether. It’s all about the team spirit and the win­ning cul­ture, this is what I’m try­ing to spread.

: Who, in your team, de­serves more recog­ni­tion and why?

G: I am al­ways prais­ing the ju­niors on the ground since they do a lot to serve our cus­tomers but at the same time our se­niors lead by ex­am­ple.

: Why should peo­ple come to The La­guna, a Lux­ury Col­lec­tion Re­sort & Spa, Nusa Dua to dine?

G: Lux­ury Col­lec­tion’s core val­ues are the rare in­dige­nous ex­pe­ri­ences that we in­clude in ev­ery­thing we do. Our F&B con­cepts are stun­ning; Ba­li­nese flavours in­fused into Western cui­sine us­ing unique cook­ing tech­niques cre­ated by our Ex­ec­u­tive Chef Made Pu­tra.

: Fi­nally, any ad­vice for those look­ing to break into the in­dus­try?

G: Don’t start work­ing in the hospi­tal­ity or gas­tron­omy world. The fact is you need a lot of pas­sion, en­ergy and drive. It will take many years to have con­sis­tent at­ten­tion to de­tails. Hospi­tal­ity is hard work and success hap­pens out­side the com­fort zone. If you are ready to give up all you have learned, in­clud­ing old friends, please go ahead, be strong, work hard and your dream will come true one day.

Di­rec­tor of Food & Bev­er­age at The La­guna, a Lux­ury Col­lec­tion Re­sort & Spa,

Nusa Dua, Bali

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