Denise Matthi­jsse

Direc­tor of Food & Bev­er­age at Fair­mont Sa­nur Beach Bali

Exquisite Taste - - BEHIND THE SCENES - (www.fair­mont.com/sa­nur-bali/)

: De­scribe your typ­i­cal day in a sen­tence.

Denise: Never a dull mo­ment! I en­joy check­ing on the re­sort premises and our F&B venues in be­tween meet­ings; how­ever my time is mostly spent with our col­leagues and guests.

: So how did you come to be the F&B Direc­tor for Fair­mont Sa­nur Beach Bali?

D: Right place, right time! It has been an in­cred­i­bly in­ter­est­ing jour­ney that has brought me from Dubai to Shang­hai, the Mal­dives and now Bali. Each of these dis­tinct lo­ca­tions have con­trib­uted to­wards my de­vel­op­ment and al­lowed me to hone my skills to be­come who you see to­day.

: What’s the tough­est part of your job?

D: Switch­ing off! It's a 24-hour busi­ness so there is al­ways some­thing to do. The right work-life bal­ance is very im­por­tant; fam­ily, friends, per­sonal hob­bies and in­ter­ests all al­low you to re­turn to work en­er­gized and pos­i­tive about the tasks ahead.

: And what makes you smile at work?

D: My col­leagues, ev­ery sin­gle day. In Bali, more than any­where else I have worked, I find my team has a won­der­ful way with guests.

: What mo­ti­vates you?

D: Striv­ing for ex­cel­lence and con­tin­u­ous im­prove­ment – we lis­ten to our guests and col­leagues, share amongst the team and end­lessly seek im­prove­ment. I al­ways look for op­por­tu­ni­ties to cre­ate sets of well-defined, mea­sur­able stan­dards that not only re­sult in a clear vi­sion for the team, but also al­low us to review where we are now ver­sus where we want to be. Con­firm­ing we are mov­ing in the right di­rec­tion is highly mo­ti­vat­ing and a fan­tas­tic rea­son to cel­e­brate with the team.

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

D: No, ab­so­lutely not. Em­pow­er­ment is vi­tal and strongly en­cour­aged within Fair­mont. We have cre­ated a very strong team of smart, loyal and mo­ti­vated col­leagues; we wouldn't be able to cre­ate unique and mem­o­rable ex­pe­ri­ences with­out ev­ery­one's sup­port.

: Who in your team de­serves more recog­ni­tion and why? D: Our trainees – our se­cret weapons; their en­thu­si­asm is con­ta­gious! We are fo­cused on de­vel­op­ing our fu­ture stars of the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try in Indonesia.

: Why should peo­ple choose Fair­mont Sa­nur Beach Bali to dine?

D: Be­sides our ex­cep­tional restau­rants, we have a va­ri­ety of dif­fer­ent ways for our guests to en­joy a mem­o­rable time en­gag­ing with the beau­ti­ful sur­round­ings; from Sun­rise Break­fast on the Beach, to Bar­be­ques in the Gar­den, Ro­man­tic Din­ners in the pri­vate Ca­bana Lounges to Sun­day Lob­ster Brunch. All can be tai­lored to meet and ex­ceed our guests' wishes.

: Away from work, what’s your favourite place to eat?

D: I can hon­estly say that we are spoilt for choice here, Bali is thriv­ing, so my per­sonal favourites in­clude some of the well-known names on the culi­nary scene, whilst on the same list are lit­tle, un­known warungs!

: How do you un­wind?

D: I love trav­el­ling. My most re­cent trip was to Bor­neo, an in­cred­i­bly peace­ful place with­out tele­phone re­cep­tion or Wi-Fi… it was a bit of a shock at first but it's so im­por­tant to re­ally switch off.

: Fi­nally, any ad­vice for those look­ing to break into the in­dus­try? D: Be pas­sion­ately cu­ri­ous about any­thing and ev­ery­thing. Work hard and work smart; it is a multi-cul­tural en­vi­ron­ment that al­lows you to de­velop pro­fes­sional and per­son­ally and I would rec­om­mend en­joy­ing ev­ery minute of it.

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