Tell us about your training. How did you become a Maitre d'?

Jai - La Posta Vecchia: I studied hospitality in India and London, where I then worked for seven years, which gave me international exposure. In 2017 I came to Italy and started working at Il Pellicano as Chef De Rang. I didn't speak Italian at the time, but the Pellicano Hotels Group gave me the opportunity to learn and grow. In 2019 I was promoted to Assistant Maitre d'Hotel, and this year I became Maitre d'Hotel of La Posta Vecchia. I'm the only member of the group's F&B department to have worked in all three hotels.

Giuseppe - Il Pellicano: My very first experience in hospitality was in the bar sector, in various locations in Italy and London, where, in addition to learning English, I attended a training course in Hospitality Management with a specialisation in Food and Beverage. From there I started a new path with an international hotel company, focusing mainly in restaurant services, from breakfast to casual and fine dining.

Salvatore - Mezzatorre: My first season at Mezzatorre dates back to 2003. After completing my studies at the Hotel Institute in Ischia, I moved to London for several years. Through the course of my career I had the pleasure of working for Chefs Giorgio Locatelli, David Thompson and Nino Di Costanzo, from whom I learned how important it is to pay attention to details,  and the constant desire to improve. Back in Ischia, I rediscovered my first love, the Mezzatorre, where the Pellicano Hotels Group gave me the opportunity to express myself as Maitre d'.

What are your responsibilities?

Jai: I am in charge of catering, Bar, Room Service and banqueting.

Giuseppe: Making sure my team works in a healthy and professional environment is a priority, as it is passing on the information and tools they need to be able to do their job in the best possible way. I also oversee quality control when it comes to catering services and customer care.

Salvatore: I am in charge of the Front F&B, the two restaurants, Room Service and the Cellar. Above all, I have the task of ensuring that the team is in a position to express themselves at their best, because it is together that we really succeed.

What aspect do you like best?

Jai: Talking to guests and getting to know their point of view and their lifestyles, especially when they’re from different parts of the world. Most of the time we share the same passion for wines.

Giuseppe: For me, it has to be the hospitality know-how that we share with our guests. We are lucky enough to work in a place that is nothing short of enchanting, with an attention to style that is down to the smallest detail. All of this can only offer our guests a unique and unforgettable experience.

Salvatore: The thing I certainly like the most is seeing guests and staff feeling rewarded by positive feedback, or being able to resolve tricky situations.  It creates a unique kind of energy that’s almost addictive. 

Is there a dish or wine that you think identifies the hotel restaurant?

Jai: I love Sergio Mottura's Latour a Civitella, a white wine. I find it reflects La Posta Vecchia as it is a classic deeply connected to history, but at the same time natural (organic) and with a look towards the future.

Giuseppe: In the area where Il Pellicano is located, one of the most characteristic dishes is the Orbetello eel, which our Chef Michelino Gioia has reinvented in a modern key: marinated in a spicy sauce that draws from oriental influences, and accompanied by a terrine of foie gras with a carrot and passion fruit reduction.

Salvatore: For me the most identifying dish of Mezzatorre is the Scialatielli with four tomatoes. It’s a dish that speaks of tradition: homemade pasta, four different types of tomatoes, but above all simplicity and balance.

What makes a good waiter?

Jai: A good waiter needs a good sense of humour, and must be able to create a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere for the customer.

Giuseppe: I think brightness and flexibility, combined with good savoir faire, are key to being a good waiter. 

Salvatore: I firmly believe that a good waiter stands out for their level of attention, as well as the love they put into making sure that the meal isn’t just a meal, but an experience. 

Tell us what’s new about the season! Are there new dishes / wines / events at the hotel that guests should know about?

 Jai: Looking at sustainability, we have included many natural, organic and biodynamic wines to our wine list, so I highly recommend guests to try those. 

Giuseppe: Innovations in food and wine are recurrent features of Il Pellicano. This year, we have added the biodynamic winery of San Cristoforo to our Cellar, also from the Grosseto area, which uses innovative natural methods with low sulphur content, and rewards biodiversity. In the kitchen, one of the new dishes this season is our San Pietro fillet with tomato soup, chanterelle mushrooms and cacciucco sauce.

Salvatore: After two difficult years, the Mezzatorre has finally reopened at full capacity, and our La Baia Restaurant is now also open for dinner service. It’s a great spot to savour the traditional flavours of the Campania region.