Roberta – Plateau, Events Executive
I am now in the role I dreamed of when I started as a waitress back in October 2014. October is a very busy time at Plateau and with no previous experience and only a basic level of English, I knew I had to give 100% if I were to be successful. In an effort to impress my team, I had menu and wine-pairing coming out of my ears! However, I soon realised how important menu-knowledge is in offering guests the best dining experience. It wasn’t long before I got promoted to Head Waitress before switching departments and learning the ropes in the reception team. During my time at Plateau, I have learned what it takes to work as part of a successful team and the importance of taking responsibility for my own duties. Being the type of person who is continuously seeking new challenges, I completed the WSET, as well as other management training programmes and have been genuinely inspired by colleagues such as Daniele Ianelli and Luca Campi. Their passion and attention to detail is something I will always remember and to be honest, they are probably the reason I am now such a perfectionist!
“As soon as I stepped in, I fell in love with Plateau.”
Julien – New Street Grill, Restaurant Manager
I joined New St Grill as a Head Waiter 18 months ago and with the support and guidance of my then Restaurant Manager, Ottaviano, I literally grew every day. I love that D&D encourage you to develop and fulfil your potential. All the training I have participated in and the chance to meet colleagues from other restaurants has been incredibly helpful in my development. Having recently taken over as Restaurant Manager, I am aware that there are some big shoes to fill but I feel confident that all the mentoring and training will help me to be a success. Needless to say, I am exceptionally excited for what the future may hold and my aim is that my team constantly exceeds expectations.
“I am proud to say that I work for D&D London, and even more so of my personal evolution.”
Arnold – Kensington Place, Head Chef
Wow, it’s been a while… I first started my journey as a D&D Chef Apprentice in 2002 and a lot has happened since then! During my time at Bluebird, I worked under 3 different Head Chefs, learning various different culinary skills and developing my own flare. It was great, because it was my first taste of being in the kitchen. After completing my apprenticeship, I moved to Orrery to experience fine dining before moving on to Paternoster Chop House. It was here where I can say I was greatly influenced by the Head Chef, Peter Weeden. This is a time I shall always carry with me. I then temporarily left the group to complete a Sports Science degree at the London Metropolitan University and after exploring other avenues came back as a Senior Sous Chef with D&D. Now, believe it or not, I am in charge of the kitchen at Kensington Place and have just taken on my first apprentice. I look forward to the opportunity of helping someone else start their culinary journey.
“Since my apprenticeship, I always envisioned being a Head Chef one day.”
Luca – Aster, Operations Manager
Back in 2008 I started as a Bartender at Butlers Wharf Chop House. Coming to London from a bar background in Italy, I was excited to gain more experience working in what I knew and loved to do most. My time at the Chop House was one of my most memorable summers. After briefly returning home I came back to London and D&D and joined the team at Cantina for 2 years. First as a Bartender, Head Bartender and then Supervisor. Following a brief stint at Almeida (now Radici) in Islington, I went back to Cantina as Floor Manager. It was a whirlwind to be honest, I was in many different environments and learned a lot but that’s what makes D&D so unique. My next stop was Plateau and thinking about my 3 years there brings back so many amazing memories and a real sense of pride. My GM at the time, Kim Sin Tae, saw a lot of potential in me and I have much to thank him for. Now, as Operations Manager at Aster, I have been fortunate enough to have been part of a glamorous new opening and am now focused on running all aspects of the operations, although I do find time to play in goal for the D&D football team!
“I love that I get to transmit my passion to others – being part of someone’s journey is very special.”
Sam – Chop Houses, Senior General Manager
In 2006, I joined the D&D team as a Head Waiter at Paternoster Chop House. The fast paced environment allowed for my skill set to rapidly evolve and my love for hospitality grew day by day. From Paternoster, I took on my first GM role at Almeida where Sharon Whiston offered her constant support and guidance to further my development. After Almeida I joined the opening team of South Place Hotel where I met Susanne Traudt, (the then FnB Director) who has been a great inspiration to me. I thoroughly enjoyed working with and learning from her, making my time at the hotel a memorable one. I then moved on to where it all began as GM at Paternoster, and was able to reflect on the growth that had occurred since my adventure with D&D started – it felt good to be back. The great thing about D&D is that you get to develop through experiences and learn from victories and set-backs alike. At the end of the day, with so many opportunities, you are never going to know it all. As long as you hold on to that, there will always be room for progress. Having recently become the Senior GM for the entire Chop House brand, I am putting everything I have learnt into practice managing across 3 sites.
“Sometimes we need reminding that no dream is ever too big.”
Alexis Mezoly – Wine Manager
‘My first role at D&D was as a Commis Waiter back in 2007, so I guess I am proof that D&D London gives you the opportunity to build an amazing career if you are dedicated and ambitious enough! Before becoming Wine Manager at Old Bengal Warehouse I learned the trade as a Sommelier, first at Le Pont de la Tour, Bluebird, Quaglino’s and finally Skylon.
In that time I have been fortunate enough to complete WSET qualifications, participate on the RiSE programme and win an Acorn Award in 2013. I have also had some unique practical development, including the opportunity to create the wine list for a new opening and supporting the Wine Marketing Manager in launching D&D Wine’s online shop.