|Dimitri Duca, Manager of Cucina|
Interview with Dimitri Duca, Manager of Cucina, Pure Italian, Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel
What do you do and how did you get into the industry?
I am working as the restaurant manager of Cucina, Italian restaurant located in Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel. The passion for this work is born because I am a lover of food, drink and travelling. I come from a family of foodies, where the food surrounds our everyday life. Ever since I was little boy I saw my mother and my grandmother preparing meals in the kitchen and for me it was just beautiful. I been travelling for many years now and have worked in many different countries such: USA, Bermuda Island, London, Nigeria, Bangkok and Singapore to study and learn as much as I can from local culture, related to food and beverage. I like to think and say that the food and beverage industry is a parallel world because of its immense variety.
What's the best/ worst part of your job?
I do not think that there is in this job the worst side and the good side. I believe that both of these terms, worst and best are closely related. The worst part may become in an instant the best part of this job, and best part can became easily the worst.
What's your personal favourite meal/ drink?
My favorite ingredient is eggplant, no matter how it's cooked or prepared: their taste for me is irreplaceable. I don’t have any favorite restaurant or bars. I believe that each day of our life is a chance to try something different, which is the reason why I am not a "regular" guest in any of the restaurants that I have tried. However, if I were to choose the place where I've eaten the best meal and that I would return to every day, it would definitely be my mother’s house.
What's one of the most unique things you've seen in your travels?
I lived for about two years in Nigeria, managing two different restaurants. Their method of processing foods is somehow unusual, but definitely worth a try.
The perfect day off ...
is not usually long enough to meet all of my needs, the important thing is that it's an interesting day.
A day in the life of a restaurant manager is...
The best day for a manager I think is the day when we realize that the organization systems for which we have been working hard for, for so long are able to be completely autonomous and deliver consistent results to our customers.
What do you do for fun?
Visit the cinema, cook, shop and do outdoor sports.
What's your favourite food and wine pairing?
Grilled meat (any kind) and a good glass of red wine made by Nebbiolo grape, Aglianico grape and a nice bottle of “Amarone wine.”
What's in store for you in the upcoming months?
I have a promotional strategy to be confirmed for the new year 2015, and some of these promotions are quite unique in the market… stay tuned!