Get To Know Sean Carney Of Capella Marigot Bay, St. Lucia

Capella Marigot Bay

I am so excited that the latest Capella Hotels and Resorts, Capella Marigot Bay, has arrived in St. Lucia.  Since acquiring the property less than two months ago, Capella has already begun to instill its own brand of elite service under the guidance of interim General Manager, Sean Carney.

Since arriving eight weeks ago, Mr. Carney has hit the ground running and I doubt he’s stopped for even a moment!  I always see him rushing around the property, encouraging and training staff, discussing renovation plans and much more.  Luckily I was able to get him to squeeze in a few minutes for this interview so that you could get to know a bit more about him, Capella Marigot Bay and St. Lucia.

 Capella Marigot Bay

 Mr. Carney, we are so excited to have you here in St. Lucia at the helm of Capella Marigot Bay!  Tell me (and the Capella Blog readers!) a bit about yourself.
Originally from Ireland, I am married to an amazing woman, who is the not so quiet support behind me and we have one boy who just actually turned four years old last month.  Having spent the last 15 years working abroad with some great professionals and organizations has allowed me to gather a wealth of experiences to adapt and change with the various markets that I have been privileged to work in.  Passionate about what I do allows me to do something I enjoy doing on a daily basis and not have to think of it as work.  Meeting our employees and guests from all over the world allows me to get to know different people and cultures that one would not normally be exposed to.  Personally I enjoy swimming and cycling when time permits. Diving is another passion of mine.  I spent a few years also in the volunteer fire departments in Portchester NY and Waikoloa in Hawaii believe it or not.

You’ve been in St. Lucia long enough to get a taste for our beautiful island.  What are your first impressions?
It is a wonderful island with an amazing sense of warmth that flows genuinely from all of the individuals I have encountered.  It is great to see people from all walks of life coming together in Anse La Raye for Fish Friday or Saturday nights in Gros Islet.
The island itself is an amazing place with dense foliage, jungles and mountain scenery.  The breathtaking landscape from the Pitons down to the sea or the gorgeous sunsets here in Marigot Bay make for a picturesque setting everywhere you turn!

I think those are pretty spot-on first impressions!  So, what do you think Capella can bring to the island?
For an island that relies as heavily on tourism as Saint Lucia any positive impact from any organization is well received.  However I believe, Capella will take things further than just another resort.  By bringing its unique service based approach to the hotel, through our Canon and philosophy, we are determined to instill a sense of service confidence that our wonderful Ladies and Gentlemen will be able to match with their own hard work and desire to be the best that they can be.
Additionally, as a company we are always looking to contribute the areas we live in.  We partake in a variety of outreach programs and always look to work with the local community to preserve culture and traditions.  It is important for us to become part of our communities.

I know you’ve been busy, but what are the ways you like to spend downtime in St. Lucia and what activities are you looking forward to trying out?
Marigot Bay is very centrally located, which means all of St. Lucia’s major attractions are at most an hour away.   I love the adventure activities offered — from zip lining, diving, jungle and waterfall hikes to fishing off Marigot Bay.  And yes, I have done the Sulpher springs and covered my self in the black mud as well as relaxing in the hot thermal water!
Another great attraction just five minutes from the hotel is the only distillery left on the island and they do an amazing tour with a few samples at the end.  I have had the privilege of touring the facility with their master blender and tasted some products that they are working on for the future!  Definitely a great experience worth asking your Capella Personal Assistant about.

Last but not least, can you let us in on any details from the upcoming renovation?
Details are still being determined, but I can tell you a few secrets!
The new restaurant will have an extended balcony seating giving a great vantage point for bay view dining and watching the yachts sailing in and out.  This restaurant will feature an open show kitchen and a private dining room with both indoor and outdoor seating as well as some garden seating.
Another new food and beverage outlet will be located near the docks and will include a rum cave for private tastings and chef dinners.  The venue will also serve light fare for lunch and an everyday dinner menu.
The spa will also be transformed. The current fitness center will be moving upstairs and the spa downstairs.  This allows for the creation of a spa village with treatment “huts” in the middle of the garden that will allow for guests to really relax into the surroundings.

 

You can learn more about the latest Capella Hotels and Resorts HERE.

Meet Breidenbacher Hof’s Tobias Schall

Tobias Schall 2

Tobias Schall is Director of Rooms here at Breidenbacher Hof, A Capella Hotel.  I was always curious what the position encompasses, so I thought I would take this opportunity to learn a bit more.  I found out that he has a very exciting and vital position—full of responsibilities.  Undoubtedly you will be as impressed as I was.

Breidenbacher Hof's Tobias Schall

In your role as Director of Rooms what are your duties?

I am responsible for everything that deals directly with the hotel rooms: the front desk, the bell boys, our call center and housekeeping.  I also oversee things like the public domains, including ordering flowers and the like.

What do you like most and how do you motivate yourself?

The contact with our guests is very exciting and dynamic.  Every day there are new wishes and desires to be met. Every morning, I set my own goal: To give our guests a second home and to enthuse them.  This is my motivation.

Have you always dreamed of working in the hotel business?

During 11th grade we had a career day.  The intention was, to find out your own strengths and weaknesses to discover the perfect job.  I found out that I perfectly fit into the service industry, so I decided to take on an apprenticeship and I loved it!  The hotel business connects a lot of different tasks I like, for example to care about guests, to organize the flow of work and the possibility to work in different countries.

What do you like most about Dusseldorf and the Breidenbacher Hof?

Dusseldorf is my hometown!  My family still lives here and I first heard of the Breidenbacher Hof when I was very young and this huge magnificent building has always fascinated me.  I was working at another Capella Hotels and Resorts property when I heard they would be taking over the Breidenbacher Hof.  I jumped at the chance to work in a hotel with such rich history.

So you have not always lived in Düsseldorf?

No!  After school I moved to Berlin for my apprenticeship in the hotel trade at the hotel Adlon.  From there I worked all over the world.  I’ve also lived in London, Rome, St. Moritz, Washington D.C. and Velden.  Working in this industry has allowed me to see the world!  But it is nice to now be at The Breidenbacher Hof.  I am very happy to be back in my hometown Dusseldorf and near family and friends.  However if a new opportunity arises, I am ready for the adventure.

What is your advice to someone moving to a new country?

Trust the people, who are local. I always got the best advice from the hotel that I went to work for and the people who have already been there for a while. It just makes it much easier than to start from scratch.

What should every visitor to Dusseldorf experience?

The city is full of culture and places to see. Obviously we have the famous “Königsalle”, one of the most known shopping streets in Germany.  And I always send our guests to my favorite local breweries to grab something to eat and to try our legendary Altbier.

Interview mit Tobias Schall – Breidenbacher Hof

Tobias Schall 2

Tobias Schall ist unser Rooms and Devision Manager hier im Breidenbacher Hof, a Capella Hotel. Ich habe mich schon immer gefragt, was genau seine Aufgaben und sein Verantwortungsbereich sind, also habe ich die Chance genutzt, und habe ihn interviewt. Dabei hat sich herausgestellt, dass er eine spannende und zentrale Position hat – mit hoher Verantwortung. Ich bin sicher ihr werdet genau so beeindruckt sein wie ich.

Breidenbacher Hof's Tobias Schall

Du bist im Breidenbacher Hof, a Capella Hotel der Rooms and Devision Manager. Was genau ist deine Funktion und dein Arbeitsbereich?

Ich bin für alles verantwortlich, was mit unseren Zimmern zu tun hat: Rezeption, Pagen, Telefonzentrale, Housekeeping, aber auch Dinge wie die Reinigung der öffentlichen Bereiche sowie die Koordination und Bestellung von Blumen.

Was gefällt dir an deiner Aufgabe am meisten und wie motivierst du dich?

Es ist der Gästekontakt, der unheimlich spannend und abwechslungsreich ist. Jeder Tag bringt neue Dinge, neue Herausforderungen und Wünsche die zu lösen und zu erfüllen sind. Jeden Tag setze ich mir mein Ziel, unseren Gästen ein zweites zu Hause zu bieten und sie zu begeistern. Das motiviert mich!

War es schon immer dein Traum im Hotel zu arbeiten?

In der 11. Klasse gab es bei uns in der Schule einen Berufsfindungstag. Dort wurden persönliche Stärken und Schwächen zusammengefasst und mit unterschiedlichen Berufsbildern abgeglichen. Für mich stellte sich dabei heraus, dass ich gut für die Dienstleistungsbranche geeignet bin. Bis heute hat sich das immer wieder bestätigt. Die Hotellerie bietet Aufgaben und Faktoren, die mir Spaß machen und mir auch gut liegen, wie z.B. sich um die Gäste zu kümmern, Arbeitsabläufe zu organisieren, aber auch die Möglichkeit in verschiedenen Ländern Erfahrungen zu sammeln.

Was gefällt dir an Düsseldorf  und dem Breidenbacher Hof, a Capella Hotel am meisten?

Düsseldorf ist meine Heimat! Meine Familie lebt hier und so hab ich schon sehr früh den Breidenbacher Hof kennengelernt. Er hat mich schon immer fasziniert. Ich habe in einem anderen Capella Hotel gearbeitet, als ich von der Chance hörte im Breidenbacher Hof zu arbeiten. Sofort habe ich diese wahrgenommen.

Das heißt, du hast nicht immer in Düsseldorf gelebt?

Nein. Nach der Schule bin ich nach Berlin gezogen um dort meine Hotelfachausbildung im Hotel Adlon zu beginnen. Danach habe ich überall in der Welt meine Erfahrungen gesammelt. Ich habe in  London gelebt, in Rom, St. Moritz, Washington D.C. und Velden. Die Hotellerie hat es mir ermöglicht, die Welt kennenzulernen. Heute bin ich glücklich im Breidenbacher Hof zu arbeiten und wieder in der Heimat bei Familie und Freunden zu sein. Sollte sich noch einmal die Möglichkeit ergeben, bin ich aber offen für ein neues Abenteuer.

Hast du einen Tipp für jemanden, den es in ein anderes Land zieht?

Vertraue den Einheimischen des Landes. Ich habe selber immer die besten Empfehlungen von den Kollegen in den Hotels bekommen, die schon länger dort wohnen und sich auskennen. Das macht einen Neustart leichter.

Was sollte jeder Besucher Düsseldorfs erleben?

Die Stadt bietet sehr viel Kultur und andere sehenswerte Dinge. Natürlich haben wir die „Königsallee“, Deutschlands berühmteste Einkaufsstraße. Unsere Gäste schicke ich aber auch gerne in die Altstadt, in eine der lokalen Brauereien, um dort etwas zu essen und das bekannte Düsseldorfer Altbier zu kosten.

Chef Philip Ferber Joins Breidenbacher Hof

Chef Philipp Ferber

Breidenbacher Hof, A Capella Hotel recently welcomed a new Executive Chef.  I am always excited to get to know our new family members and Chef Philip Ferber was no exception.  It is always fun to know who is behind a delicious meal, so I thought it apropos I interview him for the Capella Blog.

Chef Philipp Ferber

What do you like about Düsseldorf?
Dusseldorf gives you a cozy feeling due to its size and has a wonderful quality of life. There is a lot to experience and to see. As a chef, Dusseldorf is great because it offers a competitive culinary environment, which motivates and inspires me!

How did you become a chef?
My grandfather, who had his own hotel / restaurant inspired me. During visits, I would spend most of the time in the kitchen watching and learning. I would help out any way I could! Be it purchasing, preparing salads, baking pies or doing the dishes. And last but not least: Tasting!

You previously worked with Two-Starred Michelin Chef Johannes King. What was that like? What lessons did you learn?
It was very inspiring. Johannes King is one of my most important mentors and without him my career would have taken a different course. He taught me, that if I wanted to be successful in the gastronomy business, I had to incorporate my own personality, be positive about my goals and most importantly keep in touch with guests. In regards to cooking, I learned that more is less and the focus should be on the product – the guest has to understand the dishes!

What is your favorite free time activity and how do you relax?
Reading a book, watching old movies or just eating out.

What is your favorite destination?
The south… Italy, France and the Middle East.

What upsets you most?
Not being on time, an unprofessional behavior and making mistakes because of a lack of enthusiasm.

If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three things would you take with you?
A compass, food and a sailing boat – everything for the way back home!

What is your favorite meal?
In General: meals prepared with love and passion! Specifically: typical German meals such as beef roulade, Sauerbraten or Königsberg meatballs.

What are you most looking forward to about working at Breidenbacher Hof, A Capella Hotel?
I am excited about my new team and to cook for the people in Dusseldorf – it is a very special honor for me!

If you weren’t a chef what would you do instead?
I’d definitely still work with food! Be it as a gardener, a fisherman or a butcher.

Küchenchef Philipp Ferber Wieder Im Breidenbacher Hof

Chef Philipp Ferber

Breidenbacher Hof, a Capella Hotel begrüßt einen neuen Küchenchef. Ich bin immer gespannt neue „Familienmitglieder“ kennenzulernen und Philipp Ferber ist da natürlich keine Ausnahme. Es ist immer interessant zu sehen, wer hinter einem leckeren Menü steckt. Also habe ich beschlossen, ihn für unseren Capella Blog zu interviewen.

Chef Philipp Ferber

Was gefällt Ihnen an Düsseldorf?
Düsseldorf ist für mich eine gemütliche Großstadt mit sehr hoher Lebensqualität. Man kann viel erleben und viel sehen. Für mich als Küchenchef bietet Düsseldorf eine große kulinarische Konkurrenz, was mich persönlich motiviert und inspiriert.

Wie sind Sie zum Kochen gekommen?
Inspiriert hat mich mein Großvater, der damals sein eigenes Hotel/Restaurant hatte. Die meiste Zeit habe ich, wenn ich zu Besuch war, in der Küche verbracht, um ihm über die Schulter zu schauen und mir ein paar Tricks abzuschauen. Aber auch mit anpacken war gefragt: beim Einkauf im Großmarkt, der Vorbereitung von Salaten, dem Backen von Kuchen und in der Spülküche. Und das Beste: das Probieren!

Wie war es mit 2-Sterne Koch Johannes King arbeiten zu dürfen und was haben Sie aus Ihrer Zeit bei ihm mitgenommen?
Es war sehr inspirierend. Johannes King ist einer meiner größten Mentoren, ohne den meine Karriere sicherlich anders verlaufen wäre. Ich habe bei ihm gelernt, dass es in der erfolgreichen Gastronomie ganz wichtig ist, seine eigene Persönlichkeit mit einzubringen, positiv zu sein, um seine Ziele zu erreichen und den persönlichen Gästekontakt zu pflegen. Über das Kochprodukt habe ich gelernt, dass weniger oft mehr ist, und dass das Produkt im Mittelpunkt stehen sollte – der Gast muss die Gerichte verstehen.

Was machen Sie in Ihrer Freizeit? Was entspannt Sie am meisten?
Ein gutes Buch lesen, alte Spielfilme schauen oder lecker essen gehen.

Was ist Ihr favorisiertes Reiseziel?
Ab in den Süden… Italien, Frankreich und der Mittlere Osten.

Was regt Sie am meisten auf?
Unpünktlichkeit, unprofessionelles Auftreten und Fehler resultierend aus mangelnder Einstellung.

Welche drei Dinge würden Sie auf eine einsame Insel mitnehmen?
Einen Kompass, Proviant und ein Segelboot… alles für den Rückweg!

Was ist Ihr Lieblingsgericht?
Generell: Alles, was mit Liebe und Leidenschaft zubereitet ist. Speziell: Klassische Hausmannskost wie Rindsrouladen, Sauerbraten oder Königsberger Klopse.

Worauf freuen Sie sich am meisten nach Ihrer Rückkehr in den Breidenbacher Hof, A Capella Hotel?
Ich freue mich auf meine tollen Mitarbeiter und das Team. Und natürlich freue ich mich, für die Düsseldorfer kochen zu dürfen- eine ganz besondere Ehre für mich.

Wenn Sie kein Koch wären – welchen Beruf würden Sie stattdessen ausüben?
Ich würde definitiv etwas machen, das mit Lebensmitteln zu tun hat! Alles, vom Gärtner oder Fischer bis hin zum Metzger, könnte ich mir vorstellen.

Chef Jakob Esko Joins Capella Washington D.C.

Chef Jakob Esko

I have been patiently waiting for the day when I would meet Executive Chef, Jakob Esko and get the chance to learn more about his vision for The Grill Room at Capella Washington D.C.  I finally had the opportunity earlier this month when our team gathered together for a much-anticipated welcome for Jakob at our pre-launch office!

On a brisk wintery Monday, Jakob seemed more than delighted to join us as we assembled for our first New Year cultural potluck.  He had traveled across the world from Capella Singapore, where he was the executive chef, to join our team.

With great anticipation, we sat down for our first interview!  I am certain it will have you planning your next trip to our hotel and The Grill Room, set to open this spring.

Chef Jakob Esko

What excites you most about the restaurant industry in Washington D.C.?

The quality of the produce, seafood and meat is amazing and really top notch.  I enjoy being able to find local ingredients, which is exactly what The Grill Room will focus on.

What unique experiences can guests expect when dining at The Grill Room?

You can expect to see constant diversity in our menu, altering to the pace of the local produce available in Washington D.C.  Guests can continually expect fresh, vibrant and simple food that is straightforward and certain to be filled with flavor.

Do you see yourself having to adapt your cooking style?

Adapting will be easy with the facility of local produce that will give me the opportunity to create incredible food and seasonal menu items that will showcase only the finest ingredients for our guests.

Can you give us a sneak peek into the menu at The Grill Room?

I can tell you that guests will be in for a unique dining experience when they taste our exclusive Rye Whiskey infused dishes, like our Orange & Rye Cured Salmon and our signature Rye Whiskey sauce served alongside a perfectly grilled and seasoned steak.

 

 

I am eager to share even more about The Grill Room & Rye Bar concept at Capella Washington D.C. as well as more recipes & cooking tips from Chef Jakob Esko.  As the countdown continues, be sure to follow me, your Capella Washington DC Insider, on Facebook & Twitter for plenty of live updates and exclusive images!