Dishing it up-A A +A
Sunday, October 6, 2013
ONE is from Toronto, Canada. The other is from Heidelburg, Germany. From two continents, Aaron Foster and Daniel Trumpfheller have found a new home in Cebu to share their passion for food and excellent service.
These gentlemen have been adding creativity and flavor to the dining experience at the Mövenpick Hotel in Mactan, with Aaron as executive chef and Daniel as F&B manager.
It was their first time to be in the Philippines when they relocated here to work at Mövenpick. Daniel arrived with a big grin on his face; despite his travels around the world, he had never been to Asia and was excited to be here. Aaron arrived from Thailand where his wife is from, with her and their daughter in tow, and was totally culture shocked at first. But it didn’t take long for both of them to settle in Cebu, both as a workplace and as home.
Aaron is busy with the administrative side of his work, calculating food cost and recipes and implementing new dishes, but he is as hands on as he can be. “I love to cook and teach people,” he says.
His professional experience is in fine restaurants, including the Ritz Carlton in Toronto. He enjoys charcuterie in particular. So far at Movenpick, he’s done cured beef, smoked cured duck breast, bacon, sausages, and more. “It’s such a science, and takes six or seven weeks to do properly.” He and Daniel work closely for food tasting and improving dishes, figuring out flavors and taking in guest feedback.
Daniel remembers that as a child, he always wanted to serve his parents at dinner. At 14, he started working as a bartender, and he’s loved being in F&B service since.
“There are so many cultures to encounter, and you meet so many people,” he says.
He worked many sleepless nights as a waiter, yet loved every minute of it. But considering his health and his career path, he eventually started managing F&B teams in hotels and restaurants in England, Austria, and different parts of Germany. He worked in various service levels from simple to fancy, “because then you learn how to do it right for everybody.”
When it comes to food, Aaron loves big, bold flavors, but also goes back to basics: “After tasting food and eating all day, sandwiches are one of my favorite things to eat. I love lechon manok. Perfectly roasted chicken is one of the best things you can eat.”
Daniel is a meat person, and enjoys Mediterranean food for its simplicity and flavor.
He loves to cook, and used to invite 10 to 15 friends to his house to enjoy a three-course meal: “They cleaned their plates!”
Aaron and Daniel are very busy with their work at the hotel: managing the staff in their departments, creating new dishes, costing menus, improving plating and serving.
When they do have time off, Aaron is busy with his daughter, who is almost three.
“It’s Barbies and tea parties for me,” he says candidly.
He and his wife love to travel. He admits to being a sports fanatic and follows American football, and ice hockey on TV.
Adventure-loving Daniel sometimes just gets on a bus to explore Cebu. Bantayan is so far one of his favorite places. When he doesn’t have time to be that far away, he hangs out at restaurants in Mactan just talking to people. “Here, people will invite you to join their group,” something he laments doesn’t happen in Germany.
Both of them attribute the warmth and friendliness of Cebuanos for being a big factor in helping them settle in quickly: “The people here are so nice,” they say in resounding agreement. They both look forward to discovering more of Cebu, and continuing to improve the guest experience at Movenpick.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 07, 2013.