Zeneger B. Oliquiano, bartender at Saadiyat Beach Club says harnessing creativity while catering to the mass market is a balancing act
Describe your first ever role in the F&B industry?
I was very nervous when I first started out as I was unsure whether my guests would like the drinks I was making for them. My confidence grew quickly, thanks to the number of guests who complemented the drinks and service I provided. It motivated me to develop my skills and constantly strive to improve.
Who has been your most important career inspiration?
My father: he always encourages me and motivates me in every aspect of my career.
How do you view the F&B scene in the region?
F&B is a growing scene, not only in every corner of Abu Dhabi, but across the whole Middle East. People are always looking out for what’s new when it comes to food and beverage.
What is the biggest challenge of your role?
My biggest challenge is letting my creativity flow while creating drinks for the mass audience. I have set myself the task of creating something that will become the signature drink of Saadiyat Beach Club.
What is your favoruite aspect of your role?
Definitely speaking to the customers and receiving praise for what I create.
If you could work in any restaurant in the world, which would it be?
I would work in any of Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants as he’s my favourite chef.
What tip would you share with new staff starting out in the F&B industry in the region?
Be patient and willing to learn.
February 2013 ̶ November 2015: Bartender, Trader Vic’s at Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi
September 2012 ̶ February 2013: Bartender, Café Columbia at Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi
October 2010 ̶ June 2012: Bartender, Thunderbird Hotel Resort and Casino, Philippines