Marco Vazzoler, general manager of Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu, announces key appointments in the resort’s Food and Beverage Division.
“I am pleased to welcome to the team two highly experienced gentlemen, Giuliano Callegaro as director of food and beverage and Frank Bohdan as executive chef for the resort,” said Vazzoler.
A first-timer in the Shangri-La group, the resort’s new food and beverage director is an Italian whose work experience is deeply rooted in Asia.
From Hong Kong, Shanghai, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam to now, the Philippines, Giuliano Callegaro has been in Asia for at least eight years, in between stints in the US and Seychelles. While his career started in the kitchen – starting out as commis, graduating to chef de partie, sous chef and, finally, to executive sous chef – the would- have-been executive chef set out to become part of the food and beverage service team instead. He has risen from the ranks to become food and beverage director in mostly resort settings.
Giuliano has led the opening teams at least three times in his career, once each in Vietnam, Cambodia and Seychelles. As pre-opening food and beverage director for these luxurious properties, he supervised a team of 150 to 200, managing at least five restaurants each time.
Major responsibilities in setting up the Food and Beverage Division included: preparation of food and beverage budgets, procurement of all equipment for operations, design of restaurants, training of incoming staff and setting the brand standards at each property. He was also responsible for setting up the in-room dining, banquet and catering teams for these properties.
Giuliano seems to have a liking for resorts, having been involved in three luxury resort brands in the past.
“The resort setting has always been challenging for me because people tend to stay longer at resorts, thus allowing them to be more engaged with the food and beverage offerings. I would say food and service is a key driver of overall stay experience more at resorts than city hotels. Meaning, we would need to deliver dining experience that exceeds guest expectations and drives positive business results,” said Giuliano.
Giuliano is excited to dive into the Shangri-La food and beverage culture, noting the brand’s dynamic culture.
Meanwhile, taking reign in the kitchen is newly appointed Executive Chef Frank Bohdan. No stranger to the Shangri-La brand, Chef Bohdan has run the kitchens of equally large properties Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok (801 rooms) and Shangri-La Hotel, Dalian (600 rooms) previously and completed the opening Shangri-La Nanjing, China.
Originally from Australia, Chef Frank has vast gastronomic experience gained at fine-dining restaurants, five-star hotels and resorts. His culinary career has taken him from his hometown Australia to the United Arab Emirates, China, Indonesia, USA, Malaysia and most recently, Thailand.
Throughout his culinary journey, he has served an A-list clientele, including Thai royalty, the Australian prime minister, Russian president, APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) ministers, and officials and athletes of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, to name a few.
Chef Frank has been involved in massive food and beverage projects, including the renovations of Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok’s various restaurants and kitchens. He was also involved in the Bangkok flooding of 2014, when he not only had to wear his toque as executive chef and manage the operational and business aspects (including, but not limited to, the hotel’s sanitation, cost control and finding ways to achieve incremental revenue), but also display the Shangri-La philosophy of a caring family by getting involved in the rescue of affected colleagues and consequently looking after their welfare. Chef Frank was also part of several focus groups that conceptualized food and beverage concepts amongst the brands in the Shangri-La group, and led the food and beverage workshop in 2013 wherein he showcased different food concepts to the other 81 F&B executives within the group.
“Throughout my career, I have run both restaurants of high caliber and large catering establishments of 200 chefs. I believe in the drive and passion that burns in each of these chefs. I have succeeded in nurturing careers of many from under my wing by holding on to my philosophy – keep your knives sharp, your kitchen clean and always look after your team,” said Chef Frank.
Knowing that the resort is every Cebuano’s go-to dining destination, both Giuliano and Chef Frank are excited to elevate every guest’s dining experience, whether in-room, at a restaurant, at a banquet or catered event.