Hotel Albris stories

The art of good service

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The art of good service

Martina and Umberto will soon know the Hotel Albris better than they do at home. Because the two Chef de Service have been working here for decades. Their goal is always the same: to give guests a good time.

Umberto Sannino

Umberto Sannino was born in Iserlohn near Dortmund. His parents were immigrants from Naples. When he was four years old, the family moved back to his Italian hometown. There Umberto graduated from the hotel management school. Via the Aosta Valley, Lugano and Valposchiavo, he found his way to Pontresina. Since December 2000 at the Hotel Albris, since 2008 as Chef de Service.

What is the most important rule in service?
Umberto: Smile and be friendly. But also stay honest and authentic and don't put on a mask. Because the guest. notices that

Have you ever dropped a plate?
Yes, once. . I was just about to serve when the guest made a gesture and the fine veal liver fell half on his trousers and half on the floor

What is your favorite dish on Kochendörfer's menu?
Veal schnitzel in lemon sauce or monkfish.

What do you like to do in your free time?
Spending time with the family in Valposchiavo. At home I can recharge my batteries.

Martina Maier

Martina Maier grew up in Überlingen on the German side of Lake Constance She has been Chef de Service at the Hotel Albris. since summer 2001

What is the most important rule in service?
Martina: The guest is king! This maxim still applies and assumes that you like people.

Have you ever dropped a plate?
Yes. It happened when I was not long in the Hotel Albris. I ran into a colleague and the whole fish landed on the floor. I'll never forget that.

What is your favorite dish on Kochendörfer's menu?
Sole with saffron-Pila rice and vegetables.

What do you like to do in your free time?
Skiing. That's why I came to the Engadin. And I enjoy having quiet time to myself.

Saturday evening. The Kochendörfer restaurant is full. The automatic sliding door hums open and closed every second.

Waiters and waitresses dance elegantly past each other without endangering the artfully arranged plates

One person stands at the buffet, prepares the drinks, but also helps to serve plates. Three people work in the so-called office, they ensure order and cleanliness, wash the plates and glasses. Eight waitresses and waitresses take care of the guests: five in the restaurant and three in the Arvensaal, where hotel guests dine.

Martina and Umberto, the two Chef de Service., have an overview of what is going on. She comes from the Lake Constance region, he is from Naples. She exudes German prudence, he Mediterranean temperament. She shows presence, he movement. She takes care of the rosters, he stays in the wine cellar The perspective. Both have charm and wit. And both have been working at the Hotel Albris for many years, Martina for almost 30 years, Umberto for 17 years.

«It's a dream team», says the hotel director Stepahnie Kochendörfer. «They complement each other perfectly, are highly trained and get along very well.» Both of them enjoy working at the Hotel Albris because the quality of the kitchen is right here and the traditional service is maintained. That means , you can do a lot in front of the guests: arrange plates, carve meat, fillet fish, flambé desserts.

"It's fun and gives you more time with the guests," says Martina.. "And we can apply what we have learned in our training," adds Umberto.

The hotel director also appreciates being able to rely on a well-rehearsed team: «The core team consists of four people, in addition to Martina and Umberto, Manuela and Giuseppe have also been with us for years see the same faces every year. »

The Kochendörfers have been cultivating this familiar atmosphere for four generations now

Even if the Kochendörfer restaurant stands for a traditional and elegant style, uncomplicated interaction with guests is important to the two chefs de service. "Sometimes that confuses people, but the tension usually dissolves quickly and there is a good atmosphere," says Martina. “And we have developed a good feeling for people over the years,” says Umberto.

"All the guest has to do is enter the restaurant, take off their jacket and say hello to – and we already know what makes them tick."

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