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A new chapter

Felix Chaudhary
Thursday, March 01, 2018

THE end of an era of one of Shangri-La's Fijian Resort and Spa's landmarks also marks the beginning of a new chapter at the iconic Yanuca Island property.

Shangri-La's Fijian Resort & Spa recently re-launched its Golden Cowrie Italian Coastal Restaurant and Golden Cowrie Lounge.

"We are so delighted to announce the re-launch and complete overhaul of both the Golden Cowrie Coastal Italian Restaurant and Golden Cowrie Lounge as they are both an integral part of the history and transformation of our resort," said resort general manager, Francis Lee.

"They were both originally established when our resort was opened in 1967 and were known as the Golden Cowrie Restaurant and the Golden Cowrie Lounge was formerly known as the Black Marlin Bar.

"In keeping with the roots of this restaurant we have maintained important cultural elements of Fijian culture in the décor especially in the use of coconut sinnet (magimagi) on the wooden pillars were all hand made by artisans throughout the restaurant."

"The use of other items like the woven baskets and the colour pallet also pay tribute to Fijian culture but also represent a more modern and international aesthetic that represents the international flavour of the Italian cuisine that we offer in this restaurant.

The culinary team at Shangri-La's Fijian Resort and Spa is headed by executive chef Rudolf Kunkel who has decades of international experience throughout the Shangri-La group world-wide in South East Asia and Malaysia as well as Fiji.

He spearheaded the transformation of the Golden Cowrie Restaurant along with the director of the food and beverage team, Maurice Fahey.

The Golden Cowrie Restaurant is headed by Italian Sous Chef Bruno Bettinazzi and a team of eight locals.

Chef Bettinazzi worked in Singapore prior to coming to Fiji and before that he has worked in restaurants and hotels throughout Italy and Switzerland. Emmanuel Fonmanu is the service leader and heads the team in restaurant.

At 33, he is the youngest manager to be appointed to such a position at the resort and is looking forward to a bright future in the industry.

"I am proud to be in one of the best hotels in the world and to be in the company of such a great management team who are very supportive," he said.

"The first time I stepped into a resort was when I first crossed the causeway here 16 years ago.

"I never dreamt that I would become a manager, my aim was just to get a good job and to hold on to it and become permanent staff.

"And now that I have been given this opportunity, I have plans and ambitions to go even further."

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