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31 January 2019

Melroy Fernandes: A Passion For Learning

World traveller, connoisseur, and eminently accomplished Master Sommelier, Melroy Fernandes is a gentlemen of the old school; an impeccably-mannered sophophile with a fascination for his craft.

It’s this insatiable passion for learning which has led him to the Amavi, where he holds the distinguished position of Food & Beverage Manager – responsible for every exquisite detail of this gastronomic paradise.

Undoubtedly, it’s been a roundabout route – taking in everywhere from the mountain heights of Europe to the sands of modern Arabia – but Melroy’s career has been an erudite journey through cultures and climes only dreamt of by most. And today, diligence, dedication, and a talent for innovation have made him one of the Top 5 Sommeliers in the Middle Eastern region: a distinction well-earned during an illustrious career path.

Hailing from Mumbai and of joint Indian and Portuguese heritage, Melroy began his meteoric rise at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in his hometown, before employing his skills at a number of prestigious, luxury resorts around the globe. Working with Michelin-starred establishments, and enjoying close cooperation with both world-renowned chefs (such as Rasmus Kofoed and Giorgio Locatelli) and vintners (including Louis Roederer, Bollinger, Taittinger, and Philliponnat) Melroy comes to the Amavi from the 5-star Leela Kempinski resort in Mumbai, where he worked alongside, his mentor and famed French Sommelier Sylvain Charrier.

 

There must be pride in one’s role, but it’s humility which accentuates growth.

And yet, despite his achievements, Mr Fernandes is a man of both modesty and subtlety. “There must be pride in one’s role,” he reveals, “but it’s humility which accentuates growth. Like a fine wine, a Food & Beverage Manager must be a well-rounded individual with a pantheon of skills and a hunger to learn. Trends in the industry are constantly changing,” he adds, “so keeping oneself updated is a must in this profession.”

Fortunately, reading and travel are two of Melroy’s passions. Having journeyed the globe, taking in the vineyards of Italy, Spain, France, Germany and Switzerland, the unique terroirs of Bordeaux, Alsace, Verona, Tuscany, and the eclectic cuisines of the world, Mr Fernandes is constantly furthering his expertise. “In this position, knowledge and aptitude are not merely limited to wine and hospitality; it’s also about an ample store of general knowledge, excellent conversational skills, and the ability to tell a story – all of which come from travel and experience.

“This is a vocation,” he concludes with a smile, “a hunger to learn which has sent me on an amazing journey and has, ultimately, led me to Paphos – a city rich in ancient history – and the Amavi, a landmark of innovation at the cultural heart of Europe.”

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