Our Bar Manager at The Delaunay
Hailing from Bologna in Italy, Alessandro Mannello joined The Delaunay in May 2021 as Bar Manager, bringing with him a wealth of expertise. Having been immersed in the world of food and drink from a young age, hospitality runs through Alessandro’s veins. Now, he is on a mission to put The Delaunay Bar on the map…
Tell us a little about yourself…
My first taste of hospitality management came via my father who ran one of the oldest pubs in Bologna. I started working there when I was 18, and that was the beginning of my love affair with hospitality. I immersed myself in every aspect of the operation, from washing pots to serving customers.
At the same time I was studying economics at the University of Bolgona - I wanted to be able to use numbers and apply these skills in hospitality. I then went on to complete an MBA after this. I did try working in a bank once for 6 months, but it was really not for me
Then in 2011 I moved to London to pursue new opportunities in hospitality… over the years I have had some incredible experiences, working at Le Bab and Soho House in London and most recently at the Hotel Villa Arcadio overlooking Lake Garda in Italy.
What drew you to the Corbin & King family?
I've always loved Corbin & King as a company. What I really love is the culture Jeremy and Chris have cultivated, and how involved the directors/senior team are - from hiring, through to daily operations - you always feel supported.
The team always comes first for me; and this is something else which really drew me to work here, as it's completely aligned with my values.
A very important part of the job is to give people the space they need to enjoy their experience and be themselves - it doesn't matter who they are, once in everyone is equal - it should feel like time doesn't exist anymore. The atmosphere is the most important aspect and I enjoy the element of theatre that comes with this… something that Corbin and King do exceptionally well.
What's been your highlight so far working at The Delaunay?
Firstly, getting to work in this stunning setting every day - The Delaunay feels timeless, like it's always been here.
Overall, I would say my highlight is the team I am being trusted to build. Despite the challenging market for hospitality, I am proud of what we have achieved so far.
Where do you find inspiration for new cocktail recipes? Talk us through your approach to designing the perfect bar menu.
I would say the visual is just as important as the taste when it comes to cocktails - it needs to wow you and make you want to drink it again and again.
For inspiration, it's always good to see what others are doing, so I keep on top of my research and try and visit two or three places around the city each week. Otherwise, I seek inspiration through travelling and art - two passions I try and indulge as much as possible.
Creating a drinks menu that perfectly complements the food is one of my favourite aspects of the job - I love working collaboratively with the chefs and floor staff. Most of all I enjoy talking to my guests, finding out what they like and creating bespoke drinks to order. Sometimes these even end up on the menu!
What's your favourite C&K restaurant, other than The Delaunay?
The Wolseley - when I first moved to London, I used to get on a bus every day to work that went right past the restaurant. Every day I would look at it like you would at Big Ben… it has that wow factor!
Finally, if you could give one piece of advice to anyone interested in working in hospitality - what would it be?
Be passionate and proud of what you do. It can be difficult and tiring but it's more than just a job - it's the best job in the world!
Keep an open mind - eat, drink, explore - I've had lots of opportunities you might not expect and the chance to be really creative in my career… something people may not necessarily associate with hospitality!