a little about me
Wine, food and travel has been the backbone and thread in my food and beverage career and has allowed me to follow my passion of sampling flavours from across the globe and experiencing diverse cultures along the way.
Originally from Romania, I started as a restaurant server for a prominent media mogul in Bucharest who mentored me and opened my eyes up to opportunities. I went on to secure a job on a cruise ship in my early 20s and suddenly the world was my oyster. I continued to develop my experience and leadership working in luxury hotels, fine dining restaurants and wineries in the Cayman Islands, Fiji and now Australia, always surrounding myself around passionate artisans, luxury experiences and quality produce.
I own and operate The Sourdough Crust Co. restaurant in Ipswich, QLD where we specialise in authentic wood-fired sourdough pizza and am co-founder of Sourdough Flakes, a dehydrated sourdough starter that's the #1 Hot New Grocery Product on Amazon and has been featured on the Today show, Kochie's Business Builders and The Weekend Edition.
Venue operations Pre-opening Wine and menu curation Branding
Social Media Event management Mentoring Leadership
Director of Operations - Ipswich Turf Club, Ipswich Entertainment and Events Centre
Overseeing the brand new $20 million dollar Entertainment and Events space and preparing to welcome 20,000 guests and deliver the Annual Ipswich Cup, the largest provincial club race meet in Australia.
Multi-property Food & Beverage Specialist - Marriott international Fiji Resorts
Supported the development of food and beverage operations, service, initiatives and associate training across the five Marriott International Cluster properties in Fiji including Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay, The Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa, Sheraton Fiji Resort, Sheraton Denarau Villas and Sheraton Tokoriki Island Resort & Spa.
Head of Operations - Customs House, The University of QLD
Customs House is a Brisbane icon and the city’s premiere function and dining venue. I led a team of 50 hospitality professionals and was responsible for the effective management of six function spaces, contemporary restaurant, reception, administration and maintenance of this Heritage listed facility.
Director of Food & Beverage - Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley Resort
Recognised as one of the finest boutique hotels in the world, and Australia’s ultra luxury conservation based resort; I was responsible for delivering unrivalled world class dining experiences.
Food & Beverage Operations Manager - Paringa Estate Winery & Restaurant
One of Victoria’s highly regarded estates. Paringa Estate was the 2014 national winner of 'Best Restaurant in a Winery' and awarded with a coveted 2014 Australian Good Food Guide Chefs Hat, my role oversaw the front of house, reservations, events and cellar door operations.
Restaurant & Events Manager - Customs House, The University of QLD
Executed and supervised banquet events of between 6 and 350 guests and responsible for the effective management of the food & beverage operation of Customs House Restaurant. A contemporary dining experience at one of Brisbane’s leading tourism and heritage icons.
Food & Beverage Supervisor/Trainer - The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman
Trained a team of 25 on service and wine education to AAA standards.
Conde Nast Traveler: Readers' Choice Awards – Best in the World – 2006 - 2012
Conde Nast Traveler Gold List - 2006 - 2012
Travel & Leisure 500 – World's Best Hotels 2006 - 2012
AAA Five Diamond Award - 2006 - 2012
Specialty Server - Princess Cruises
Hosted the exclusive maître d' wine club tastings and worked as specialty server in the ships fine dining Italian restaurant.
Wine & Spirit Education Trust
Level 3, Advanced Award in Wine
Wine & Spirit Education Trust
Level 2, Award in Wine and Spirits
The Education Institute - American Hotel & Lodging Association
Certified hospitality supervisor
When i'm not delivering events, discovering new wines or welcoming diners to my restaurant, The Sourdough Crust Co., I spend my time sourcing ingredients from the fresh market, cooking for my family and baking sourdough bread.