Painting a Gastronomical Legacy

Anoud S

2 years ago

Tables adorned with silverware on crisp white tablecloths, delectable signature dishes and a captivating view of the Yas Marina; Cipriani at the Yas Yacht Club checks all the boxes of an exclusive fine dining restaurant. But what makes it different from the rest in the sea of high end restaurants?
Delving into an 85-year legacy of gastronomical excellence, we sat down with the self-proclaimed ‘Backbone Manager’, Riccardo Quacquarelli, to understand how he keeps the cogs functioning smoothly in the labyrinth that is restaurant management. “My day usually starts at 10am and as a General Manager it involves many different areas”, he said listing his responsibilities. This encompasses “operational day to day aspects that include food and service, to discussing the daily menu with our chef and finding out what products are fresh and available; and organizing upcoming private events as well as less creative budget forecast conversations.”
Having joined Cipriani in 2009, Riccardo knows the workings of managing a restaurant in and out. “What is most important is to remember that we are a team made of the other managers, the waiters, the kitchen personnel, etc. Although it does take a bit for a new waiter to master our attentive style of service without being overwhelming, we work on it ‘till it’s up to our standards. Every piece is equally fundamental in order to give our customers a great experience”, he said adding that this along with sticking to its root values through four generations is the reason Cipriani stands out in what is a very competitive industry. “I had the opportunity to learn from Arrigo Cipriani, his son and his grandsons, who were all actively involved in the company.”
Offering traditional Venetian dishes, the authentic restaurant with its Florentine architecture and an outdoor terrace oozes sophistication. Giving a twist to fine dining, the restaurant offers patrons looking for a bespoke experience a variety of activities like a test drive in a Lamborghini, a chance to spectate a Polo Match or even a relaxed cruise on a luxury yacht.
But don’t let that fool you, Cipriani prides itself on its down to earth and traditional air which reflects in everything right down to its linen measurements, the size and proportion of its tableware and its warm and natural service—a sight for sore eyes in an industry which lures inexperienced players into the trap of pretentiousness. “Mr. Arrigo Cipriani had once said, ‘The World changes we don’t’ and thus, we will always be a simple Italian restaurant”, said the orchestrator behind each of the meticulously crafted experiences.
With a growing family of customers, Riccardo has witnessed Cipriani’s rising popularity across the globe and has hinted at Cipriani’s newest location— Riyadh. Calling Yas island home, he fondly reminisces his first F1 season in 2010 hosting visitors from around the world. Today, if he is not found commanding the staff at Cipriani, he is surely unwinding on the island’s cerulean shores.


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