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Jamie became hooked on the hospitality industry after taking a part time job over the summer whilst at University. In fact, he was so hooked that, once the summer was over, he decided to enrol at Catering College rather than finish his degree. This is a decision he’s never regretted.
Since making the swap to hospitality, Jamie has worked his way up and says that his proudest moment was when he finally got his first Head Chef position. He says that ‘A lot of hard work and effort goes into being a chef and it made me immensely proud when I took over my first kitchen as head chef and made a real success of the restaurant’.
His favourite thing about his job as Executive Head Chef is that he constantly has to evolve and stay current, meeting the ever-changing trends in food. Jamie says that it’s ‘vital we are always learning and up to date’.
The maze Grill dish that he’d put down as a favourite is the slow cooked pork ribs, remarking that ‘anything cooked with pork is always a winner but the slow cooking on our ribs mean the meat just falls of the bone. Delicious’.
When Jamie’s not at work, his free time is spent eating and drinking with his fiancé, cooking at home and going out to try new restaurants. He also spends a lot of time reading cook books and industry newsletters to keep up with what’s going on.
Luis Amezaga, our Head Chef, was born in Mendoza, Argentina.
From a very young age, his mum introduced him to the art of cooking. Luis remembers her sharing ‘her passion about food’ which had such an impact on him that he knew he would pursue a career in the culinary arts.
Argentina is very well known for the quality of the beef the country produces, and for some of the most delicious steaks. Luis says that ‘Asados (barbecue) runs in my DNA, so after I finished my degree, I wanted to develop my skill for cooking steaks and the different ways of preparing them, so I got I job in one of the most important steak houses of Mendoza’. After a couple of years working in Mendoza he decided to move to London where he got I job at Gaucho and worked his way up from Chef de Partie to Head Chef in a period of 5 years.
Luis gets inspiration from a few very well-known chefs of the world including: Francis Mallman, Fernando Trocca, Mauro Colagreco, Gordon Ramsay, Maximo Bottura, among others.
When asked about his position as Head Chef at maze Grill Park Walk, he says that the thing that most excites him is ‘to have the opportunity to work, learn and bring my experience to this team of very talented chefs. I came here looking forward to expanding my knowledge and skills and to be able to build and maintain a group of people able to provide the best service to our dearest guests’.
maze Grill Park Walk’s General Manager, Orlando, grew up in Latina – a small village between Rome and Naples. He started to get interested in the hospitality industry from around 14 years old, when he noticed that the waiters in restaurants he ate at were so smooth and professional. It was at that age that his career in the industry started with his first job as a runner in a ristorante Pizzeria near his parents’ house. Then he joined a two-generation restaurateur family and felt that there ‘was always something magic in the air, every day. I was soaked with their passion and the vision of a humble, good and not pretentious food offering’.
It was that family that gave him the encouragement and support to change his studying into the catering school. Orlando studied at Formia (LT) IPSSAR A. Celletti, which he remembers fondly – saying that it is the ‘best school in the world!’
Orlando’s career is dotted with many memorable and proud moments. Some of these include: being the assistant of the Head of banqueting in Moët & Chandon, France. He started as an apprentice, look after the private events in the maison; being Head waiter in Helsinki, Finland; managing a fast growing company in Malta; looking after two adjacent sites on the Marina Bay; the first time he used a POS system and worked with an international brigade – and of course, being Senior Assistant Manager at Union Street Café before moving to Park Walk!
Orlando’s passion for the hospitality industry stems from its continuously evolving nature, limitless boundaries, and the ability to create memorable experiences for guests. He loves that he can experience a 360 degree Vision of the restaurant world, from visiting mozzarella makers, to olive oil, vineyards and much more. He is inspired by his first Manager, who taught Orlando how to love his job, and his last manager, who taught him how to push to the limit and be under control, always.
Outside of work, Orlando loves spending time with his little girl. Once a month he takes a little time to himself to go out for dinner alone, and enjoy (in silence) the whole atmosphere of the restaurant he’s chosen. When on holiday, he always makes sure to look out for family run restaurants, where everyone can feel at home, even though it’s a new country.