Interview With Second Maitre Giovanni "Gianni" Sale 0 Comments
Meeting Giovanni Sale, for us Gianni, is a privilege. A professional figure of the Gabbiano Azzurro Hotel & Suites of great stature. Knowledge, skill, self-discipline, control, proper way of dealing and mature age make him a perfect gentleman at the service of the prestigious clientele of the Beach Risto & Bar on the Beach and the Blù Restaurant.
Q. Gianni, when did you start your professional career?
A. Soon. At 13 my father told me it was time to go to work. The choices were either labourer or shepherd or waiter. I chose to be a waiter in Cala Gonone. In those days we worked 30 days a month in the summer, from 06:45 to 23:00 continue schedule, because after serving lunch at the restaurant, in the afternoon they used to send us to fish sea actinia, which they served in the evening for dinner. I'll tell you an anecdote (he smiles): German customers liked to linger at the table after dinner for a few more drinks. At the time, the owner had a peculiar method of sending them to sleep: he let loose Pallino, a 50-kilo boar that he had raised as a puppy, which by running free in the restaurant scared the customers and made them leave the place.
Q. For how long were you in Cala Gonone?
A. Four years. In the meantime, however, during winter I attended the Hotel Management School in Arzachena. The technique teacher was then director of the Hotel Baia Cadinas as well and employed me as a bursar in his structure in summer. I finally had decent hours, rest, and a pay check for the first time. The following year, on the other hand, was a particular experience. It was another hotel in Baia Sardinia that had promised us a pay check and instead paid us cash advances with no regular deal. We were 52 employees and we occupied the hotel in the middle of August, redirecting the guests to other hotels. We won the case but we were never compensated (smiling with a sigh). The following year also the restaurant in Liscia di Vacca that hired me did not give us a payc heck, but it was one of the richest seasons for us thanks to the large tips left by top class clients as Rothschild and Krupp. In those days we did the transfer for them by boat from the old pier of Porto Cervo to their luxurious yachts.
Q. Things weren't easy in those years. You see, Gianni, your story gives an idea of how the laws protecting the fundamental rights of the worker have fortunately progressed for the better... then it was the turn of abroad, right?
A. Yes, in the 80s: I enrolled for the military draft few months later they sent me home. So, with only an expired railway pass in my pocket, I went to Germany. No one ever asked me for my documents, (laughs) curious, isn’t it? Two years between Stuttgart and Berlin when the wall was still there.
Q. And when you return to Italy?
A. In the meantime, I got married and continued with seasonal jobs until with my brother and a friend we decided to take over the management of the Ristorante Pizzeria il Lido in Alghero. We had 20 employees and we made up to 600 pizzas a night. At two in the morning, I went to get the fresh fish and the rest of the shopping to give to the kitchen and at nine we were ready for the restaurant. We were among the first to have tables on the sand! But my two partners withdrew because self-employment scared them and I didn't feel like continuing on my own. I tried again with the management of the Nabila restaurant in Olbia with my brother and the chef but after 3 and a half years the agreement broke up. Then from 1994 to 2004, for ten years, I worked at the Hotel Ristorante in Olbia.
Q. And then it was the turn of the Gabbiano Azzurro Hotel & Suites…
A. Yes, that was April of 2004. And this is my 19th season here.
Q. How has the structure evolved since then?
A. The first few years we only had Italian customers, I remember that twice a week we had grilled fish once and local Sardinian cuisine with porceddu the other. It was nice because it invited conviviality and the guests could to familiarize themselves during those vacations’ weeks. Then the hotel was renovated and improved, optimizing the service aimed towards a higher target of customers. It became more international, reaching a high percentage of foreigners who came from all over Europe, but also from the USA and Canada. The Ownership has made the place prestigious and pleasant to work in, the fact is that soon my working relationship here will be 20 years old.
Q. And we have arrived at the present day, Gianni. What advice would you give to young people? What is your secret?
A. I have had a lot of experience, I have seen many things and I have come to the conclusion that the secret is patience, reflection but, above all, having a great desire to work.
I could not expect anything but a conclusion full of wisdom, Gianni. Thank you so much, it was fascinating to travel through your 53 years of career in the hospitality world. I wish you all the best.--
Written by Daniela Toti