Stefan Zijta

Stefan Zijta

Stefan Zijta

Food & Beverage Director at Alila Seminyak

E: Describe your typical day in a sentence.

Stefan: Hectic with juggling meetings and paperwork, new dishes, planning of events, making time for the team, while staying a bit fit by cycling and swimming.

E: So how did you come to be the F&B director for Alila Seminyak?

S: I had been the executive chef for Alila since 2008. After several openings my focus was no longer only on the culinary part but also the front of the house. The title executive chef was no longer justified, so we turned it into F&B director.

E: What’s the toughest part of your job?

S: Staying in line with the latest developments. Since social media, trends and gimmicks come and go. To pick up what is to stay and develop those into our F&B program is challenging but also very exciting.

E: And what makes you smile at work?

S: When we are really busy, and we crank out 400 guests for breakfast, all à la carte, and I see everyone in their place doing their job making it work. Seeing the piles of raw materials coming in everyday turned into delicious food is very rewarding too.

E: What motivates you? 

S: The opportunity to become a corporate chef is highly motivating. The chance to have a say in the F&B operations in all the sister hotels. The ability to travel the world and experience the world through food is amazing.

E: Would things fall apart if you weren’t around?

S: Absolutely not, we have amazing people in the right place.

E: Who, in your team, deserves more recognition and why?

S: Stewarding, they are this quiet little army that somehow always manages to deliver clean kitchens in the morning for the team to start with. Without them operations would fall apart. Not many people realise this.

E: Why should people come to Alila Seminyak to dine or stay? 

S: The undisrupted 180-degree ocean view and of course the food and the drinks. Since we opened Seasalt we have received many compliments for our food and interior design.

E: Away from work, what’s your favourite place to eat?

S: Too many! And I haven’t even tried everything yet!

E: How do you unwind?

S: Taking the kids somewhere for the weekend, could be anywhere. My favourite place here in Bali is Balian though. Amazing beaches and extremely relaxed vibe.

E: Finally, any advice for those looking to break into the industry?

S: Don’t jump too fast on to the next position. Grow steadily, work hard in reputable places and build a solid foundation and deep understanding of your trade.

Alila Seminyak

Jalan Taman Ganesha No. 9, Seminyak

Bali 80361, Indonesia

T: (+62) 3613021888