F&B Manager, Mercure Maldives, Kooddoo

Mercure Maldives Kooddoo is a special place built right on the airport island. You’d think the flights would make a ruckus but they don’t and they aren’t that frequent.

This is a place to tune out and connect with Gaafu Alifu’s sublime beauty. And what better way to enjoy nature’s bounty than on a full stomach. It’s here that the Frenchman Mathieu Delin oversees F&B operations. He’s not only a hospitality graduate but also a sommelier who knows his way around wine. We have a little tête-à-tête to find out his thoughts on gastronomic matters.

Hotel Insider: You’ve got two food outlets on your island plus in-room dining. How do you make sure everything runs smoothly?

Mathieu Delin: We ensure that our two food outlets and in-villa dinning are running without a hitch by working, communicating and coordinating closely with the different departments and outlets. Our head chef, myself and the restaurant manager are always meeting our customers to collect feedback to understand what they want in order to anticipate their needs for their next visit in our restaurants.

Hotel Insider: We heard that VISTAS is being completely overhauled. What do you have in mind for it now?

Mathieu Delin: We aim to create the kind of place that stirs the senses and stimulates the appetite all with a good dose of fun and laughter within a contemporary tropical setting with dazzling views of our lagoon.

During the day we serve locally roasted coffee, carefully prepared by our baristas. Fine teas all accompanied with delectable pastries crafted by our pastry team.

Late afternoons the open layout of the gastropub and the dazzling sunset set the mood with an energetic vibe. The emphasis is on quality gastronomic creations made with the finest and freshest flavours. With tantalising street food, seasonal creations, hand-crafted cocktails, and an extensive wine list, Vistas Gastropub is the place to go to indulge in a celebration of good taste.

Hotel Insider: Most things in Maldives are imported. Do you find this challenging, especially when it comes to perishables?

Mathieu Delin: Yes, it’s true it can be challenging in a remote location especially vegetables, but with the help of our executive team we have decided to create a vegetable and herb garden in the resort.

Hotel Insider: Are there any ingredients that you source locally?

Mathieu Delin: Whenever possible, we try to source ingredients from islands close to our resort. We’ve been very successful in finding tasty local melons, few vegetables and Maldivian chilli. We can soon supplement these with a large range of vegetables from our garden.

Hotel Insider: Free-range meats, plant-based foods, non-GMO products, ethically sourced ingredients, all of these seem to be on-trend these days. Do you see these reflected in guests’ food choices?

Mathieu Delin: Yes we do, more guests are asking about the products’ origin. And we’ve already anticipated this with our executive chef Rosan by introducing non-GMO products like dairy products, eggs and so forth.

Hotel Insider: Do you see these very health conscious food trends extending into the far future?

Mathieu Delin: Absolutely, I can see this being more than a trend and carrying on as customers have become more health conscious, spending more time engaged in sports and fitness in general, eating more balanced diets. At the same time, they also like having a great classic dish.