"Beside building a 3 stars we have won a family"
Interview with Didier Fertilati
Who are you?
My name is Didier, I’m an ordinary waiter and in charge of making sure that the service runs smoothly at QDR.
I am the father to two marvelous children, Léo and Laia.
I love gastronomy, of course, and motorcycles.
What are your duties within the QDR organizational chart?
I’m the host of the restaurant. I see to the well-being of all the guests, as well as the organization of the front-of-house team.
Do you think it is worth it to come to Denia, this tiny place in the huge world of gastronomy, which is so competitive and diverse?
It’s not just worth it...It should be recommended by doctors and covered by Social Security! (Ha, ha, ha). We are in a heavenly corner where you can live and eat wonderfully.
How and why do you think that this project has come about and in this way in Denia?
The project came about because we have a unique boss. He has a gift, a vision of cuisine, of gastronomy and business that few people are lucky enough to have. Surrounded by a team of enthusiastic people, Quique Dacosta has made possible what few thought possible: a 3-star restaurant in an area so far away from the large cities.
How much of the merit belongs to you?
I would like to think a lot… But we know that on a team there is no ONE individual; there a group and if it works well, the rewards are obtained on both an individual and a group level.
This place is made by those of us who live here. What do you think about the fact that we are a “young” team, but we’ve been together for more than a decade?
The truth is that it’s incredible how fast time has passed.
It’s a restaurant that is so lively, so dynamic that time passes by at warp speed. Besides “building” a 3-star restaurant, we have managed to give ourselves an extra family. I really think we are very lucky.
What brought you here to Denia from London?
First, it was the desire to see the sun, second the fact that my wife is from a town in Alicante and QD contacted me when he heard I was leaving my last job. All the planets were aligned. :-)
How do you deal with the recognition and awards on a personal level?
With a lot of pride and a great deal of humility; I allow myself a couple days to parade around, and then it’s back to normal and hard work. It’s always very nice when professionals recognize you, but for me the best award is the happy faces of our customers when they leave our restaurant.
As a whole, what do they mean for the project?
If there are personal awards, it means that the team works very well. I couldn’t “win” any prizes if my colleagues were not doing their job well, so like I said before, even though they’re in my name, they belong to everyone who is part of the team.
Why Quique Dacosta Restaurant?
First, because QD took the trouble to look for me and then charm me with his personality and cuisine. He called me, I came to see him and to eat (three times) and here I’ve been for 11 years.
What could a restaurant professional gain from working with Didier Fertilati and his team?
He is assured personal and professional growth. It would give him the opportunity to work with many front-of-house professionals who will inspire him and guide him during his stay with us. It would enable him to be part of a powerful, constantly growing group, besides giving his resumé added quality that will open most of the doors in the culinary world.
Do you think that someone could have a professional career at Quique Dacosta Restaurant?
Where do you find inspiration?
In everyday life and in the passion for gastronomy that has motivated me since 1990.
What do you contribute to your world?
No one has ever asked me that before… I strive to be the best on my team and I try to do and provide the best service I can with my knowledge, my experience and my character.
If I contribute something to gastronomy, it might be a professional, yet customer-friendly service to increase their enjoyment. Among the 3-star restaurants, we surely have the friendliest service of them all.
What do you feel as a professional? How do you communicate this to the guests?
Pride, passion, pleasure, responsibility… I always try to use happiness and humor to make the guests feel as comfortable as possible and in perfect condition to enjoy the experience at home.
. What would you have liked to invent (in terms of gastronomy)?
The corkscrew ☺
What do you think that people do not know about you? Say something interesting. Tell us something we’ve never heard about you before.
If I hadn’t chosen to dedicate myself to gastronomy, I would have worked with wood; I love wood.
Where do you see yourself in the next 12 years? Are you the type of person who looks to the future without enjoying the present, or just the opposite?
I have no idea; I have never planned such a long time ahead. With my experience I know all too well that in our trade today, we’re here today and in another place in the world tomorrow. I try to live in the present all that I can, and since I’ve become a father, it’s easier for me.
A book? ‘The Dark Half’ by Stephen King.
A film? Seven years in Tibet.
A wine? Krug Spéciale Cuvée.
A cheese? St. Nectaire.
A product? Pasta.
A flavor? Sour.
A scent? Wet grass.
A person? My father.
An art? Music.
An artist? Bob Marley.
A tool? The spoon.
A toy? My motorcycle.
A restaurant? Ours or Casa Manolo?
A dish? El bosque animado (“The enchanted forest”).
A place? Home.
Not without...? My children.