An Interview With & Winter Cocktail Recipe From Our Awardwinning Polurrian F&B Manager Yohann Thuill
Bringing a bit of French flair to the Lizard, our Food and Beverage Manager Yohann Thuillier talked to us about his route to the Polurrian Bay Hotel, his feelings on winning the Boutique Hotelier Personal Service Star Awards, and his favourite places in Cornwall, as well as sharing with us a new seasonal cocktail that he is inviting our Facebook fans to name – with a prize of one night's dinner, bed and breakfast for two adults and two children in a Family room for the winning idea!
• Hi Yohann. Where did you grow up, where did you start your career and how did end up making your way to Cornwall?
I grew up in the southern suburbs of Paris. I’ve always had a passion for food and wine and had an opportunity to start an apprenticeship with a local restaurant that had a reputation for delicious Alsatian food. All the food was sourced locally and every dish that went out was home-made on the premises.
After completing my apprenticeship at the famous Plaza Athenée in Paris, part of the Dorchester group, I wanted to see and experience London and became their first employee to be given the chance to be transferred to a hotel within the group in another country – The Dorchester. Then I saw an opening to work for Luxury Family Hotels, whose beautiful hotels I admired – and when I was offered the position at the Polurrian Bay, my girlfriend Rocio and I welcomed the prospect of moving to Cornwall.
• I hear that your brother Maxime is a cocktail barman in Bristol and similarly gained his experience in a prestigious hotel in Paris. Are food and drinks in your blood? Is this something that comes from your parents?
Yes and no! My parents are civil servants, yet they are also real foodies who enjoy creative cooking and fine French foods, as well an owning an eclectic collection of French wines.
• In October 2015 you won the F&B Manager Manager of the year at the Boutique Hotelier Personal Service Star Awards. How did you feel at the time?
I was totally surprised and shocked at winning, and it still feels so surreal!
• What does it mean to you?
Winning this award is a huge achievement in terms of recognising that I have chosen the correct career path.
• What was the reaction at the hotel to your award?
The hotel and the Luxury Family Hotel group as a whole have extremely proud of me winning as well as fully supportive of my work. I do feel that entire Food and Beverage team at Polurrian Bay have played a major part in me winning – I couldn’t have done it without them.
• What were your impressions when you first saw the Polurrian?
When I walked through the doors, I thought, 'Wow, this is grand!' The view out of the Vista Lounge is totally breathtaking…
• What do you enjoy most about your job?
Eating and drinking is my passion, so working in the service industry makes sense. The Polurrian has given me a platform to create and develop a flexible, creative and successful working environment, where I have the freedom to grow a great team, develop new menus, create new cocktails and so on.
• What are your favourite places in the region? And what do you like doing in your free time?
My favourite place in Cornwall is Porthleven – Rocio and I enjoy frequenting the different restaurants in the beautiful harbour village. We like to visit different places and discover new cuisine.
Yohann’s Winter Cocktail
3 x fresh raspberries or strawberries
½ fresh orange
Dash of balsamic reduction
25ml cherry brandy
50ml Doorly’s 5-year-old Dark Rum
How to make:
Add berries, balsamic reduction and orange zest to a Boston shaker glass and muddle them into a purée. Then add both the cherry brandy and rum and squeeze the orange into the mixture.
Fill the glass with ice cubes and shake vigorously for approximately 10 seconds. Double-strain into a margarita glass and top up with crushed ice then garnish with the orange peel/zest.
Read more about food and drink at Luxury Family Hotels.
Competition terms and conditions: The prize is non-transferable and there is no cash alternative. The prize is valid for 6 months from the date of announcement, excluding 22nd Dec 2015–15 Jan 2016 (inclusive). This prize excludes all school holidays, half terms and all bank holidays and is subject to availability at the time of booking. This competition is only valid for UK residents. Travel not included in the prize and additional charges apply for drinks, spa treatments and other items not stated.