Seaside Finolhu Appoints New Executive Chef and Director of Food & Beverage

Movers and Shakers
Culinary News
Benjamin Gouet (to the left) and Memo V. Hernandez (to the right)
PUBLISHED October 26, 2020 | updated October 26, 2020 03:06

The newly redesigned five-star Seaside Finolhu will reopen on November 1, 2020, as the first member of the Design Hotels in the Maldives. Bolstering the already impressive ranks of talent at the hotel, there will be two newly appointed members of staff: Memo V. Hernandez, Executive Chef and Benjamin Gouet, Director of Food & Beverage. 

Together, they will reinforce Finolhu’s outstanding levels of gastronomy and service. Rounding out the offering of culinary craftsmanship and international flair – from traditional Maldivian fare, to modern Japanese cuisine, or flavours of the Middle East and North Africa – will be a focus on handmade produce, crafted from fresh ingredients. 

Bringing more than 16-years’ experience in managing restaurants and hotel kitchens internationally, Hernandez joins Finolhu following his previous role as Executive Chef at The Nautilus Maldives. The Costa Rican native brings a wealth of luxury experience, including training at the three Michelin rated Quique da Costa Restaurant, Valencia.  

Hernandez has as a passion for the traditional, including farming, local produce, and the rustic production of cheeses. This is coupled with a modern outlook towards keto, superfoods, wellness, and vegetarianism and veganism – this includes ambitions to create a variety of dishes where the vegetable is the star.  

With ecological and environmental awareness at the forefront, he's looking forward to putting his touch on the menus, including a focus on seasonality, wholesome breakfasts, and plans to grow thyme, rosemary, basil, mint, and coriander on the island. 

French-born Gouet, has more than 15-years’ experience in the food and beverage industry and previously held the position of Director of Food & Beverage at Bandos Maldives Resort. His earlier work experience in senior roles has taken him to key luxury hotels across the world, including the Sheraton Club des Pins Resort, Algeria and Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa, French West Indies.  

He will manage the resort’s overall food and beverage service operations, ensuring the highest of standards are met across Finolhu’s six food and beverage outlets – each with its own distinct personality and aesthetic to accentuate. As a wine lover and cocktail connoisseur, Gouet will enhance the culinary journey with beverage pairings for each cuisine, ranging from wines and whiskeys to specialty teas. 

Finolhu was opened in June 2016 and consists of four islands with long beaches.  It has 125 beachfront and overwater villas (more than half with private pool) and four restaurants.  Whilst popular with honeymooners, the extensive resort is also very family-friendly, with a kids’ club, a wide choice of activities and world-famous entertainment.  

Owned and managed by Seaside Collection, a Europe-based hotel group with an exclusive portfolio of high-end resorts and city hotels, Seaside Finolhu Maldives is a luxury island resort.  “Finolhu”, which is a direct translation of “sandbank” in Dhivehi is located in Baa Atoll, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the Maldives.  


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