Fosco’s classic can rekindle hospitality spark

  • Successful career: Fosco Nannini with his new book, Il Classico Boss. The hotel and restaurant sector veteran wants to inspire others to follow in his footsteps in hospitality

    Successful career: Fosco Nannini with his new book, Il Classico Boss. The hotel and restaurant sector veteran wants to inspire others to follow in his footsteps in hospitality


Now could be the perfect moment for Bermudians to reconnect in greater numbers with the restaurant and hospitality sector.

Fosco Nannini’s new book was written to pass on guidance and tales of his experiences after a lifetime in the industry to the present and next generation.

He said he wanted to inspire Bermudians to embrace the opportunities available in hotels and restaurants and forge rewarding careers.

Mr Nannini’s Il Classico Boss, covers his career, including owning and running restaurants Pasta Basta, Il Palio, and Nannini Haagen-Dazs.

It also highlights his early days in the Bermudian industry as a waiter at the Hamilton Princess in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Mr Nannini said: “I did well in my life and I want another Bermudian to take my role, because we need hotel and catering people, we need staff to serve our customers.”

The book tells Mr Nannini’s story, from his childhood on a farm in Italy, to pumping gas, travelling to Germany and his arrival in Bermuda, in 1967.

Mr Nannini said: “I remember at the Hamilton Princess there were a lot of Bermudians working with us.

“There were foreigners of course, but there were a lot of Bermudians in bar service, and housekeeping was all Bermudian back then.”

He added Bermudians had an important role to play as the sector recovered from the impact of the pandemic. Mr Nannini said: “This has to change some people’s point of view, because we can’t have locals having no employment.”

He added he wanted the book, which is packed with stories, photographs and menus from his 63 years in the industry, to rekindle the desire to work in the sector.

Mr Nannini, 77, said: “I want to persuade locals that there is nothing wrong with a career in hospitality and service. It is very good. I did very well. I started from nothing, and I’m comfortable now.”

He added: “For a lot of Bermudians, we have to improve our service and get involved in the hotel and restaurant industries. Not everyone can be in an office in front of a computer. Some people have to be doing service jobs.”

Mr Nannini said he had humble beginnings, but had enjoyed a long career in the sector and had owned his owned and operated his own restaurants.

He added: “I have worked hard, taken care of customers, had the proper menus for locals and tourists, and also tried to have good staff and employees and worked with them all the time. That’s why I was successful.

“You can do it now, but you have to get your hands dirty and show the staff what you do — show them how to treat a customer well.”

Shelly Wilks, who assisted with the book, said: “I enjoyed working with Mr Nannini on this project, I appreciate his humble heart to serve people with his knowledge and his experiences.

“Like him, I also feel that the restaurant industry is especially important to this culture, or any society, and we should all do our best to redesign it.”

Mr Nannini said the book had lessons for the future of the industry. He added: “I created something that is now a part of the Bermudian culture and I want to share that — also, to help reignite a dying culture, get more people involved and showcase why it is important regardless of the level of sacrifice and demand it requires.”

Mr Nannini said: “There are a lot of photographs of all the people that used to work, all types of menus back in the Seventies — lovely things that the younger generation could learn about.

“The book should inspire the younger generation, and also the people in the restaurant business now.”

He told the public: “You have the virus and all these problems — no tourists. But we have to look forward to something better. Don’t let yourself go down. If you think positive, you will get a result.”

A soft launch and book signing will be held outside Nannini Haagen-Dazs in the Clocktower Mall, Dockyard, on July 26 from 1pm to 4pm. The book can also be bought by e-mail to shellymagniva@gmail.com

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Published Jul 18, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Jul 18, 2020 at 6:42 am)

Fosco’s classic can rekindle hospitality spark

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