Diego Masciaga, born in Oleggio, Piedmont, is one of the greatest representatives of international hospitality. In June after 30 years he left his role as general manager at The Waterside Inn in Bray, in the UK
In my first article for Identità Golose I’d like to tell you about an extraordinary person, a Master of hospitality, the best, most complete, professional and kind maître I’ve ever met: Diego Masciaga, the ex/restaurant manager at The Waterside Inn in Bray in the UK (3 Michelin stars for over 30 years) where he worked since the mid-Eighties. Diego left the role of general manager on June 4th 2018. His last service as director of The Waterside Inn was on Sunday 3rd of June. This is a tribute to his career.
The Waterside Inn
The book on Masciaga
During his significant career, Masciaga received some important awards. In 2009. the Grand Prix de L’Art de la Sallefrom the Académie Internationale de la Gastronomie; two years later he became Cavaliere Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana; in 2015 he received the Lifetime achievement award from Le Stelle sul lago d’Orta and another Lifetime achievement award from Gusto Italia UK.
Diego Masciaga with chef Alain Roux, son of Michel Roux
As a food lover, I met Diego in 2009 when I first tried the cuisine at The Waterside Inn. Those were my initial culinary experiences and I remember I was fascinated by Masciaga, by his personality, his approach to customers, his charisma, professionalism, and kindness. I immediately understood he was a Master of hospitality in one of the restaurants that pays the greatest attention to service in the world… What you immediately notice is thatDiego welcomes everyone as if they were all VIPs, whether he knows the guests or meets them for the very first time. He’s always smiling: elegance and kindness.
Diego is also a master when it comes to finishing some famous dishes at the table, in front of the guests, something that unfortunately has been lost in contemporary cuisine... In the past few years he often prepared a spectacular Canard à la presseor some exceptional spaghetti with caviar (a dish by Gualtiero Marchesi) which he simply calls Spaghetti alla Diego. I once tasted his crêpes Suzette too... Seeing him at work preparing these recipes is fantastic.
Preparing at the table...
... a dish of Spaghetti alla Diego
No wonder The Waterside Inn is also Queen Elizabeth’sfavourite restaurant. She calls Diego by his name and often visits the restaurant (mostly in one of the private rooms, except for once when she dined in the main dining room, surprising all the other guests… Diego told me this anecdote during one of my visits). The Queen has also often invited Masciaga to Windsor, which is only a 10 minutes’ drive from The Waterside Inn, both as guest and as dining room manager for their banquets.
Diego was, is and will remain a charismatic person, and a Master of hospitality. He’s the perfect representation of Italian excellence in the world: Italy must be proud of him!
The public side of a restaurant seen by its protagonists: maître, restaurant managers, waiters
British-Slovenian, born in 1971, he was raised in Ticino, in Italian Switzerland, and has been working in a bank for almost two decades. His passions are good food, wines and travelling. He became a food enthusiast ten years ago, after watching Gordon Ramsay’s first TV shows and started to travel first around Italy and the Europe and elsewhere in the world in search of the best restaurants. A good dish must always thrill him, because cooking, like many other forms of art, is about emotionsBritish-Slovenian, born in 1971, he was raised in Ticino, in Italian Switzerland, and has been working in a bank for almost two decades. His passions are good food, wines and travelling. He became a food enthusiast ten years ago, after watching Gordon Ramsay’s first TV shows and started to travel first around Italy and the Europe and elsewhere in the world in search of the best restaurants. A good dish must always thrill him, because cooking, like many other forms of art, is about emotions
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