Many Otherness guests have been impressed by the warmth, dignity and quiet efficiency of one of my star FOH staff members, Cristina Cojocaru. Little do they realise just how accomplished Cristina is and the wealth of amazing qualifications and experience she brings to our business.
Cristina is proudly Moldovan.
Twelve months ago, that meant little to me. In my mind Moldova was one of those obscure Eastern European nations that you flew over when travelling to Vienna or Frankfurt. Now the unfortunate situation in neighbouring Ukraine has put Moldova on the international map. The conflict and the longstanding ambition of the Russians to destabilise and thwart democratic aspirations in countries that were formerly part of the Soviet Union continues to threaten Moldova’s sovereignty.
Cristina’s native language is Romanian, but she is also fluent in English, Russian, French, Swedish and German. I remember sending her over to a table of visiting customers from France and after the meal they asked me which part of Paris she was from!
Armed with a Masters Degree in International Development (earned in Sweden) Cristina worked for the Swiss government managing projects in Humanitarian aid, economic and Cultural development. Before this, she was actively involved with an international organisation promoting peace and conflict resolution. Cristina personally knows several of the key leadership members in the Moldovan parliament.
With little hospitality experience when she began at Otherness, she has every outstanding human quality needed to connect with our customers, regardless of background and has become an efficient (and balletic) food and wine attendant, with great humility.
Angaston is the great beneficiary when humans like Cristina, her Australian husband Erik and two young children move into our neighbourhood. I wish Erik and Cristina well with their Barossa-based start-up in the development of solar Air conditioning technology.
Otherness = Culture and Community (as well as great food and fine wine!)
– Grant Dickson.