02:00PM, Thursday 07 June 2018
The popular general manager of the Waterside Inn has bid farewell to the three Michelin-starred restaurant after 30 years.
Diego Masciaga, who was also a director at the world-famous eatery, worked his last day of service on Sunday.
Born in Oleggio, Italy in 1963, Diego started catering school at the age of 14.
After working in one of the most famous French restaurants in the world, Alain Chapel, he moved to England to learn English, intending to work on a cruise liner.
However, on his 20th birthday he started his first job in England at Michel and Albert Roux’ first restaurant Le Gavroche and the rest is history.
“I still haven’t been on a cruise,” he said.
In total, the 55-year-old has worked for the Roux family for 35 years. The Waterside Inn was founded by Michel and Albert and is currently run by Michel’s son, Alain.
Diego said: “One of the hardest days of my working life was telling my boss Mr Michel that I’m going to move on.
“Over the past 30 years I gave everything, I have to be honest.”
Speaking of the Roux family, he said: “They are perfectionists, the pinnacle of the industry.
“I’m not saying it’s easy, you have to be 110 per cent every day. You cannot be 99 per cent.
“They will always be friends.”
Diego said he always tries to ‘treat others how you would like to be treated’.
The motto and his commitment to his role has seen him receive about 300 cards and letters from his adoring customers since his leaving was announced.
His work has seen him spend a week serving Boris Yeltsin at the Kremlin, singing ‘O sole mio’ with the Queen of Thailand and serve the Royal family on the Queen’s rowbarge, the Gloriana, but Diego said it is his encounters with the regulars that he values the most.
He added the decision to leave was solely influenced by his family. He said: “Obviously you are a bit sad but at the same time I’m happy.
“My wife Kerry and my two daughters, they’ve been my rock and they’ve never seen their father on Christmas Day.”
Diego met his wife in his first year in England when all he could say in English was ‘how are you?’
He said: “She’s been waiting for me all this time. I admire her a lot, I don’t think many women would have done that.”
As well as looking forward to spending more time with Kerry and his daughters Francesca, 27, and Isabella, 25, Diego and his wife will also have a working relationship.
Kerry will be Diego’s manager as he ventures to share his passion and expertise for customer service with the hospitality industry and businesses in general.
But first, he is looking forward to enjoying a holiday to Rhodes in Greece.
Frederick Poulette, who began working with Diego about 16 years ago, will take over his position.
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