Keynote Speaker / Born in Bistrita, Bogdan Dănilă worked for Gordon Ramsey’s team for a while and was nominated as one of the 30 best chefs under 30 years of age in the UK. He is currently Executive Chef of The Clocktower restaurant at New York Edition, part of the Marriott International chain. In 2017, Bogdan Dănilă received the first Michelin star.
Speaker and Guest / Chef Pascal Steffen was named “Discovery of the Year” in 2018 by Gault & Millau and the Roots Restaurant in Basel, Switzerland, whose kitchen he co-ordinates, was awarded with 16 points. In the past, he has worked in other prestigious restaurants such as Focus by Nenav Mlinarevic, a 2 star Michelin restaurant and 18 Gault & Millau points, as well as with famous chefs such as Andreas Caminada, a Michelin 3 star Chef.
Speaker and Guest / Kayakapi Premium Caves – Cappadocia 5* is UNESCO & World Heritage Center verified, being “the first and only” Boutique Hotel in Cappadocia licensed by Turkey’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism. The hotel was chosen as the #1 Luxury Hotel in the World by TripAdvisor on the Travellers Choice 2019 Awards. Yakup Dinler is the owner of this hotel and he is also the Honorary Consul of Lithuania in Cappadocia.
Speaker and Guest / Alex Petricean is Head Chef & Owner of NOUA Restaurant in Bucharest. He is known by the gourmet public for his professional background best defined by his work in the team of Noma restaurant from Copenhagen and for the food culture created at Maize restaurant in Bucharest. His new restaurant can be described as the belief of Romanian cuisine translated into other cultures.
Speaker and Guest / The hotel was awarded Russia’s Leading Boutique Hotel 2018 by World Travel Awards. The General Director of Hotel Savoy Moscow believes that the loyalty of guests is an indicator of service and reputation. His mission and the hotel’s staff is to satisfy and exceed the preset expectations of the guests.
Speaker and Professional Partner / In 1990, along with her husband, she started the entrepreneurial activity. They founded in 1992 Cris-Tim, a family company, nowadays a group of 7 companies, and since 2018 has taken over a business in the hospitality industry, Casa Timis. She believes that reputation, in any business field, “comes from the reputation you build and affirm as a person. At Casa Timis the multisensory experience is related to the connection with the pure nature and the terroir of the place, to which we add gastronomy with the soul and the magic of Casa Timis wine “.
Speaker and Professional Partner / Koen Heeren is CEO of Alpha Industries AWT BVBA. He was always innovative in his vision on the Wellness industry. He increased and enlarged the production range from standard small cabins sold only in Europe to huge wellness areas installed worldwide.
Speaker / Andreea Strugaru wanted that the advanced access engineering technologies she discovered in the West, to be accessible in our country, so, together with her partners developed a business in this field. Andreea manages the company whose goal is to become a market leader in the field of automation for access ways: automatic pedestrian doors, automatic gates and barriers, automatic parking management systems.
Speaker and Chairman / Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) was founded in 1893, being world’s first hotel school and one of the top hospitality management institutions in the world. Dr. Ray F. Iunius is Business Development Director at EHL Advisory Services. He is also the author of a number of books such as ”Industrie de l’accueil”, ”Hôtellerie de Luxe”, ”La gestion des spas”, ”Un Hôtel, un modèle?” in de Boeck editions and co-author of the “Lausanne Report on the future of Hospitality Industry.”
Speaker and Chairman / Chef Cezar Munteanu has been working in gastronomy for over 27 years. He cooked for great personalities of the world, but also for poor African children. Today he teaches culinary management and develops projects in the hospitality industry, teaches children in Romania what healthy eating means and inspires young chefs, not just to cook, but also to be responsible professionals. He is recognized as one of the greatest supporters of the young generation of chefs in Romania, being involved in social responsibility projects that support professional education. 15 years of diplomacy transformed Cezar Munteanu from the chef of Romanian diplomacy into the diplomat of Romanian chefs.
Speaker and Guest / Arlene Stein is founder and CEO of Terroir Hospitality – an organization that transforms global food systems through gastrodiplomacy. She is a catalyst for creative collaboration and social and environmental responsibility in the hospitality industry. Since 2006, Terroir has convened international and Canadian industry leaders annually at a two-day symposium in Toronto – and since 2014 at off-shoot events across Europe and North America – for education, networking and inspiration.
Speaker and Guest / Restocracy.ro is a restaurant evaluation and presentation system, launched in March 2017 by George Butunoiu and other independent evaluators, and several years ago he founded a similar system, Restograf. In the last 10 years, George Butunoiu evaluated more than 1,000 restaurants and cafes where you can eat, from Bucharest from the total of 3,500. But George Butunoiu is known, first of all as Romania’s oldest head-hunter, he founded the first executive search firm 29 years ago. As an author of a variety of business texts, as well as a founder and an active member in different business organisations, associations and projects, George Butunoiu is one of the major players of the Romanian consulting market.
Speaker and Guest / The group operates in the hospitality sector and it consists of a number of restaurants, hotels and schools for training in this field. Luis Lezama Barañano is also the president of the EURHODIP association – The Leading Hotel Schools in Europe, an international association that focuses on the quality, vitality and public status of hospitality and education in the tourism sector.
Speaker and Guest / Benjamin Calleja is CEO and founder of Livit, one of the world’s largest design companies, operating in 40 countries. The company focus is to improve the performance of restaurants through the experience that design can offer to customers, looking for an emotional bond between guests and brand by creating a specific atmosphere.
Speaker and Guest / Beat Wicki has a professional experience of over 30 years, being involved in educational projects around the world. Since 2017, Wicki became the director of B.H.M.S., one of Switzerland’s largest private hotel management school. It has nearly 1,000 students per year, from over 85 different nationalities.
Speaker and Guest / Tinu Sebeşanu is the owner of the consulting and management company – Trend Hospitality. He is also the founder of HORA – Employers Organization of Romanian Hotels and Restaurants. Tinu Sebeșanu graduated the Strategic Tourism Management course at Cornell University and the Project and Operational Management course at Boston University – Hospitality School, both in the USA, and the MBA in Management at Open University in UK.
Speaker and Guest / The history of the Teleferic Grand Hotel 4* starts after 1970, with a classic European mountain-style hotel construction, having the best settlement in the famous mountain resort Poiana Brasov. The hotel operated until 1992, then closed for 20 years. The reopening was made after a radical transformation, the Teleferic Hotel becoming since 2015 a „luxury hotel universe”. At the Romanian Top Hotel Awards, the hotel won the first place in the category “4 Stars Leisure Hotel of the Year” in 2017 and 2018. Also, at the International Hospitality Awards in Kiev, it won the first place at category “Best Resort Hotel – Eastern Europe”.
Speaker and Guest / Gault & Millau is the first international culinary guide that enters in the Romanian market. In addition to the evaluation of restaurants, Gault & Millau Romania aims to support, through specific actions, the chefs, the local restaurants’ scene, the wide audience as well as the local producers. Raluca Hriţcu started her career in 2010 as part of the strategic consumer marketing team at Philips Consumer Lifestyle Netherlands and continued with a role in the strategic management consultancy team at Roland Berger’s Bucharest office. From 2013, she coordinates the HR department within the same office, and in 2018 she becomes a member of the ICF (ACC). She is actively involved in the NGO environment as a volunteer and co-founder of Global Dignity Romania, an organization that trains students to talk about dignity and their fundamental right to reach their potential.
Speaker and Guest / Pleiada Boutique Hotel is the only 5-star hotel in Moldova. Dora Morhan joined the hotel’s management team in 2018 as a Business Development Manager, and she is in charge of managing it since the beginning of the year. She was also Marketing Coordinator of the Romanian National Opera in Iasi and combined the hospitality and cultural fields.
Speaker and Guest / The hotel designed by CUMULUS represents the rebuilding and transformation of Marmorosch Blank Bank Palace in Bucharest, a Class A listed building. Arch. Adrian Soare, co-founder of the CUMULUS Architecture Office from Bucharest, is the coordinator of this project.
Speaker and Guest / Arch. Richard Andrews is one of the founders of the architectural office JADE UK. The office focuses on high-quality architecture projects, both in the UK and internationally, particularly in the hospitality sector. Shanghai Shimao Wonderland Intercontinental Hotel was built on the site of an abandoned quarry, including underwater rooms.
Speaker and Guest / Restaurant Werk represents a good example of industrial heritage recovery. Among the most important distinctions obtained with this restaurant project are the Built Space BETA Competition 2018, the ASAR Excellence Award from the BNA and the BATRA Prize at the Community Facilities category. Arch. Catalin Trandafir is Managing Partner at the Architecture and Design Office, Filofi and Trandafir Architecture, founded in 1994, with offices in Cluj-Napoca and Alba Iulia.
Speaker and Guest / Cristian Preotu is the co-founder of the Romanian group Le Manoir, which has been active in the gastronomy and niche products industry since 2004, under the following brands: the division imports and sales in business-to-business of Le Manoir, Comtesse du Barry and Petit Bateau stores, restaurants in Bucharest that are part of Relais & Châteaux network – Le Bistrot Français, La Vinuri, Corto Maltese, SushiRoom and Bistro Ateneu.
Speaker and Guest / Andreea Bîrlădeanu graduated from Hospitality Business Management (BA) at the University of Birmingham, following a training period at Marriott International. Andreea and her colleagues from Booking.com Romania office, daily help people to experience the world. She believes that she is always provoked by the industry dynamics and Booking.com specific innovation, both locally and globally.
Speaker and Guest / Ioan Bebeşelea is Chef and Co-Owner of Syndicat Gourmet. The motto behind is: “Quality food, local ingredients”. His restaurant received 12 points and a bonnet in the Gault & Millau 2018 gourmet guide.
Speaker and Guest / Christine Schillings has over 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry, currently being General Manager of Crowne Plaza Hotel 4* in Bucharest, part of the ANA Hotels chain. Before Christine worked 30 years for Hilton WW with the last 10 years supervising the entire Eastern Europe / Turkey Hilton properties. Christine Schillings graduated at Hotel Management School in Brussels and specialized in Asset Management and Project Management at Cornell University.
Speaker and Guest / Răzvan Dincă is the Director of Programmes at the Carpathian-Danubian Center for Geoecology (CCDG). Green Key is one of the International Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) programmes dedicated to hotels and other tourism establishments that promote and have a responsible attitude to the environment. Green Key grants certifications in more than 57 countries.
Speaker and Guest / Atra Doftana Restaurant received 13, 5 points in the first edition of the Gault & Millau gourmet guide, being the 7th in the overall rankings. Andrei Popa, who is also the in-house sommelier, relies on concepts like ”Farm to Table” and ”Food and Wine Pairing”.
Speaker and Guest / Kane is the main restaurant of the same name group focused on creating hospitality projects around three basic principles: concepts built around the talents of the teams they work with, high quality design, ingredients from producers with similar values. The Kane Group includes: Kane, Mamizza, Mercato Communal, M60, M60 House, M60 Space. Razvan Crişan is the Co-Founder and CEO of Kane Group.
Speaker & Guest / Mihai Lambrino opened Vinto Gastro Wine Bar with his wife, in 2017. He received the highest score in Banat in the gastronomic guide launched last year, 11.5 points. Vinto is the first and the only Restaurant in Timisoara with Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator 2018. The concept of the restaurant is based on “gastronomic socialization” or “sharing”. The menu is inspired by the seasons and changes twice a year.
Speaker and Guest / The bistro menu has about 80% local ingredients, and most of the dishes are prepared according to local recipes, many unique. The primary interest is the promotion of Romanian gastronomy as a form of quality tourism for both Romanians and foreigners. Oana is a Slow Food Member since 2012 and founder of Slow Food Tara Barsei.
Speaker and Guest / The Institute of Hospitality promotes from over 75 years the excellence, the professionalism and the quality standards in the hospitality industry. The Institute brings together managers from more than 100 countries. Peter Ducker is the Chief Executive of The Institute of Hospitality. He is a graduate of Oxford University and for many years he was Executive Director of the Hotel Booking Agents Association, an organisation with 85 agencies and 205 hotels. He was voted in the top 50 most influential people in the industry.
Speaker and Guest / „Slovenia Green” National Branding Campaign, coordinated by Renata Martinčič, won the National Geographic World Legacy Destination Leadership Award in 2017 for Slovenia. In 2016, Lublijana was declared “Europe’s Greenest Capital” and Slovenia” the First Green Country in the World” due to the strategy of the Tourism Directorate: Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism. In 2017, Renata Martinčič represented Slovenia at the Global Tourism Economy Forum.
Speaker and Guest / Mövenpick Hotel Istanbul is Europe’s Leading Business Hotel in World Travel Awards 2017, one of the most important awards in the hospitality industry. The 5* Hotel Mövenpick is located in the heart of the city of Istanbul. Bozkurt Atabek is an international hospitality professional with over 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry. He graduated from Dokuz Eylul University Tourism and Hotel Management Faculty. He was General Manager at Islandia Marriott Long Island and he has been awarded as the “General Manager of the Year”.
Speaker and Guest / The School for Butlers founded by Vincent Vermeulen is one of the most appreciated from Europe. Vincent Vermeulen is already the fourth generation of a family that has dedicated its life to working in the hospitality. After managing Michelin star restaurants and collaborating with luxury hotels around the world, he founded the school driven by the need of high level service in the hospitality industry. He’s also fellow of the Guild of International Professional Toastmasters. He will talk about Etiquette in the hospitality industry.
Speaker and Guest / Thomas Bühner is one of the most awarded and appreciated German Chefs for over 20 years and one of the 10 Chefs awarded with 3 Michelin stars. His Restaurant La Vie from Osnabrück received 3 Michelin stars and 19 points Gault&Millau. Thomas Bühner was ‘Chef of the Year’ by Gault&Millau, ‘Grand Chef’ with Relais & Chateaux, and La Vie is member of ‘Les Grandes Tables du Monde’ starting 2010.
Speaker and Guest / Peter Ippolito studied architecture in Stuttgart and Chicago. In 2002 he opens his own studio and since then manages to create an international reputation with the help of the team of 80 designers he coordinates. He was the first German interior designer to be admitted to Interior Design magazine’s prestigious ›Hall of Fame‹. His multidisciplinary design studio received over 260 international awards for interiors: 2017 Best of Year Awards – Interior Design Magazine Winner Casual Dining, Red Dot Design Award, INsider Award, German Design Award Interior Architecture, Iconic Awards etc.
Speaker and Guest / Receiving 2 Michelin Stars shortly after opening, the Boury Restaurant had a fast evolution on the european gastronomy stage. It is a family business, which Ben is leading with his brother Tim – ‘Chef of the Year’ by Gault&Millau – and with his sister-in-law Inge Waeles. A young and ambitious team. The principle of the family Boury: “no compromise on quality”.
Speaker and Guest / Alon Baranowitz and Irene Kronenberg leads the architecture and interior design office, BARANOWITZ + KRONENBERG in Tel Aviv, with a portfolio dominated by projects for the hospitality industry. Alon Baranowitz studied architecture in New York. Recently, his Architecture Office was awarded the Best International Design Studio at the Build Awards 2018, and the Pastel restaurant, designed by them, was a global winner in the Luxury Luxury Design / Architecture category at the World Luxury Restaurant Awards 2017. The BARANOWITZ + KRONENBERG also includes projects such as: W Amsterdam Hotel, the Sir Joan Hotel in Ibiza, The Duchess Restaurant, W Away Spa, Topolopompo, Mad Fox Night Club.
Speaker and Guest / Hector Restrepo studied architecture in Colombia and Spain and now has more than 20 years of experience, numerous awards and his work featured in different publications. At FORO he will present the story of the restoration of Barcelona’s famous Soho House Luxury Hotel, built in 1845 by the Mandri family in the historic city center. Soho House Barcelona received four awards at the Vision Style Awards 2018, from the best-known hotel industry experts: ‘Dreamiest Bedroom’, ‘Europe’s Best Dressed Bed’, ‘Most Sumptuous Spa’ and ‘Style Winner of the Year’.
Speaker and Guest / Carmen Tănase is the coordinator of the Hilton Garden Inn, a project which was signed by the architects team Enterprise Architecture & Design. The hotel was recently opened in Bucharest’s Old Town by Hilton Hotel Group. Currently, the architects bureau is running another project for the same hotel chain, in Budapest.
Speaker and Guest / Maryna Leo is the general manager of Senator Hotels and Apartments (the first and most important hotel chain in Ukraine) and the 11 Mirrors Design Hotel (the first award-winning design hotel in Eastern Europe, named Ukraine’s Leading Boutique Hotel at the World Travel Awards 2017).
11 Mirrors Design Hotel – inspired by Wladimir Klitschko
Speaker and Guest / Architect and interior designer, she will briefly present the Cumulus iconic projects as well as some Horeca projects from the perspective of its design and impact on Horeca projects.
Speaker and Guest / She is coordinator architect of the Courtyard by Marriott project, the first of its brand in Bucharest, a partner in the Cumulus Architecture team. The MCY Hotel is in progress, Cumulus Architecture currently running 4 Marriott and Hilton Marriott Hotel projects, all 4 projects being developed on the BIM platform.
Speaker and Partner / Stephane Barbazan he coordinates the 4 * Hotel New Montana in Sinaia, Romania. He is an international hospitality professional with 25 years of experience across the world in 4 and 5* hotels management including Romania, France, Cuba, USA and China. Now he has returned to Romania to help redefine the New Montana Hotel as a benchmark of excellence in tourism, but also to refine the concept of hospitality in Romania, a country that he fell in love with. Stephane Barbazan is a graduate of the VATEL Paris Hotel School, specializing in international hotel management.
Speaker and Guest / Raluca HRIȚCU is the co-CEO of Gault&Millau Romania since September 2017, together with Ștefan Mortici. In this respect, she is coordinating the marketing and HR components of the company, as well as managing the community of chefs and restaurant owners that have been included in the Gault&Millau guide. Gault&Millau is the first international culinary guide that enters the Romanian market. In addition to the evaluation of restaurants, Gault&Millau Romania aims to support, through specific actions, the chefs, the local restaurants’ scene, the wide audience as well as the local producers.
Speaker and Partner / Marius Olteanu, coordinates the technical department of specifications within the Etex Building Performance company, being a construction engineer with a predominant experience in the domain of designing the exterior envelope of the buildings. The main role of the department is the customized technical support for the projects with special requirements above classical solutions (mechanical and acoustic performances, fire rezistence), from the design phase to the execution. Among the innovation projects he is in charge in the company are included the high-rise drywall partitions with fire rezistence, the development of the facade systems and the local implementation of the special products.
Speaker and Partner / He studied Civil Engineering in London and later graduated his MBA degree with specialization in Marketing. For the last 6 years he was responsible for globalizing the activities of INTERNO DOORS by ALUMIL, acting as product and Export Manager and establishing a high-end distribution network in numerous countries around the globe. His combined experience in the construction and sales&marketing sectors contribute greatly in the identification and implementation of those practises leading to higher levels of quality achievement, increased brand awareness and perceived value by end-users. He will speak about ALUMIL’s vast international experience in the hospitality sector along with the company’s vast solutions for quality constructions and state-of-the-art living spaces.
Speaker and Partner / Lorand is the person responsible for the technical development of the company and also facilitates its international growth, by generating and working with external dealers and partners. His true passion relies in building innovative hardware-software coupled solutions that help individuals and businesses alike, and which also have the potential to make a difference on the IT scene even at an international scale. Lorand’s philosophy is that any technical solution that solves a problem needs to also be accessible, allowing it to be easily utilised to its full potential by the end-user, otherwise the solution would just become obsolete.
Speaker and Partner / As founder and CEO of Hotel Magazin/CAHM group, Severin Andrei can praise himself with competitive cosmetics in terms of quality, all being EU certified and constantly updated, reasons for which they are currently exported in over 24 inside and outside Europe countries, being market leader in Romania.
Speaker and Guest / “We look closely at industry trends from areas such as HoReCa or bakery, and we see that the predominant trends this year are about reducing the electricity and gas utility costs. Our offers directly support the competitiveness of the entrepreneurs, in an extremely demanding market, delivering efficiency plans required for their needs.”
Speaker and Partner / With more than 10 years experience in Energy Services area (with projects from renewable energy to energy efficiency ) & benefiting from support from CEZ ESCO International, Liviu Gavrilă is leading a highly specialised team able to respond to all types of request on energy topics from different types of businesses, including HoReCa.
Speaker and Guest / Konstantinos Paschalidis has a vast experience in the hotel real estate sector in more than 16 countries worldwide. HotelBrain is the leading regional hotel management firm with a proven track record of nearly two decades. HotelBrain was awarded for three consecutive years as the most important European hotel management company, the most recent award being Greece’s Leading Hotel Management Company 2017 at the World Travel Awards.