A YOUNG West Kerry graduate made an impact on Dubai's restaurant industry recently as he has been shortlisted as one of the top five waiters in the Middle East.
Alan Greaney, a native of Flemingstown, Annascaul, was recently named as one of the five shortlisted for ' Waiter of the Year' at the Hotelier Middle East Caterer Awards 2012.
Alan, whose family also hail from Ballinasare, Lispole, is the head waiter in one of the region's top restaurants, The Ivy Dubai, the sister restaurant of the world famous Ivy in London.
Alan's professionalism, ambition and effortless West Kerry charm has earned him respect among peers and patrons, however it is his own contention that it was the nine years he spent working in Annascaul's famous South Pole Inn that cultivated his interest and passion for the career in which he now excels.
"I worked in the South Pole Inn for over nine years while in school and while going to college; working there gave me the appetite for working in the industry," Alan told The Kerryman this week from his base in Dubai, "and I am very grateful to everyone who works there."
Alan moved to Dubai in January 2011, two weeks after graduating from University of Limerick where he completed a Masters in International Tourism and Economics. He left Kerry without a job offer in the hope of finding one in Dubai. Thankfully he received several offers and chose to join Jumeirah Restaurants, a division of Jumeirah International Hotels, whose remit The Ivy Dubai falls under.
"I was lucky enough to get many offers over here and chose my job with Jumeirah," he said. "When I started The Ivy Dubai was just about finished construction. I joined the pre-opening team and we officially opened The Ivy Dubai in June 2011," Alan explained. "I was nominated for the award by my manager and then the company put me forward as their representative."
In the year and a half he has worked at The Ivy Dubai, there is no doubt that Alan has rose to the top of his game and next week, on September 26, he will find out of indeed of a West Kerry man will take the mantle of ' Waiter of the Year' at the Caterer Awards 2012, Hotelier Middle East at a major ceremony which will be hosted at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel.