Thank You! By Jessica Fernandez

31 May 2013

If you visit Bitton during the week you may have seen me walking in and out of the office and wondered what I do. If you call to book a table then you’ve most likely spoken with me. If you’ve sent an email enquiry then I would have replied. I’m Jessica Fernandez and I’ve been with the Bitton team for just over 2 years, behind the scenes (laughing at Mr Bitton’s jokes) in the little engine room we call ‘the Bitton office’.

I’ve been liking your Facebook posts, making you salivate over lunch specials shared on Twitter, creating each issue of Le Journal, coordinating private functions and Bitton special events. This is amongst other things included in the role as Executive Assistant.

If you want to know how my journey at Bitton began, I won a jar of Coriander Pesto in a competition and the rest is history! Well the time has come for me to pursue my next adventure and I’d like to share a few of the memories from my time working closely with David, Sohani and the entire Bitton team.

Secret Foodies

Ever since watching the movie ‘No Reservations’, I’d been dying to reenact the scene where Catherine Zeta Jones was blindfolded and fed soup. She had to use her sense of taste and smell to guess the ingredients.

So when I came across Secret Foodies and attended a few events, I decided to bring the experience to Bitton and add a personal touch by having the guests blindfolded! Of course David ran the show with his cheeky French personality and it was a huge hit. I got so much pleasure out of seeing everyone taken out of their comfort zone with laughter and curiosity.

Blind tasting Secret Foodies team dinner in terrace David Bitton, Stuart Masters, Jessica Fernandez from Biton and Donna Freak from Secret Foodies

Travelicious Tours

I met Lauren Hamilton and her lovely mum Jenny when I attended one of her food tours and it turned out she lives a few streets away from Bitton. We caught up and decided to make Bitton a regular destination for lunch and tastings as part of Travelicious Tours. Since our first meeting, Lauren’s family has grown. She now has a gorgeous little boy Elliott who regularly joins his mum for some fun in our kid’s playroom.

Kleenmaid

Since David Bitton became the Culinary Ambassador for Kleenmaid Appliances, there have been many trips to the Kleenmaid showroom for cooking classes, events, photo shoots and filming. I’ve shared lots of laughs with the Kleenmaid team and in particular Carlene Lawless. Her smile and presence is always uplifting.

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Team Bitton

I was there to cheer on Team Bitton as they crossed the finish line at Sydney Olympic Park in Homebush in October last year. I look forward to seeing you all do it again in 5 months. Raising $50,000 for charity is a huge achievement and I’m proud to have been a part of the journey.

Team Bitton in jerseys outside cafe Team Bitton finish line Monet

Bent On Food

This was my first ‘road trip’ with David. It began before dawn with a 4 hour drive to Wingham followed by a cooking class and then a 4 hour drive home. David told me stories about learning to play the piano and came up with recipes for his next cookbook… to be continued!

Food I Am

Who better to travel to Wagga Wagga with than David – I was mistaken for his wife on the plane and they nearly brought out champagne for the ‘newly weds’ to celebrate! We laughed so hard we were crying!

Tanya Sibrey, Owner of Food I Am, treated us like royalty and we had a fantastic time. If you’re planning to visit Wagga Wagga make sure you get in touch with Tanya about their upcoming food tours and cooking classes.

Lunch class DB cooking

I’m usually up to something crazy outside of office hours and the team are always curious to know what I’m doing. I’ve learnt the art of flying trapeze and unexpectedly met friends of David. The Bitton family came along to watch my performance at the end of my course – I was flying through the air dressed as a peacock!

I’ve woken up before dawn to go mushroom foraging and shared my treats with the kitchen. Have you ever tried the chocolate truffles? I used to make those in my ‘spare time’. I recently completed a TV Presenting Course at NIDA and created videos for my food blog.

Jess kitchen Jess with glasses

So my plans for the future are moving full speed ahead and I’ll still be around. Thanks to all the customers who have been a part of my experience – some of you have also become friends. Thanks to the team (there are too many names to mention).

I want to say a special thank you to the friends who I work with closely in the office – Camilla, Lena, Sohani and of course David! You’ve welcomed me into your lives and families and we’ll share many more memories together. See you soon, Jess x