Hicham Ait Omar is a Sommelier at La Mamounia, Marrakech since its opening on 2009. He is operating as Senior Sommelier for the 4 Restaurants of the Palace. Hicham pays a particular attention to the Art of Table and Loves to share with the Clients the anecdotes that are telling the story of each bottle cellar at La Mamounia.
1- Could you share with us, how you started your career?
I have started my career as a temporary waiter at the Mamounia in 2003, I was observing the sommelier team and I knew that I found the job I wanted to do. Later I did everything I could to be hired, and now I am a senior sommelier.
2- What is the most inspiring wine maker story?
Angelo Gaja is a very inspiring man. He is one of the men who reinvented wines in Italy, creating world first class wines. The wine at that time in Italy was very average, he imported French grape varieties and made the most of each indigenous grape variety. Also he localized fantastic slopes that he vinified in special and rare cuvees. I really like his all range of wines.
3- What is your special tip on how to clean up a decanter?
First of all, a decanter needs to be cleaned after every use. My little tip is to cut a potato in pieces and insert them into the decanter with water. After a little time, rinse it well, and it’s clean! Never any scrubbing, it’s the worse you can do. The tannins of the red wine will get into the scratches and it will be stained forever.
4- Where do you get your motivation from in order to grow your career?
My first motivation is the relation I get with the guest. Sharing my passion of wine is the best thing I can do. I love the fact that wine learning is a never ending process, every bottle has its own story. Our head sommelier Mikael Rodriguez is bringing me a lot, organizing class and taking us to field trip (just coming back from Burgundy). He made us understand that wine is not only a beverage but a whole world, very inspiring.