Julian Decraene has years of experience in the Food & Beverage industry across a few different countries and is part owner of Artisanal BBQ restaurant in Jakarta.

What’s your story?
I began my restaurant career at the age of 18 working as a barback in a restaurant in New York. Moved to London and earned my way through as General Manager, I managed a couple of the top 50 best bars in the world. I moved to Indonesia to take over as Group Beverage Manager under the wing of Dre Masso and moved to General Manager for the Potato Head Group for 3 years. I then went to Singapore to open 140 seater restaurant, Summerlong, on the Quayside own by the Dandy Group. Now I am a part owner of the Artisanal BBQ restaurant – Up in Smoke in Jakarta.

What excites you most about your industry?
The chance of offering to the public a product that’s new for them; can be food or beverage related

What’s your connection to Asia?
I moved to Asia at the end of 2014 until now.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore, due to the F&B scene over there, they are always trying to bring new concept.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Work hard but work smart!

Who inspires you?
Dre Masso – Industry legend in the cocktail world, he runs some of the most prestigious cocktail bars in London to then open his own with the Breakfast Group. He moved to Indonesia for the Potato Head Group for a few years then went to Columbia and now he is based in Spain.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
How and why the Hakkasan Group is so successful!

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
No, I would do it all over again the same way

How do you unwind?
Small island, nice beaches and cocktail to sip on.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bali will be my choice. It has so much culture to offer and beautiful sightseeing all over the island and if you get tired of it you can jump on a boat and go 30 minutes away to a smaller island for a more remote place.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Setting up the table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business – Daniel Meyer

Shameless plug for your business:
People tend to always say nowadays that they can do it better at home when it comes to food or beverage.
http://www.upinsmokeindo.com/

How can people connect with you?
Instagram: JulianDecraene
Facebook: Julian Decraene

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.

Connect with Callum here: twitter.com/laingcallum linkedin.com/in/callumlaing Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com