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QT Auckland Announces Key Food & Beverage Appointments To Serve Up Esther & Rooftop At QT

Posted on: 10 November 2020

QT Auckland has announced a globally experienced food and beverage team to bring to life its highly anticipated wine and dine experiences, including signature restaurant Esther and rooftop bar Rooftop at QT.

Joining QT Auckland General Manager, Doron Whaite and Creative Director of Food and Beverage, Sean Connolly, the four hospitality mavens lending their wealth of experience include Ruby Binning, Food and Beverage Manager for QT Auckland; Roberto Giampaolo, Bar Manager for Rooftop at QT and Esther; James Laird, Executive Chef for Esther; and Riccardo Del Noce, Restaurant Manager for Esther.

True to the QT philosophy, QT Auckland will feature a highly creative food and beverage experience, combining locally-sourced ingredients with design-led interiors and signature service across all outlets. Under Sean Connolly’s creative direction, Esther will introduce the authentic taste of the Mediterranean’s shores to Viaduct Harbour, mixing honest simplicity with a spritz of wonder. Perched on the sixth floor, Rooftop at QT combines an extensive cocktail menu and local wine list with a wanderlust-inspired tapas selection and panoramic views.

QT Auckland Food and Beverage Manager, Ruby Binning, has had a love for all things hospitality since dining out with her parents as a child. Ruby’s passion for the industry has taken her around the world to experience hospitality in Auckland, Melbourne and London, working in world-famous establishments like Melbourne’s Chin Chin. Having recently moved back from Australia, Ruby is ecstatic to join QT Auckland, matching the knowledge she has gained overseas with a bright enthusiasm for the role.

Bar Manager Roberto Giampaolo is a passionate and creative beverage professional, who has brought to life the drinks programme for some of the most progressive restaurants in the world. With a successful track record of innovation and customer service excellence across Australia, London, Spain, Italy, France and Auckland, Roberto has been consistently sought after for his expertise establishing new venues across the globe – from 11-seat cocktail bars to Michelin 3-Star restaurants. He’s excited to bring his love of creating delicious tipples to QT Auckland, setting Esther and The Rooftop at QT apart from anything else in New Zealand.

James Laird is thrilled to put on the Executive Chef hat at Esther. James’ interest in food started at an early age, from days spent watching his dad in his butcher shop in Whakatane. He grew his passion for local produce around the North Island before the pull of the big city saw him move to Auckland. James is no stranger to working closely with Sean in previous roles, where he honed his love for simple food done well. At QT Auckland, their focus will be on bringing local, fresh produce to customers in a beautiful dining space.

Riccardo Del Noce, Esther’s Restaurant Manager, is known for his wealth of global hospitality experience and welcoming presence, delighting guests with his personality and refined customer service. Born in a coastal town in Tuscany, Riccardo fell in love with food culture, leading him to manage restaurants in Italy, Spain, the United States and Australia, where he also trained as a Sommelier. Developing a strong love for the QT way after working at QT Sydney, Riccardo couldn’t pass up the chance to become part of the QT Auckland family. With Esther’s Mediterranean cuisine close to Riccardo’s heart, he is excited to build his team and bring the QT flair and signature service into a new venue guests will call home.

QT Auckland will open at 4 Viaduct Harbour Avenue in November 2020 and will be the tenth QT Hotel in the group and QT’s third New Zealand property, joining the hugely successful QT Wellington and QT Queenstown, who were recently named #2 and #3 respectively in the 2020 Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards’ list of top hotels in Australia and New Zealand.

QT Auckland is now accepting bookings from November. For more information and to make a booking, visit

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