Australia’s Carl Emberson has been living away from home for the past 20 years and is currently working as the Resident Manager for Grand Hyatt, São Paulo. He misses his mates and the peace and quiet of home but has been impressed by the happiness of Brazilians – never mind how tough life can be. As you would expect of someone in his job, Carl knows his way around food and good restaurants and has shared with us some of his favourite places.

Where are you from?
I was born in Suva, in the Fiji Islands some 40 years ago where I grew up until at 12yrs old I went to Boarding School in Sydney, Australia – Dad is from Fiji and Mum is Australian so I consider myself an Aussie or a Fruit Salad as my Grand Ma who was part Tongan and Danish once said we were.

What brought you to Brazil?
I came to assist in the opening of the Grand Hyatt São Paulo over 2 years ago, when Hyatt International opened its newest South American property.

What do you do here?
I am the Resident Manager of the Grand Hyatt São Paulo – many ask me what does a Resident Manager do – he lives in the hotel and is in charge of the daily operations of the hotel which in my case has meant a focus mainly on the Restaurants and Bars. We have Eau (French), Kinu (Japanese) and Upstairs Lounge Bar at the Grand Hyatt which keep me occupied. A hoteliers life is dynamic, challenging, people orientated, not your normal working week, fun and most of all affords you the opportunity to meet many different people and learn and adapt to many different cultures which I have had the chance to do having worked and lived in Fiji, Australia, Switzerland, Belgium, UK, Uruguay, Argentina, Mexico and most recently Brazil. I also look after the Espao Grand Hyatt Banquet area which has played host to many of the local Expat events such as the Canadian Womens Society Pub Night, The Caledonian Ball, Newcomers Annual Ball, The Marine Ball and ANZAC Dinner.

What do you miss about Australia?
Apart from family, it is my mates that I miss most, as I left Australia 20 years ago now, those mates are the ones I went to school with are almost like brothers – especially when you spent 10 years at boarding school. I also miss the Rugby, going to the Test Matches or even a Club match on a Saturday. Needless to say the Pubs , the water – life in Sydney and even more so in Fiji is centred around the water that you miss the peace and quiet this brings even if you are in a hectic mode. Having been away for nearly half my live now I strive more to learn, love and adapt to the new countries I am lucky enough to work in, then reminiscing of the way the world used to be back home. Also, I am well accompanied by my wife Sabine and daughters Tatiana (12) and Chiara (9) who make life easy for me in any part of the world.

What do you most like about Brazil?
Without doubt its people – their open and fun loving nature reminds me a little of life in the Tropics. After its people the natural and contrasting beauty of this huge country is certainly intriguing as you have so many places to discover be it on the coast or lovely Fazendas.

What is your favourite restaurant in Brazil?
Being in the hotel & restaurant business it is my role to search and savior the restaurants of SAMPA so I will take the liberty and give you a number of my favourites per category. All rounder: Figuera Ryuibayat, French: Eau, Rodizio: Fogo de Chão, Italian: Gero, Japanese: Jun Sukamoto & Kinu, Churrasco: Baby Beef Ryuibayat in Faria Lima, Pizza: Crystal, Choppe: Original & Astor, Pub: All Black, Argentinian / Italian: Julia, Cleanser and quick bite: Forneria de São Paulo, Live Music: Upstairs Lounge at the Hyatt.

Have you tried Brazilian food such as feijoada, churrasco and caiparhina? Did you like them?
Feijoada – I love the feijoada at Baby Beef Ryuibayat on a Saturday certainly one of the best in town. Churrasco – some good new Argentine ones around to sample like La Cabellerizas. Caipirinha – Beatriz the Barwoman at the Hyatt makes a beauty – always in moderation is something I learnt quickly !!!

What difference between Australia and Brazil do you find most striking?
The huge contrasts one sees on a daily basis in so many ways, be it economically or socially, yet despite this, the natural happiness in the locals is something I treasure never mind how tough things can be. I feel we can really make a difference here in helping change somebody’s life be it through helping in charity actively or otherwise.

What are some things that you would recommend for a visitor to do in São Paulo?
Get out and enjoy its Gastronomic delights and make a point of going down to the beach be it a Pousada or renting a home at least once or twice a month – São Paulo as great and as dynamic as it is, urges you to take a breather and a couple of waves once in a while. Also get stuck into the Brazilian music there are heaps of great concerts every week and we have been lucky enough to see live Caetano Veloso, Daniela Mercury, Maria Rita, Gal Costa amongst others many of which are just nearby in Tom Brazil, Nacoes Unidas and Credicard Hall.

To read previous interviews in the Brazil Through Foreign Eyes series click below:
Ken Marshall – Australia
John Milton – England
Pari Seeber – Iran
Jonas Helding – Denmark
Damiano Pak – South Korea
Kim Buarque – Wales

Are you are foreigner living in Brazil? Are you interested in telling your story? If you would like to volunteer, or if you would like to recommend someone, please send an email with contact details and a brief description of yourself to gringoes@www.gringoes.com

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