Introducing Finn Vedelsby

web 141202RocksBday_044Finn Vedelsby was raised locally, growing up on his family’s property near Lockwood South just 15 minutes outside of Bendigo.

Beginning his training at age 18, Finn undertook a front of house operations apprenticeship with industry legend Luigi Bazzani at his award winning country escape Warrenmang Vineyard Resort. With very humble beginnings as the water boy and glass polisher, Finn affectionately remembers advancing quickly to become “Warm Roll Captain” developing his legendary silver service skills and becoming masterfully dexterous with a spoon and fork.

Luigi and Athalie Bazzani were reluctant to let Finn loose on the guests in their revered dining room, however they soon succumbed – realising that he had both natural customer service ability and an innate desire to share his love and knowledge of both food and wine.

From Warrenmang to another Bazzani family venture, in 1995 Finn assisted in the creation of Bazzani Ristorante, then located in Howard Place, Bendigo; knocking down walls to laying pavers – opening and working in what would become a pinnacle restaurant of its time.

In 1996 Finn moved to Carlton for university, working part time in one of Melbourne’s best restaurants, Donovan’s in St Kilda. As study became more intense, so did the undeniable realisation that Finn’s real talents were not in the explanation of Quantum Mechanics and Astro Physics. Instead, the pursuit of service excellence, advanced wine education, and the creation of unforgettable dining memories were at the forefront of his learning.

The desire for new experiences sent Finn north, finding himself in Byron Bay as the manager of the internationally famous celebrity resort Rae’s at Wategos. Finn’s responsibilities encompassed all tasks – from managing the luxury restaurant, serving celebrities such as Richard Branson and Elle McPherson to personally scrubbing the amenities daily and painting the restaurant fortnightly to keep it fresh and up to scratch. In keeping with Finn’s humble beginnings, he took pride in the provision of excellence, and undertook every task required with gusto. It was here he began to work with a talented and tenacious apprentice chef – Ben Massey. The two of them would soon become an unstoppable team.

Seconded by the Rae’s Proprietor to Fiji, Finn’s next move was to open ‘The Pearl at South Pacific’, a boutique hotel of immense scale with nine food and beverage outlets, a PGA golf course and a vast team of locals all with no experience, and requiring advanced training in all areas of service.

Finn returned to Australia in 2005, working as a consultant to assist in the opening of the juggernaut group Zampelli with new venues ‘Waterfront Station Pier‘ and Long Room in Collins Street. In his capacity as consultant, he also assisted in the opening of Federation Square’s Upper and Lower House and then at Taxi; the winner of the 2006 Age Good Food Guide award for ‘Best Restaurant’ and ‘Best Wine List’.

Back to Bendigo in 2006, Finn was requested to return as the restaurant manager for Bazzani. It was during this time he met his wife-to-be Sasha. Finn would leave Bendigo and return again before marrying, headhunted along with his old mate Ben Massey to open new venues in Canberra; also working with Australian Wine Archives managing an exceptional boutique wine portfolio.

Looking for a change of scenery, when the opportunity arose to return to his original training ground Warrenmang Vineyard Resort, Finn jumped at the chance to move back to the country. As the resort manager, Finn’s varied training saw him effortlessly provide both genuine country hospitality and five star service. On any given day he may find himself providing winery tours, assisting at cellar door, working in the dining room, or hosting an eight course degustation dinner event for 100 guests.

Finn’s final return to Bendigo came at the  request of the committee to manage Bendigo’s exclusive Sandhurst Club. It was during this time he again began to date Sasha, marrying in 2011.

The past two years have seen Finn take a hiatus from the hospitality industry. Whilst the ideal of free weekends and evenings seemed appealing when raising a young family, it didn’t take long for Finn to realise how much he missed being submerged in a world of fine wine, his daily dose of service adrenalin, the team camaraderie and of course, his patrons.

Finn Vedelsby is a formidable host. His provision of fine restaurant service, sommelier training and knowledge of beverages is exceptional.  He has trained and mentored bar and floor staff for more than 15 years, and boasts past employees finishing in the top three of the Australian Bar Tender Awards in Sydney. He has also been a regular guest ‘expert’ at local wine related events such as “Beer Vs Wine”.