Meet The Team: Fiona Howard
Title: Caroline’s Restaurant Manager
Hometown: Hanover, IL
How long have you been with Hotel Julien Dubuque? 3 years
What path brought you to Hotel Julien Dubuque? I have loved food, wine and restaurants from the first meal I had in a fine dining establishment. My first job as a busser at Café Italia solidified this love. I continued working in restaurants, resorts and hotels around the country. During my years in the Hotel Restaurant Management School at Cornell University, I worked at the Statler Hotel as a banquet supervisor. I can say I have deeply loved every job I have had in the restaurant and hospitality industry. When I moved to Dubuque three years ago, I started as the Restaurant Supervisor in Caroline’s. It has been a little over a year since I took over my current position as Restaurant Manager.
What are you most passionate about professionally? I love food and wine. It is magic for me! When my guests or my team gets that look of awe and surprised delight after experiencing a perfect pairing I want to jump up and down in joy. Ok, I may have done that once or twice.
What are you passionate about personally? Words are my personal passion. I write poetry, read books, talk (a lot) and play Boggle with my friends and family. My favorite way to spend a free weekend is to curl up with my cat and read a good book.
What are some of your favorite things to do in the Dubuque area? Art Museum, walking around downtown, skiing and snowboarding in the winter, swimming in the river and going to the great restaurants.
What do you love most about Hotel Julien Dubuque? I love the history and the wonderful people who work here. This is a family and when our guests visit, they join our family for that time.
What is your personal motto? Moderation is a fatal thing, nothing succeeds like excess!
Describe your typical work day: I’m typically here in the afternoon, preparing for the evening’s guest. The dinner team starts arriving at 4:00 pm. It’s at that time, we try the feature and choose a wine to pair with it. We will have a quick pre-shift powwow and open the doors at 4:30 pm. Guests start arriving and I am like the director of a theater production. We have rehearsed and I trust the cast to execute a flawless performance. We smile and dance through the evening with the goal of wowing our audience. Each perfectly poured wine, beautifully presented plate of food and smiling interaction is orchestrated by me. It is like magic! I enjoy speaking to our guests, telling them about local history and everything Dubuque. My team works hard and when they leave at the end of the night, it is with a satisfaction no other industry can give.
Please share a go-to fun-fact about yourself: I sing Swedish folk songs on command.
Is there anything else that you’d like to share? Come see me at Caroline’s. I can’t wait to see you!