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Gibraltar born Fernando was educated at The Latymer Grammar School in North London and at Manchester University, where he read Law and French. He worked for the French government for a year before deciding on a career in restaurants.
Fernando joined The Ivy in 1990 as Senior Maitre d', a position he held for eight years. In 1999, he left the company to re-launch Quo Vadis in Soho before undertaking consultancy work with clients such as Morton's Club and The Halcyon Hotel in London and Villa Nova in Barbados. In 2004, he was the opening consultant and then Director of the Frontline Club in London.
Fernando lived for the major part of the “noughties” on a farm in Andalucia, Spain where he still keeps two donkeys and two dogs. He visits them every six weeks or so and says it makes an ideal change from living in a flat in one of the busiest parts of the London's West End - Leicester Square.
In March 2007, Fernando was lured back to the group as Director of The Ivy. He made a great many changes to The Ivy and also oversaw the opening of its private members' club, The Club at the Ivy, in September 2008.
In 2010, he was instrumental in producing a specially-commissioned play by Oscar-winning screenplay writer and playwright, Sir Ronald Harwood, called 'Heavenly Ivy'. Directed by London and Broadway director Sean Matthias, the play was performed by a professional cast of West End actors and played for five, sold-out, consecutive nights in the middle of The Ivy restaurant.
In 2015 Fernando oversaw a complete refurbishment of The Ivy restaurant and Private Room, which cost over five million pounds and took six months to complete. There was a television camera crew following him and his team throughout the process and, shortly after the restaurant reopened, a one-hour documentary featuring a voiceover from Rupert Everett was aired on ITV in the UK and on BBW World in America. The documentary featured a sale at Sotheby's auction house of artwork and objects from The Ivy which raised over a million pounds for the charity Child Bereavement UK.
The Ivy reopened to great acclaim in June 2015 and remains London's best known, not to say favourite, restaurant.
To commemorate The Ivy's centenary in 2017, Fernando has written a book The Ivy Now, which features a long essay describing the highs and lows of The Ivy's history; one hundred great recipes; food and reportage photography and dozens of stories from The Ivy's regular customers telling their favourite anecdotes from visits to the restaurant. The book is published by Quadrille and will be released in late June 2017.