Golden key opens doors

PUBLISHED : Friday, 17 March, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 17 March, 2000, 12:00am

Bon vivant Cassam Gooljarry has just returned from Miami, where he was handed a golden key to the Florida city, an honour he says is only reserved for dignitaries.

'I have never been to Miami before, so it was such a surprise to be honoured this way,' says Cassam. He believes that as president and administrator of the Chaine des Rotisseurs of Asia Pacific, his work with wine and food earned him this privilege.

'I met lots of influential people from Miami who came to Hong Kong where I hosted them,' he says.

With his golden key, Cassam says it adds yet another distinction to his already busy business card. Apart from his work with the hedonistic Chaine des Rotisseurs, he is also honorary consul of Gabon, a Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur and a Commandeur de l'Ordre du Merite Agricole.

Cassam says the Mayor of Miami-Dade County, Alex Penelas, hosted a dinner for him at the Biltmore Hotel in the swanky Coral Gables area and it was like a reunion for him and some of his old friends. 'The former consul-general of Peru, Jorge Abarca, and his wife flew from Lima for this dinner. And I also met Carmenza Zaramillo, former consul-general of Colombia in Hong Kong, who is now consul-general in Miami.' And after he got back to Hong Kong, Cassam celebrated his 58th birthday with a lavish lunch in the Presidential Suite at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, where he showed Miami's golden key to all his close friends.