The Resort at Pelican Hill just announced the appointment of Luigi Fineo as head chef for Andrea Ristorante, the Resort’s acclaimed Northern Italian restaurant. The accomplished chef will recreate authentic cuisine bursting with the true flavors of Italy, drawing upon deep-rooted family cooking traditions, his early culinary training in Italy and techniques developed during his professional career in America, most recently with the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group.
“Chef Luigi brings an inherent passion and masterful skill for traditional Italian cuisine, proven through the Michelin star he earned previously as a head chef for an Italian restaurant here in Southern California,” said Pelican Hill Executive Chef Jean-Pierre Dubray. “Through his experience in the kitchens of the renowned Chef Thomas Keller, Luigi has honed an intense pursuit of excellence that is certain to shine through in the seasonally driven dishes and signature items he presents to Andrea guests.”
As Andrea Chef, Fineo will lead menu development, kitchen operations and mentorship of the restaurant’s culinary team. Fineo’s commitment to using high-quality, locally sourced ingredients and his personal attention to the development and execution of gluten-free pasta recipes will be reflected in Andrea’s lunch and dinner menus beginning in the fall season. Guests may anticipate seasonally driven, classic Italian fare that Fineo prepares using precise techniques to unite old-world recipes with Southern California’s finest ingredients.
Prior to joining Andrea, Fineo spent more than two years with the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group at two globally acclaimed restaurants in California, including The French Laundry in the Napa Valley and Bouchon in Beverly Hills. Previously, Fineo earned consecutive Michelin star ratings in 2008 and 2009 as executive chef of La Botte Ristorante in Santa Monica. Before that, he was sous chef at Drago Enoteca in Beverly Hills.
Born and raised in Southern Italy in the small town of Gioia del Colla, Puglia, Fineo graduated from the Italian Culinary Institute I.P.S.S.A.R.T in Bari, Italy. Before moving to the United States, Fineo’s early culinary career spanned Italy from south to north as sous chef at Beccofino Ristorante in Florence and Michelin-starred restaurant Shöeneck Ristorante in Falze, near Italy’s northern border. Fineo currently resides in Santa Monica, Calif.
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