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The luxurious structure has recently had a new chef at the helm of the Palagio, with many years of experience in the gourmet catering sector and, above all, an immense passion and love for raw materials.

Max Musto, General Manager of the Four Seasons, is rightly proud of the new executive chef figure who arrived in the last months of 2021 at the helm of his Palagio, the starred restaurant of the Florentine hotel. Paolo Lavezzini has a solid “chain” experience, as he has worked for years in gourmet kitchens all over the world and, after ten years at the Four Seasons in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has finally (and happily) returned to Italy. Emiliano, to be precise from Parma, originally from Salsomaggiore Terme, when asked why he chose to be a chef, Paolo Lavezzini puts his hands forward: “It may seem like a cliché, but I can’t help but say that my grandmother influenced me, raised me from an early age, when I woke up with the smell of the sauce, the pots on the stove and the steam-misted windows. ” Never was a more effective explanation given to a question with certainly not an easy answer … Following a short career as a footballer, Paolo Lavezzini started working in the most important restaurants on the Tuscan coast when he was only 16 years old. After an experience “of those who mark” at the great kitchen of Angelo Paracucchi (the legendary patron of the Locanda dell’Angelo in Ameglia) at the Carpaccio restaurant at the Royal Monceau (Paris), he worked in the most prestigious starred restaurants in Europe, such as the three-starred Alain Ducasse at the Plaza Athénée, also in Paris, seven years at the Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence, as well as at the Plaza de Russie in Viareggio (Lucca). He then moved to Brazil in 2012 as Executive Chef for the Hotel Fasano in Rio de Janeiro, leading his restaurant to be recognized as the best Italian restaurant in Brazil, before joining the opening team of the Four Seasons Hotel São Paulo , where he led the “Neto” restaurant for two years as Executive Chef.

Accustomed, as we have been for years, to go down to the magical Four Seasons in Florence meeting the chef Vito Mollica and the late director Patrizio Cipollini, we were – how to say – struck by (and by) the news. It must also be said, for the sake of objective clarity, that the chain has wisely chosen the line of continuity, at the highest levels, without any change of course, if not the normal differences concerning the cultural, culinary, aesthetic approaches that characterize the personalities. of professionals different from each other but equally in love with superlative cuisine and hospitality at the highest levels. Paolo Lavezzini likes to define himself as “with an Italian heart and a Brazilian soul”. His cooking philosophy has been influenced both by his country of origin, the Emilia of the best Po Valley food valley, a land of tastes, flavors and fresh pastas, and by the numerous haute cuisine experiences in Tuscany, and by his working period. and life in Brazil, where he approached local ingredients and flavors, integrating the traditions and specialties of that country with those of Italy. From his Brazilian experience he also brings with him the attention to seasonality and the importance of choosing a sustainable cuisine, respecting the ingredients.

A line of cuisine that has found a great, fantastic ally in the Italian food culture. And that Paolo Lavezzini manages like a great master, giving each dish his sensitivity, his balance, his ability to be far from any extremes. “Working with the Four Seasons chain has always been a dream for me, ever since I passed the George V on my way from home to work in Paris. Then, while working at Enoteca Pinchiorri, he opened Four Seasons Hotel Florence and I immediately became friends with Vito Mollica, whom I consider to be a great chef and a great person. Taking his place is an immense honor for me – comments Paolo Lavezzini. My cooking philosophy is based on respect for ingredients and on the search for best small producers. At the Four Seasons in São Paulo we were the first to experiment menus with Italian dishes, but made with ingredients produced in Brazil: what we could not find, such as cured meats or cheeses, was the result of careful selection on the territory. , and starting from this iconic place for Florence motivates me and encourages me to give my best, not only in terms of researching the best material but also in terms of executions, which are and will be daughters of passion, rigor and total dedication.

Furthermore, I consider it a fundamental responsibility for me, as a man and as a chef, to introduce concepts of authentic sustainability, both in the kitchen and in the dining room. I will start from my Italian origins respecting the Tuscan culinary tradition, also adding some Brazilian ingredients such as spices details in some of the dishes “. Lavezzini’s cuisine enjoys, in the dining room, the contribution of a great sommelier of the caliber of Walter Meccia, who always suggests the most suitable wine for the courses. We leave the final comment to the director Max Musto:” Paolo Lavezzini is a great Chef and a great professional. We are happy to welcome him to the team of our beautiful property, and we are convinced that he is doing a wonderful job adding his special touch to our F&B offer “, Must points out.” I also really want to thank Vito Mollica for everything he did for our property and for the Florentine culinary tradition in general. We wish him all the best for his future ”.

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