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Resort at Pelican Hill names new head chef of its Italian eatery

Luigi Fineo will lead the Newport Coast resort’s Andrea Ristorante

By Scott McCourtney Published: September 04, 2012 10:00 AM

The highly praised Luigi Fineo has been selected as the new head chef for Andrea Ristorante at The Resort at Pelican Hill. Fineo will provide creative ideas and styles for authentic cuisine from the heart of Italy. His background of rich family cooking traditions mixed with his experience at Thomas Keller Restaurant Group will continue to provide the great experience at Pelican Hill.

Fineo will lead and implement menu calibrations, kitchen activity and mentoring of the ever-growing and eager staff of Andrea Ristorante. High-quality ingredients used from local sources is expected to mesh well with his attention to detail and use of gluten-free recipes. His old-world style and technique will be blended with Southern California style beginning this fall.

Born and raised in the small town of Gioia del Colla, Puglia, Italy Fineo studied at the Italian Culinary Institute I.P.S.S.A.R.T. in Bari, Italy. Before moving to the U.S., he worked as sous chef at Beccofino Ristorante in Florence and Michelin-starred Shoneck Ristorante in Falze.

After moving to the U.S., he earned Michelin star ratings in 2008 and 2009 as executive chef at La Botte Ristorante in Santa Monica. Fineo then worked for the Thomas Keller Group.  During his time there, he worked with The French Laundry in Napa Valley and Bouchon in Beverly Hills.

“Chef Luigi brings an inherent passion and masterful skill for traditional Italian cuisine, proven through the Michelin star he earned previously as head chef [of La Botte Ristorante]. Through his experience in the kitchens of the renowned Chef Tomas Keller, Luigi has honored an intense pursuit of excellence that is certain to shine through in the seasonally driven dishes and signature items he presents to Andrea guests,” said Pelican Hill Executive Chef Jean-Pierre Dubray.

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