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Il Palagio at Four Seasons - Florence


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A native of Emilia Romagna, Paolo Lavezzini has worked in some of Europe’s most prestigious Michelin-starred restaurants, such as Alain Ducasse*** at the Plaza Athénée in Paris, and Enoteca Pinchiorri*** in Florence. In 2012 he moved to Brazil as executive chef for the five star luxury Hotel Fasano in Rio de Janeiro, later joining the former Four Seasons Hotel São Paulo. In 2021 comes back to Italy as Four Seasons Hotel Firenze Executive Chef, guiding the Michelin-starred restaurant Il Palagio. 

A talk with Paolo Lavezzini

My mission is very similar to Krug's one in its search for excellence: respect ingredients, enhance flavours, create unforgettable experiences.
How would you describe your culinary philosophy?
Contemporary, Tuscan, seasonal, following products and ingredients. In my dishes, there is a lot of Tuscany, and a good balance between tradition and innovation. One of my favourite dishes is the "Slightly smoked risotto with cabbage": a poor dishes, but with unforgettable flavours.
What role does Music play in your life?
Music is a great passion, my soundtrack in life would be rock music, but when I cook at home, I listen to classical music.
What are your sources of inspiration?
My absolutely main source of information is the daily market, where I can touch, smell and taste ingredients. My menu depends on what I find at the grocery market everyday.
What is the most inspiring experience you had on your journey to becoming a chef?
I realise this is an Italian cliché, but I cannot help but say that I was inspired by my grandmother, who raised me. I remember waking up with the scent of tomato sauce and seeing pots on the stove and windows fogged up with condensation, and my granmother was there making pasta for my grandfather.
How has the way you cook evolved as your career has progressed?
I define mymself “Italian by heart, Brazilian by soul." My cuisine philosophy has been influenced by my origins from Emilia Romagna and my his several fine-dining experiences in Tuscany, but has been strongly enriched by my period in Brazil. When in Brazil, I was introduced to “a Brazilian fire”, a plethora of ingredients and flavours, and I experimented with combining Brazilian traditions and ingredients with Italian ones. There, I also discovered the importance of choosing organic producers, honouring seasonality and following the path of sustainability.
Can you describe your first sip of Krug?
When I first got in Brasil, I had to create a menu for one of the world's most important wine collectors. We opened two vintage Krug, 1995 and 1998, and two Clos du Mesnil, 2000 and 2002. My first sip of Krug could not have been better!
What is your favourite Krug food pairing?
My Slightly smoked risotto with cabbages is perfectly paired with Krug Grande Cuvée 170ème Édition: the mineral note and the citrusy create a perfect blend of flavours.


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Krug Grande Cuvée
Krug Grande Cuvée
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