Michelin-starred Executive Chef, Andrea Mattei
Executive chef Andrea Mattei was born in Pietrasanta in the province of Lucca, where he grew up surrounded by an abundance of fresh seasonal ingredients. Developing a passion for cooking from an early age, Andrea chose to attend hotel school, where he had his first encounter with haute cuisine.
Under the watchful guidance of Professor Rolando Paganini, then executive chef at Hotel Byron in Forte dei Marmi, Andrea further developed his techniques and skills in the kitchen. Acting as his mentor, Paganini also became a great friend to Andrea, encouraging him in his career as a chef. Andrea says, “I have had the greatest fortune to have enjoyed some important experiences with many big names in the kitchen but Rolando is my teacher and a positive influence in my life."
Throughout his travels his work took on a common thread, a recognisable style of cooking, "an unmistakable alchemy of excellent raw materials and great culinary techniques".
If you ask Andrea about his style of cooking, he describes it as "simple but not obvious". Taking his inspiration from the natural raw materials available in the region, he chooses his ingredients by what is fresh and in season. Using home-grown produce where possible and selecting ingredients from local artisan producers, his style is fresh, simple and authentic.
"A client should understand where the dish originates from; you cannot eat the same ingredients anywhere in the world", Andrea says. "There needs to be a connection to the place you are in, to the location, the culture and the climate". Travelling and experiencing different techniques and approaches to cuisine has helped shape Andrea’s own unique style. As a Michelin-starred chef, Andrea champions the ‘farm to plate’ concept at Borgo Santo Pietro and oversees all aspects of the Borgo Cooking School, including the hotel’s two restaurants.