Director of Food and Beverage
Four Seasons Tenure
- Since 1996
- First Four Seasons Assignment: Chef de Partie, Four Seasons Hotel Milano
- Four Seasons Hotel Prague; Four Seasons Hotel Milano; Grill Room at the Café Royale, London
- Basilicata, Italy
- Commis de Cuisine Certificate, Professional Training Institute, Casargo Italy
- Italian and English
Vito Mollica is a staunch advocate of Italian food. Inspired as a young boy by the local specialities prepared by his mother, he has spent his career seeking to preserve the culinary ecology of his home nation by supporting small producers, old-style markets and local varieties.
Now Director of Food and Beverage at Four Seasons Hotel Firenze and Executive Chef at Four Seasons Hotel Milano, he bases his kitchen philosophy on “knowing the man behind the produce,” personally scouring the markets and Tuscan countryside for independent producers who share his passion for quality. “The main value of any dish is the quality of the ingredients,” he explains. “If they have been produced with care, it comes through in the taste. Then the more simply you cook the ingredients, the more you will allow the flavour to come through.”
Mollica’s entire attitude to cooking stems from the heart. From the relationships he forges with his producers to the attitude he has towards his team (“the main ingredient of all”), his approach culminates in his desire to ensure each guest feels at home in his restaurant: “Food is an experience – the care has to extend beyond what is found on the plate to how you welcome each guest, how you treat them, how you say goodbye.” Despite his decades of senior kitchen experience, Mollica regularly travels to train at some of the world’s finest Michelin-star restaurants, constantly broadening his knowledge and seeking inspiration from new people and places.
Mollica found it hard leaving Four Seasons Hotel Prague to join the pre-opening team in Florence in 2007 – his and his wife Angela’s two sons were born in Prague, and it was the family’s first home together. But Florence is an easy place to fall in love with. “It’s a haven for quality – the art, the history, the cuisine,” says Mollica. “It’s a great location for the children, too; the city is relaxed and cosmopolitan, and we can easily travel to the sea and the mountains.”
In 2015, Mollica’s role expanded to include oversight of the culinary program at Four Seasons Hotel Milano. It was a homecoming of sorts, since his first job at Four Seasons was working under one of his early mentors. “I am really happy to be the heir to a great Maestro such as Chef Sergio Mei and embrace this new challenge with a passion.”