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Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong

  • 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong, China

Federico Balzarini

Beverage Manager
"A great cocktail without a great experience is just a cocktail.”


Four Seasons Tenure

  • Since 2023
  • First Four Seasons Assignment: current

Employment History

  • Vesper, Bangkok; American Bar at Savoy Hotel, London; Hubbard & Bell, London


  • Saló, Lake Garda, Italy

Languages Spoken

  • English, Italian

For Federico Balzarini, hospitality is a family tradition. Growing up in Lake Garda in Northern Italy, Balzarini spent a good part of his childhood helping out at his parents’ retail concept store selling clothes and furniture. Between cleaning and bagging purchases (made fun by his quick-thinking nonna who turned these chores into games), Balzarini learned how to treat his guests well and experienced the joy of making others happy at a very early age. At the age of 17, he started working casually at a local bar named 24 mainly serving drinks to his friends. It was there that he had his calling: he instantly fell in love with cocktail-making. An absolute beginner, Balzarini was lucky enough to be able to play with different flavours and ingredients while on the job; he wanted to learn everything he could. “For the first time, I opened a book to study without my mum checking on me,” he grinned.

Soon after, he joined another local cocktail bar, where he worked once a week for free. Eight months later, he was offered to join the team, and thus began his bartending career. Balzarini spent the next few years perfecting the basics of classic cocktails, the essential skills of bar-backing and serving. He eventually moved to London to pursue another opportunity at Hubbard & Bell (now closed), where he stayed for the next two years and got to work with a team of people hungry for personal and professional growth with whom some solid friendships were established.

American Bar at The Savoy is among the most impactful moves in his bartending career. Not only did he work alongside some industry icons such as Declan McGurk, Erik Lorincz, Lorenzo Antinori and Martin Hudak, he also learned the art of five-star hospitality. Balzarini confesses that when he first started, he wanted to show off his skills and all the gimmicks, but at American Bar, he soon learned that he should be making drinks for his guests but not for himself.

“I understood that the cocktails presented on the menu must be understandable to everyone,” Balzarini explains. “Of course, they can be very complicated to produce in terms of preparation and execution, but on paper, they must be easy to read.” While he still enjoys innovating, he bears in mind that his creations should be approachable and something that everyone is able to understand and enjoy. To him, bartending is in fact half bartending and half entertaining.

Balzarini was also part of the award-winning team that came first in The World's 50 Best Bars in 2017; attained multiple accolades in Spirited Awards in 2018, and won Legend of the List in 2019. “Together with the whole team, we were able to create something magical, from welcoming the guests to making and serving great drinks and entertaining them.”

After being approached by a friend who introduced him to Asia, Balzarini arrived in Bangkok in 2021 to join the award-winning bar Vesper. “I have always been fascinated by the many countries in Asia for the cultures, food, drinks and spiritual energy they offer. They are completely different from where I have always been comfortable to be, and this is reflected in their next-level cocktail cultures.”

Now Beverage Manager at Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, Balzarini enjoys exploring the city and meeting new people as much as being part of one of the most renowned hospitality teams and the Four Seasons family. By heading ARGO, he feels that he is stepping out of his comfort zone and finding new challenges here, while showcasing his hospitality to ARGO guests between gummy bear-laced welcome drinks and world-class cocktails.