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Four Seasons Hotel São Paulo at Nações Unidas

  • Rua Engenheiro Mesquita Sampaio, 820 Cep 04711-902, São Paulo, Brazil
PAOLO LAVEZZINI

Paolo Lavezzini

Executive Chef
“Being warmed by the heat of the pans while watching my grandma kneading dough made the kitchen my favourite place. I always dreamed of being a cook.”

 

Four Seasons Tenure

  • Since 2018
  • First Four Seasons Assignment: Current

Employment History

  • Fasano Hotel, Rio de Janeiro; Enoteca Pinchiorri, Florence; Restaurant Alain Ducasse, Hotel Plaza Athénée, Paris; Le Royal Monceau, Paris; Byron Hotel, Forte dei Marmi, Italy

Birthplace

  • Salsomaggiore Terme, Italy

Education

  • Diploma in Hotel Service, Istituto Alberghiero di Marina di Massa, Tuscany, Italy

Languages Spoken

  • Italian, English, French, Portuguese

Paolo Lavezzini, Executive Chef at Four Seasons Hotel and Residences São Paulo at Nações Unidas, was inspired to a culinary career by his grandmother – “just like every Italian chef,” he jokes. Growing up in the gastronomically rich Emilia Romagna region of Italy, his passions were evenly divided between the kitchen and the football field. His father, a professional football coach at the college level, encouraged him to make his living on the latter. “Football was in my life every day, but the kitchen has always been my dream.”

With his father’s eventual support, Lavezzini secured a slot at a prestigious hotel school in Tuscany where a “wonderful teacher” enlightened him that Michelin-starred restaurants are the way to make it big in gastronomy. So off Lavezzini went, focusing on hotel restaurants because, he believes, “they’re the future of gastronomy. Hotels have something more than just gastronomy to sell.”

His first stop was a hotel along the seaside in Tuscany. His second stop was Paris, where he secured positions on highly rated teams at two Palace Hotels. Then he returned to Italy and an independent restaurant in Florence where, working side-by-side with Chef Riccardo Monco, he was part of a team that was awarded three Michelin stars. Monco remains an inspiration and a friend, he says. “One of my best. He helped me by showing me that if there is a problem in your career or your life, you can change it.”

The Florence gig was eye opening for Lavezzini in other ways, too, as he excitedly watched the launch of Four Seasons Hotel Firenze. Seeing the Hotel come together in an historic 15th century Palazzo reinforced impressions that Lavezzini had first felt when he was working in France. “I used to walk past the front of Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris everyday on my way to work. I told myself, ‘One day, I’m going to work for this company.’ I am now so happy to have the opportunity.”

There was one more stop on Lavezzini’s road to Sao Paulo: A six-year turn as executive chef at a luxury hotel overlooking the ocean in Rio de Janeiro. The experience, he recalls, “allowed me to grow up in Brazil and make good gastronomy for the VIP travellers who are drawn to this country.”

Since he arrived in Brazil, he's been travelling all over the country and tasting the local ingredients and traditional dishes from the distinctive regions. “Brazil is a very large country with so many different ingredients from one region to another. There a lot to try, taste and to learn.”

Now thrilled to be in on the ground floor of the newest luxury hotel experience in Sao Paulo, Lavezzini is as busy as can be and excited at the possibilities of his future with Four Seasons. Meanwhile, outside of the kitchen, he has eyes for only one thing. “I’m a family man now,” he says, smiling as he describes life with his wife Eleonora and their adorable daughter Laura. “When I’m not working, it’s all family. One hour with my little girl is incredible.”