Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi
- 1-11-1 Pacific Century Place, Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 100-6277, Japan
Restaurant Manager at SÉZANNE
Four Seasons Tenure
- Since 2021
- First Four Seasons Assignment: Current
- JAAN by Kirk Westaway, SKAI & SKAI Bar, Singapore; Global Dining, Tokyo, Japan; Aman Resort, Tokyo, Japan; Armani/Ristorante Ginza Tower, Tokyo, Japan; Enoteca WineBar Implicito, Tokyo, Japan; Hotel Cecil, Rome, Italy
- Rome, Italy
- Sommelier AIS, Associazione Italiana Sommelier, Rome, Italy; Sake Sommelier Association Level 2, WSET Wine School, Hong Kong
- Italian, Spanish, Japanese, English
As Restaurant Manager at SÉZANNE, Simone Macri relishes the challenge of delivering gastronomy at the highest level: “Along with the Chef, the front-of-house team is the face of the restaurant. Everything we do must translate and support his culinary philosophy, down to the smallest detail.”
Taking a 360-degree approach, Simone oversees the outlet’s operations as well as its talented food-and-beverage team. With experience across several award-winning establishments, he brings impeccable credentials to the table. Most recently, he served as general manager for JAAN by Kirk Westaway, a British fine-dining restaurant in Singapore with one Michelin star and the #21 spot on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants List 2020. Prior to that, he worked with Aman resorts and Armani here in Tokyo.
Along with precision, Simone’s role also involves intuition and artistry. “People come to a restaurant like SÉZANNE for different reasons. Whether it’s a once-in-a-lifetime celebration or simply a foodies’ night out, it is our privilege to create a memorable dining experience for every guest,” he says, highlighting the importance of understanding each diner’s expectations and anticipating what they would enjoy. “For me, tailor-making is the real essence of luxury.” Indeed, this approach aligns perfectly with Executive Chef Daniel Calvert’s emphasis on personalisation – one of the reasons he reached out to Simone directly for this ambitious culinary enterprise.
Like many Italians, Simone possesses an inherent appreciation for good food. “Growing up in Rome, I was constantly exposed to great produce and superb home cooking,” he says, adding that his passion for fine dining came later when he happened to attend a wine tasting with some friends: “it was love at first sip.” Fascinated by the symbiotic relationship between food and wine, he embarked on sommelier course while still working as a hotel concierge.
As he delved deeper into the world of gastronomy, Simone’s newly-sparked interest was transformed into a calling: “I was sure this was what I wanted to do. And Tokyo was where I wanted to begin this new chapter.” Taking a leap of faith, he packed his bags and moved halfway around the world to Japan’s iconic capital city. The first few years were tough: morning classes to learn Japanese, then off to a long day at work, usually ending with a ride on the last train home. There was also the cultural transition: “Both Italy and Japan have a rich culinary background and a deep respect for craftsmanship. But in other ways, they are quite different. Italians are very gregarious, while the Japanese are more reserved. It took some getting used to but by now, nine years later, Tokyo feels like my second home.”
Simone’s extensive knowledge of wines is key to his role at SÉZANNE, where vintage Champagnes and handpicked labels complement each meal. His team is trained to make recommendations from a wide selection of wines by the glass, while Simone himself works with Chef Daniel and the team of sommeliers to craft the ever-changing selection of wines. Another highlight is the warm and approachable service: “We aim to be technically perfect – but we don’t want to make a point of it.” Table service and thoughtful presentation infuse the dining experience with a sense of curiosity and engagement, sans the stiffness that weighs down some French fine-dining restaurants.
When he’s not working, you can find Simone planning his next bar-hop in Tokyo. With a penchant for mixology, this aficionado has been to most of the greatest cocktail bars around the world. Outside of work hours, he loves to discover the newest drinking spots in town or revisit old favourites such as Ben Fiddich in Shinjuku and SG CLUB in Shibuya.