CHEF / PARTNER LUIGI FINEO
A native of Puglia, a southern region of Italy, Luigi’s cuisine transcends guests on a culinary journey through Italy’s majestic Mediterranean terrain. As the youngest of five growing up in a small white-washed cobblestone town of Gioia Del Colle, Luigi was schooled in selecting the finest and freshest seasonal ingredients while accompanying his mother at the local markets. As such an early age, Luigi learned that the kitchen is central to the hearts and minds of all Italian families.
Following his graduation from Casetellana Grotte culinary school in Puglia, Luigi traveled north to the heart of Tuscany where he worked in Michelin starred restaurants alongside acclaimed chefs such as Francesco Berardinelli and Karl Baumgartner.
With no knowledge of the English language, Luigi voyaged to the United States in order to share his passion for traditional Italian cuisine; that which is reminiscent of the social gatherings manifested around kitchen tables throughout Italy today and centuries ago. In 2008, Luigi’s propensity for perfection paid off when he was bestowed with a prestigious Michelin Star award while operating as Executive Chef at La Botte Ristorante in Santa Monica, CA. Luigi earned the restaurant's first-ever Michelin Star for two consecutive years making him the youngest Chef in the country to earn the Michelin Star.
In 2010, a lifelong dream was realized when Luigi was granted the opportunity to join Thomas Keller and his Olympian team of culinary masters at the acclaimed "The French Laundry." After two years with The French Laundry, Luigi continued his service with the Thomas Keller Group as part of the culinary team at Bouchon Beverly Hills.
A few years after TKRG, Luigi served as Chef de Cuisine at Andrea at The Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach, CA, where he earned four stars from Forbes Travel Guide before accepting the honor of working alongside acclaimed Italian Chef Gino Angelini as Executive Chef of Rivabella Ristorante.
In 2016, Luigi founded the Landmarks Restaurant Group, a company that brings Italian cuisine in a relaxed and casual setting.