The heart of the Hotel Brunelleschi

Story of a great love

February 25, 2015

I was born in Hagen (Germany), by Italian parents from Sicily. When I was three we returned to Italy in Lazio, Abruzzo and Sicily before stopping permanently in Bientina (Pisa), due to the strong desire of my parents to raise me and my brother in Tuscany, a region of fascinating wonders enriched with a very delicious kitchen.

My journey into the world of cooking began at an early age, watching my mother while preparing food for our family and sometimes by helping her (so to speak!). At the end of the high school, I decided to attend the Hotel School G. Minuto in Massa Carrara, not in Pisa (which would certainly have been closer to home), but I chose Massa because I knew its excellent reputation among the many schools in Tuscany. In fact, I was aware of the presence of big professors of cooking in this institution, which in addition to teaching, they already worked in the kitchen for some time.

During those years I began my journey into the kitchen world where I remained increasingly fascinated by culinary art and I grew more and more the passion for the restaurant.

Completed my studies, I left for London where I remained for nearly two years. For the first six months I found work in an Italian restaurant of excellent quality run by chef Maurizio Morelli and then move to the Spoon run by Alain Ducasse. Here, I collaborated with a brigade of thirty people and learned the management of a staff so numerous and realizing, for the first time, how many commitment, sacrifice and perseverance requires a serious personal growth within environments such prestigious.

When I returned to Italy in 2006 I was hired as Chef de partie in a hotel on the coast of Pisa, alongside Chef Luca Landi where I learned techniques of innovative cuisine. There, I grew my deep love for the search for raw materials of excellent quality. In 2009 I had the honour of becoming Second Chef of Luca for both restaurants of the Resort.

In 2011 I moved to the Hotel Brunelleschi. Initially as Second Chef of Simone Bertaccini and this year as Executive Chef.

Working in this role is for me a great opportunity for a personal and professional growth. Manage Osteria della Pagliazza (on which I have focused attention since my arrival in Florence), the Gourmet Restaurant Santa Elisabetta and having to reconcile the various culinary events throughout the year is definitely challenging, but at the same time very stimulant and exciting.
I often spend entire days in the kitchen, looking for the ingredient that can really make the difference, by studying new dishes and concocting new combinations that can give birth to a varied menu, simple and able to impress even the most discerning palate at the same time.

Recently, we have developed the duck breast roasted in sweet strong with turnip greens sautéed and caramelized onion with a tasty series of gradual combinations and, at the same time, contrasting of its ingredients. We go from the delicacy of duck breast to the predominance of the turnip top, through the sweetness of the sweet strong sauce which it is made up of chocolate and orange, to finish with balanced flavour of caramelized onion.

Every day, even today, after four years, when I get to work I love to go to Piazza Duomo and admire the majesty of the Cathedral and the Giotto’s Bell Tower and when I arrive in Piazza Santa Elisabetta amazes me what appear in front of me: the Byzantine Pagliazza Tower which is the facade of the hotel and at by night is even more fascinating! When you look outside, the structure looks small, then you come in and you are amazed by the real size of the interiors, tastefully furnished.

Giuseppe Bonadonna
Executive Chef at the Hotel Brunelleschi


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