Born in the pre-Alpine range of Bergamo, Italy, Alberto Gianati grew up surrounded by the fragrance of porcini, freshly mixed polenta and the many cheeses that are so typical of the region and now enjoyed all around the world.
His education started at the Culinary Arts School of San Pellegrino Terme, home to the famous sparkling water of the same name. Soon after some internship, Alberto started working in some of Italy’s most traveled spots like the oceanside town of Riccione and in the island of Isola d’Elba.
Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast) in the island of Sardinia is host to Hollywood’s stars and all the beautiful people of Italy and American and European jet-setters. Alberto’s experience in the island included the famous Cala di Volpe. He also formed part of a brigade of cooks at Royal Courmayeur, San Remo and at Cortina d’Ampezzo at the beautiful hotel Principe di Savoia, where hotel guests would read like a list of who’s who in business, fashion, movies and sports.
Such exposure at an early age in his career made him acquainted with the highest standards in cooking methods and in the requirements of an upscale clientele.
In the summer of 1989, he made a move to the balmier and quieter Southwestern side of Italy with more responsibilities as a chef de partie at the Gallia Palace Hotel in Punta Ala.
All this experience in such a short time prepared him for the demands of his next adventure in the cosmopolitan city of Milan and at the Palace Hotel. Working at the Casanova Grill Restaurant of the hotel, Alberto consumed what is considered one of the most prestigious culinary awards, the coveted Michelin star. He went on to work at another Michelin star awarded restaurant, La Locanda dell’Amorosa a Siena, very well-known in the culinary circles of haute cuisine.
At Le Tre Vaselle Hotel and Restaurant, Alberto continued what would become a standard of working for what he would consider to be the best kitchens of Italy. This hotel has been featured in many international and American TV food documentaries like the Food Network or “World Class Cuisine” series.
Having had such exposure in his homeland, Alberto decided to expand his horizons by exploring the Far East. In Sabatini restaurant in Japan, Alberto learned how to fullfil the demands of a very discerning and perfectionist clientele. It soon became the hottest Italian restaurant in Tokyo offering innovative dishes in a sophisticated environment. Alberto was featured in the pages of Japanese Vogue and culinary magazines as one of the hottest chefs in town.
In what would be a natural choice for Alberto, he went back to Italy to work for Capo d’Orso, another star-studded hotel in the island of Sardinia and eventually he was approached by the Four Seasons Hotels to be part of the opening brigade for their location in Milan in the fashion district of Via Gesu and Via Montenapoleone. This exposure gave him the confidence to travel to the United States and work as the chef of a privately owned restaurant in California.
In 1995, Four Seasons Hotels will have him as Italian Chef of Bice Restaurant in their property in Tokyo starting a relationship with the Bice family of Restaurants. The latter would take him as consulting chef in their properties in New York, Sao Paulo (Brazil) and eventually at Hugh Andrew’s El Conquistador Resort and Club in Puerto Rico where he resided for several years. In 1997 he prepared a dinner for Miramax’s Oscar Awards at the Mondrian hotel in LA.
More recently, Alberto worked as Italian Chef in Asia at the Four Seasons Hotel in Bangkok where he opened their still renown restaurant Biscotti. Featured in Condè Nast Traveler as one of the hottest restaurants in the world, Biscotti was Alberto’s story of success with the opportunity to go back to the States and learn more about the managerial and technical side of the restaurant business. He joined the team of Las Colinas Resort and Club in the year 2001, bringing a more sophisticated flare to the restaurant and revamping the menus in the several food outlets of the resort.
In 2004, Alberto was awarded the Premio Antonio Amato, chosen from a shortlist of the best Italian Chefs around the world with the blessing of chef Gualtiero Marchesi. Alberto can be found now in a humble house in Hato Rey where he acts as Chef-owner, bringing a creative take on the long and vast selection of what Italian food, tradition and culture have to offer. Buon appetito!