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Executive Chef Andrea Genio

Executive Chef Andrea Genio currently works in Phuket in Thailand with The Pavilions Hotels and Resorts. He has an impressive 20 years’ worth of experience under his belt, in every area of the kitchen and at every level within its hierarchy. Hailing from the northern Italian city of Busto Arsizio, located halfway between the glamorous metropolis of Milan and the tranquil shores of Lago Maggiore, Andrea started his culinary journey at the prestigious Instituto Alberghiero E. Maggia in the lakeside resort town of Stresa. The institute’s proximity to both France and Switzerland greatly influenced his initiation into the culinary realm, leaving him with an extensive understanding of Modern and Italian cuisine alike.

Upon completion of his vigorous training, he moved to the Mediterranean island of Sardinia; a popular tourist destination for Italians as well as foreigners. During his time at La Bisaccia, Andrea not only excelled as an apprentice chef but also took on various managerial tasks, through which his natural leadership skills and talent for planning became apparent to all, including himself.


In order to broaden his horizons and fulfill his full potential, he jumped at the opportunity to work under the wings of the talented chef Matteo Vigotti at Novecento. The restaurant earned its first Michelin star during his time there. Having been part of this tremendous achievement, Andrea subsequently went to work for a string of luxury hotels such as Grand Hotel Terme in Italy, Grand Hotel Lugano, and Grand Hotel Gstaad. Andrea has been living in Southeast Asia for the past 15 years, gaining valuable professional and existential experiences in Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia, and Thailand along the way.

On top of that, a fruitful cooperation with Simone Torri ˗ co-founder of the Oroccoccoro Art Movement ˗ resulted in the creation of the Culinary Manifesto. In his current role, Andrea primarily concerns himself with keeping inventory for the food department, ensuring high levels of quality are guaranteed for the variety of dishes on offer at the venues under his supervision, monitoring and implementing cost-effective procedures, and above all, constantly coaching his peers in order to inspire and bring out the best in them. Moving forward, Andrea is keen to impart his vast knowledge of the culinary field and his proven management skills to other chefs and cooks through professional training programmes.


Do you have a favourite time of the year or set of ingredients
that you look forward to working with?

Having originated from Busto Arsizio, a town located near the Alps, it’s fair to say that Autumn/Winter has always held a special place in my heart. However, my life took a turn when I moved to Southeast Asia more than 14 years ago. I have developed a deep appreciation for the local seasonality during my time here. There’s something truly magical about receiving a bountiful supply of freshly plucked fruits and vegetables. It feels like an extravagant feast, and I have come to love and cherish this aspect of living in Southeast Asia.


What would you do if you weren’t a chef?

Interestingly, I had a similar conversation with my father not long ago. I have nurtured a deep passion for researching and exploring novel products throughout my life. As a result, it is highly probable that I would have pursued a career as a supplier or, perhaps, found myself working in the purchasing department of a hotel or a related field. This profession would have allowed me to channel my love for discovery and contribute to the procurement process in a meaningful way.


Do your personal preferences influence the menu at all?

A chef’s personal preferences can influence their menu to a certain extent. However, my experience primarily lies in working within the context of hotels, where certain fundamental guidelines must be adhered to accommodate a wide range of dietary requirements, cultural backgrounds, and individual preferences. These guidelines ensure that we can create inclusive menus that cater to our guests’ diverse needs and tastes. While personal preferences do play a role, the overarching objective is to offer a culinary experience that can be enjoyed by as many people as possible, regardless of their specific dietary restrictions or cultural backgrounds.


What do you think is the most over-hyped food trend currently?

In recent years, I have observed a growing trend among guests who emphasize a dish’s visual presentation rather than its actual flavor. While it is true that we eat with our eyes first, it becomes disheartening when a beautifully decorated cake fails to deliver on taste and leaves one with a disappointing experience akin to consuming cardboard. I strongly believe in shifting towards a more restrained and less extravagant approach to cuisine. It is important to move away from the sole pursuit of creating dishes that are merely ‘Instagram-worthy’ and instead focus on crafting culinary creations that truly captivate and delight the palate. The true essence of a remarkable dining experience lies in the ability to create dishes that not only visually appeal but also leave a lasting impression through their exquisite flavours.


When are you happiest?

Spending time with my children and wife brings me immense joy and is my ultimate source of happiness. Whenever I am with them, we do go to taste local restaurants and bars. Somehow my parents used to do the same with me. They have owned few restaurants and bars in their time. Especially my mom has always been a great host to the point that in our house guests have always been considered holy.


When you’re not in the kitchen where can you be found?

Unfortunately, this line of work leaves me with limited time for other activities. However, when I am not at work, I prioritize maximizing the moments I can spend with my children. Additionally, I seize the opportunity to indulge in one of my personal passions: playing pool. It allows me to unwind, relax, and enjoy some well-deserved leisure time.


Where is your favourite place to dine?

Whenever I visit my mom’s place, I am consistently reminded that her food is unparalleled. There is an indescribable love and care that an Italian mother infuses into her dishes, which no chef can quite replicate. Unfortunately, my parents live quite far away and we are not able to enjoy as much time together as we used to. In any case I do love simplicity in my meals; a nicely season salad, maybe a pasta or some Thai food cooked by my wife. It is not the place that makes a difference to me rather the people I am sitting down with.

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What’s your favourite takeaway or comfort food?

Throughout my years living abroad, I have had the pleasure of discovering and savouring a wide variety of dishes. Being Thai, my wife possesses exceptional culinary skills when it comes to Thai cuisine, and she consistently prepares mouthwatering meals for us at home. One particular dish that holds a special place in my heart is Penang Curry. However, I must admit that I can never resist the temptation of a well-crafted Italian Pizza Margherita. The combination of these diverse culinary experiences has enriched my taste buds and expanded my appreciation for different flavours and cultural cuisines.


What makes the local food scene so exciting?

With its remarkable diversity, Phuket offers many options to cater to every taste. This vibrant destination boasts an extensive array of captivating places to explore, each with its own unique charm. Similarly, the culinary scene in Phuket is incredibly rich, with a multitude of cuisines available for discerning palates to indulge in. The sheer abundance of choices ensures that there is something to satisfy every craving, making Phuket a true haven for food enthusiasts and adventurers alike.

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Which is the dish you’ve created that you are most proud of and why?

The next one I create… I am constantly driven by a desire to challenge myself and push the boundaries of my own capabilities. I tend to grow restless when things become stagnant, always seeking to embark on the next endeavour. This innate need for progression fuels my creative spirit, motivating me to strive for more and surpass my own expectations continually.

You’re having friends over for dinner tonight. What’s on the table?

Within my circle of friends, there exists a beautiful fusion of diverse cultures. Our shared love for culinary artistry manifests in a refreshingly uncomplicated menu when we gather with fellow chefs. In fact, simplicity reigns supreme, as we find that less is often more. A spread consisting of classic pasta, delectable cold cuts, an assortment of cheeses from different origins, and, of course, the ever-present indulgence of gelato perfectly captures our collective culinary preferences.

Name your favourite city that has it all: food, culture, and nightlife.

It’s difficult for me to single out just one place, as each location I’ve lived in has provided me with a multitude of unforgettable experiences. However, if I were to choose the one that aligns most closely with the equation, it would be Kuala Lumpur. This vibrant city has encompassed all the elements I value, offering a rich and diverse tapestry of experiences. From its bustling streets and iconic landmarks to its vibrant food scene and cultural melting pot, Kuala Lumpur has left an indelible mark on me, making it a place that truly encapsulates the equation of remarkable memories and cherished moments.

Can you tell us more about the cuisine at your restaurants?

At my current workplace, I am fortunate to be part of a property that houses three exceptional restaurants. Our first gem is Alto, an exquisite Italian restaurant that serves as our signature dining experience. For those seeking the flavours of Japan, we offer 360 Bar, where guests can indulge in delectable yakitori and sushi. Completing our trio of culinary delights is Firefly, our all-day dining establishment that showcases a diverse range of international cuisines. With these three distinct dining options, we strive to provide our guests with a memorable and diverse culinary journey.


Vegetarian Carpaccio


  • 1 ripe watermelon
  • 30g pitted black olives
  • 20g Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 20g Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 2 Hard-boiled quail eggs
  • 20g Toasted pine kernels
  • 10g Crispy Thai garlic
  • 20g Watercress leaves
  • 20g Yellow Frisee leaves
  • 50g Cherry tomatoes Comfit


  • To prepare the watermelon, peel it and carefully place it on a grill over medium heat. Allow it to grill until it is fully charcoaled, which typically takes around 4 to 6 hours. Once grilled, remove the blackened outer layer and wash the watermelon to remove any seeds.
  • Next, transfer the watermelon to a cold smoker and let it smoke for a minimum of 1 hour. Afterwards, proceed to dehydrate the watermelon overnight until it reaches a meat-like texture.
  • In the meantime, place the pitted olives in a microwave for 10 minutes at full power until completely dehydrated. Crumble them until obtain in a course powder .
  • To enhance the flavours, season the smoked and dehydrated watermelon with the mentioned ingredients and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. This will add a delightful touch to the unique dish you have created.




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