Michelin-starred Simpsons Restaurant in Edgbaston has appointed Gianluca Austin-Rizzo as its general manager.
Originally from Puglia in Southern Italy, Gianluca brings a wealth of experience to Simpsons following a varied and successful career in the hospitality business.
He said: “I am extremely happy to become general manager at Simpsons.
“For me, Michelin star dining is very much about the experience as a whole.
“From the beautiful property and gardens, the welcome, the time spent here, to the food and wine from our expert team of chefs and sommeliers – the dining experience at Simpsons will always be memorable.
“Building and training a team to provide an impeccable service – a cut above the rest, really creates those special moments and lasting memories.”
Leaving home aged just 14 to train at the prestigious CFP Vallesana Hospitality school in Sondalo near the Switzerland border, Gianluca arrived in England in 1999.
His first position was to work for Michael Roux Senior at the Waterside Inn in Bray – one of only four restaurants in the UK to hold three Michelin stars – and this fuelled his passion for hospitality even further.
Gianluca helped to set up Piazza Duomo in Alba with chef Enrico Grippa and was part of the team that secured the first of its now three Michelin stars.
He also held a managerial position at Yynshir Hall in Wales, where he helped the team to gain a Michelin star.
Since starting at Simpsons in February 2018, Gianluca has already made an impression on restaurant owner Andreas Antona, pictured with executive chef Luke Tipping.
He said: “Gianluca not only has an impressive CV but his passion for hospitality is genuine and his customer service skills are excellent.
“He’s a fantastic addition to the team and with his experience and know-how, I’m sure he can help Simpsons maintain its status as one of Birmingham’s best.”