(Montalcino, 29 September 2008) Castello Banfi, Montalcino’s premier vineyard estate, has announced the appointment of Massimiliano Blasone as its new Executive Chef. Mr. Blasone, 32, of Rome, hails from some of Italy and International’s top kitchens, including La Pergola restaurant in Rome’s prestigious Cavalieri Hilton; Il Duomo of Ragusa, Sicily; L’Onice of Florence’s Hotel Villa La Vedetta; Aschau, Germany’s Residenz Heinz Winkler, and Valentino of Santa Monica, California.
Castello Banfi – Il Ristorante opened in 2002 and was quickly recognized by top gourmet dining guides for its sublime expression of traditional Mediterranean flavors. The new chef, who arrived here in August, describes his own philosophy as exalting the natural flavors of the finest ingredients that can be sourced. He mirrors the winemaking philosophy of Castello Banfi, a constellation of single vineyards and one of the world’s most state-of-the-art wineries where tradition and innovation are deftly wed.
“We warmly welcome our new Executive Chef,” said Castello Banfi family proprietor Cristina Mariani-May, “as he unpacks his bags including new ideas and experiences to compliment and build upon our own successes. Together we will scale new heights and reach new horizons.”
Chef Blasone remains under the tutelage of his mentor, La Pergola’s Chef Heinz Beck, a long-time consultant to Castello Banfi’s restaurants development.
A regional beacon for hospitality, in addition to Castello Banfi – Il Ristorante, the estate also offers traditional local luncheon meals at Castello Banfi – La Taverna. Visitors may also enjoy Castello Banfi’s glass museum, balsamic vinegar cellars, full service enoteca, and daily winery tours. Guests may luxuriate at Castello Banfi – Il Borgo, 14 handsomely appointed rooms and suites featuring swimming pool, pergola-covered cloister garden, breakfast nook, and reading room within the castle keep. Castello Banfi is the first winery in the world to be recognized for exceptional environmental, ethical and social responsibility (ISO 14001 and SA8000) as well as customer satisfaction (ISO 9001:2000).