Restaurants in Florence
La Loggia has the best views in town—with gastronomy to match. Alessandro Cozzolino, aged just 30, is the young prodigy with a fine-tuned palate. Meet the newest string in our fine-tuned bow.
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Alessandro Cozzolino has an insatiable appetite for unearthing new flavours. Each dish he samples on his travels joins his smorgasbord of culinary inspiration. “Flavor is the essence and identity of who I am,” he asserts. “It can make even the simplest things unique.”
Deeply passionate and utterly Italian, the chef grew up in a family home that drilled the importance of respect and dedication. “I was raised by my mother and my grandmother,” he explains. “The two of them were the first to teach me the difference between quality and quantity.” These values have never faltered, nor has his love for his Italian roots despite his travels. Since the tender age of 21, he has worked in numerous multi-Michelin-starred restaurants, spanning multiple cuisines and continents.
Today, you’ll find him in Florence’s Fiesole hills. In this unparalleled location, we’re proud to welcome him as executive chef at La Loggia. Housed within Villa San Michele, A Belmond Hotel, Florence, the restaurant boasts a stunning panoramic view. It’s a magic spot where you can marvel at Brunelleschi’s dome over a bowl of bischeri pasta, as a breeze snakes through the hills. Our growing reputation as one of the best restaurants in Florence has both our delectable dishes and dramatic scenery to thank.
Just like Florence with its rich artistic heritage, a Cozzolino dish is one that is stylish and avant-garde. “I cannot hide that my cooking is inspired by international experiences, but it's also truly Tuscan at the heart” he admits. His emerging trademark is to take his Italian roots and creatively infuse them with inspirations from Florence and beyond. His risotto with roasted peppers, Cacio Mugellano cheese, Casentino Grigio pork sausage and wild fennel is a testament to this—a recipe from his childhood lovingly reimagined with a Tuscan twist. Yet the dishes that grace La Loggia’s menu respect the great Renaissance tradition that Cozzolino extols. “I’m a big fan of antique and modern art. I always seek to bring my passionate vision into the kitchen and endeavour to make every aspect of each dish intriguing and original.”
Each dish on the menu is a curious, carefully-crafted feat of gastronomic creativity. Fagottino pasta is created with braised beef peposo, ricotta cheese, Chianina IGP beef tartar and fresh seasonal truffle. Follonica edible flowers adorn courgette curls, served with lemon ash to create the visually delicious Scarpaccia dish. “The ingredients have been chosen and put together very carefully,” Alessandro explains. “I’m proud of all my dishes. They are all the product of study and research in order to create a true feast for the senses and make their eater happy.”
Combining his intuition with personal taste and well-honed skills, the result of Cozzolino’s efforts is a collection of dishes that wow on every mouthful. Writer George Bernard Shaw once said that "there is no love sincerer than the love of food.” After tasting Cozzolino’s food, we can’t help but agree.