Italy – Top Chef

Umberto Bombana

Clusone - Lombardia

Umberto Bombana

From a small town in Northern Italy, Bombana has become a legend in his adoptive homeland, Hong Kong, elevating the profile of Italian cuisine. With passion and innovation, Umberto has taken Italian cuisine to new levels of excellence, earning him Three MICHELIN Stars and various accolades.

Umberto Bombana, born in Clusone in 1963, has been passionate about cooking since childhood, inspired by his grandmother. He began his culinary journey at a hotel institute, and then honed his talent by working as an apprentice at the acclaimed restaurant of Chef Ezio Santin, "Antica Osteria del Ponte," just outside Milan. In 1983, he ventured overseas to the renowned "Rex Il Ristorante" in Los Angeles, and ten years later, he moved to Hong Kong to manage the "Toscana" at "The Ritz-Carlton Hotel," an iconic destination for fine dining.

Throughout his career, Bombana has been honored with numerous awards. The first came in 2002 when the Italian Institute of Cuisine for Foreigners (ICIF) awarded him as the "Best Italian Chef in Asia." In 2006, he was appointed "World Ambassador of White Truffle" by the Piemontese Cavour Regional Enoteca in Italy, earning him the nickname "King of White Truffles."

In 2010, Umberto launched his most ambitious personal project: "8½ Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA," a tribute to Federico Fellini's classic 1963 film. Like Fellini, the chef proved to be a master of his craft, receiving two MICHELIN Stars within 11 months of its opening and the third MICHELIN Star the following year, becoming the first Italian restaurant outside of Italy to receive such an honor. Since then, he has maintained this prestigious recognition. Continuing his journey in China, Bombana opened "8½ Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA" in Shanghai in 2012, which holds Two MICHELIN Stars, followed by "Opera BOMBANA" in Beijing in 2013, and "8½ Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA Galaxy Macau" in 2015, which received One MICHELIN Star.

Furthermore, through his enterprise group "Octavo Management Group," Umberto manages a range of different restaurants in Hong Kong, including the Two MICHELIN-Starred "Octavium," "REX Wine & Grill," "Venédia Grancaffè," "Nove Chinese Restaurant," "Nove At The Fringe," and in Kowloon, "Cannubi Enoteca Cucina," "TUBER Umberto BOMBANA," and "Kilo Steakhouse."

Among the chef's commendations, notable mentions include the Asia's 50 Best Restaurants Diner's Club Lifetime Achievement Award 2017 and the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (OMRI), the country's highest recognition, received in the same year.


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