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Paulo Airaudo, the Michelin-Starred Chef, Makes His Debut in Florence: Exciting Surprises at La Gemma Hotel.

La Redazione
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A new hotel created by the Florentine Cecchi family and led by General Manager Laura Stopani brings chef Paulo Airaudo to the city's restaurant Luca's.

La Gemma Hotel: the Project 

The power of a dream and the determination to pursue it are the profound feelings that inspired the five Cecchi brothers- true Florentines - to launch a home in the heart of Florence, where elegance and comfort go hand in hand with a sense of familiarity.

Famiglia Cecchi

La Gemma Hotel places a refined and elegant concept of hospitality at its core, without forgetting that touch of conviviality that adds warmth to the guests' experience. Even the chosen name is not random and recalls the family: the acronym "La Gemma" combines the initials of Luca and Alessandra (the parents) and then those of their children: Ginevra, Edoardo, Massimiliano, Maria Sole, and Andrea. The guests will therefore find themselves immersed in the atmosphere of the daily life of a Florentine family, within the framework of an ancient palace in the center of Florence.

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La Gemma Hotel opened its doors in June at the nineteenth-century Palazzo Paoletti, and its interiors have been refurbished with a fresh style that combines a palette of warm and enveloping colors inspired by the shades of the Florence Cathedral - such as agave green, powder pink, and ivory. From the SPA in the historical cellars, to the lobby, climbing each of the five floors, among versatile rooms and suites, the Luca's restaurant, and the lounge area, up to the panoramic terrace, the structure is a crescendo of surprises.

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Paulo Airaudo and Luca's restaurant

Now we come to the flagship of the project: the gourmet restaurant Luca's, dedicated to Luca Cecchi - who passed away prematurely - which brings a new touch of internationality to Florence. Despite the name, the selected chef to lead the project is Paulo Airaudo, a successful Argentine cook and entrepreneur accustomed to extremely high standards.

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The chef explains that the concept of fine dining is evolving, and people desire happy places where they can have fun and spend pleasant moments. From here, the common thread that connects two great men, Luca and Paulo: the love for conviviality and family. The restaurant has not yet opened its doors to the public, but it's almost there, with a menu already designed and currently being fine-tuned. The menu will present a classic Italian cuisine, reimagined with Airaudo's international twist.

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Despite his young age - born in 1985 - Paulo Airaudo's story is rich in experiences that have taken him from his hometown of Córdoba, Argentina, to all over the world. A lover of good food since childhood, upon reaching adulthood, he left his hometown to pursue his true passion: cooking. After enriching his experiences in Mexico and Peru, he arrived in Europe where he gained experiences in renowned Michelin-starred restaurants like Arzak in San Sebastián, The Fat Duck in London, and Magnolia in Italy. This is just the beginning of a brilliant career that, from 2017 to the present, has led him to create an empire in the world of gastronomy. An empire of great success that now includes Luca's in Florence, a destination that we expect will become a must-visit in the “city of the Lily”.

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Let's go back a few years to retrace the fundamental steps that reveal the extent of the experience coming to Florence. In 2017, Airaudo decided to return to San Sebastián to open the restaurant Amelia - which now boasts two Michelin stars - where he combines flavors, textures, and memories of over a decade of culinary experience. This is followed by the founding of the Amelia's Group, elevating the chef to the pinnacle of the international culinary world. In San Sebastián alone, they opened: 1985 Cantina, the Italian restaurant Da Filippo, La Bottega di Filippo for aperitifs and pizza by the slice, the lounge bar The Blind Pig, and finally El Bar at the Villa Favorita hotel. In Barcelona in 2021, Aleia arrives, already boasting 1 Michelin star.

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In London, on the other hand, is the two-starred Da Terra, which the chef opened and ran in collaboration with Brazilian colleague Rafael Cagali. The entrepreneurial spirit doesn't stop in the Old World and also flies to Asia with openings in Hong Kong, including Noi - set in the splendid setting of the Four Seasons Hotel - Haku - a fusion Japanese and Latin American restaurant - Amelia HK, and Da Filippo HK. In Bogotá, Colombia, Paulo launched Anima in 2022, in the new Gastronomic Complex of the Seratta Group.

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The entrepreneurial mindset of Paulo is unquestionable, and the outcomes achieved are the product of the chef's unwavering determination, as he states: "For me, learning from mistakes is crucial. I believe that an error does not become a failure until you refuse to correct it. Each mistake represents an opportunity for growth and improvement, always maintaining a positive attitude and focusing on achieving success in each of my restaurants." We are, therefore, confident that his vast experience will bring a breath of fresh gastronomy to Florence, further enhancing the already high-level culinary scene the city offers.

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Luca's is, therefore, his latest creation, a restaurant born to let guests savor dishes with genuine flavors, where fresh and seasonal ingredients take center stage. In addition to the restaurant, La Gemma Hotel also offers the experience of Luca's Lounge, an area that is dedicated to breakfast in the morning and transforms into a relaxing and convivial lounge in the evening, enriched with music, mixology, and appetizers.

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La Gemma Hotel- Luca's

Via Dei Cavalieri 2C, 50123,  Florence (IT)


Hotel Tel.: +39 055 0105200


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