MICHELIN Guide Awards

George Restaurant Sets a New Record: The First Fine Dining Destination in Naples With 2 Michelin Stars.

Lucia Facchini
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It's a significant achievement for Naples, crowning the Grand Hotel Parker’s as the "Record-Hotel": Domenico Candela brings 2 Michelin stars to the city center and enters the Neapolitan Hall of Fame.

George Restaurant is the first two stars restaurant in the centre of Naples

"Years ago, I trained in soccer. I had little interest in gastronomy; my playing field was different, and it seems like a lifetime ago. Yet, a thought always accompanies me: the team, the shared goals, the same hunger for improvement. Nothing is achieved alone, but in a group, everything is possible."

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Difficult for Domenico Candela to be self-centered when the conversation turns to cuisine. Pure coincidence? It doesn't seem so, judging by the results: his restaurant, George, is the first in Naples to bring 2 Michelin stars to the city center, fresh from the record just achieved in the 69th Michelin Guide Italy. This milestone adds to another record: the presence of fine dining in the oldest hotel in the city.

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Not bad for a former athlete in an apron who set out from Campania with the idea of starting an entirely new training, including a French culinary gym. Years abroad have given depth to dishes that now appear multilingual and robust in identity, attracting an international audience to the 25-seat panoramic terrace of the Grand Hotel Parker's.

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And it doesn't end here because the establishment has several virtuous projects in its favor (see the collaboration with the Social Cooperative Nesis, which provides the splendid ceramics made by young people from the Juvenile Penitentiary Institute of Nisida), as well as a distinguished Sommelier like Enrico Moschella, engaged in an active dialogue with the chef, resulting in pairings that are often "dazzling". The rest is done by the setting: a venue well integrated into the Liberty volumes of the building and, at the same time, capable of carving out a premium view over the Gulf of Naples.

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Domenico, the second Michelin star is a confirmation of tremendous dedication. In your opinion, what led to the transition from one to two Michelin stars in the new guide?

Since the opening in 2019, we have been working with dedication, always seeking feedback from customers to enhance the overall experience. On one hand, the upgrade is a result of this approach, and on the other hand, it concerns the preparations: if initially the menu instinctively focused on the local territory, today George enthusiastically embraces the world. This means using products of which we are proud, but also adopting a perspective of exploration and harmonizing complex techniques. We like the idea that guests can find both memory and character in the same forkful.

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For Naples, it's a significant milestone. Do you think this will be the trigger for a change in the city?

I am pleased that throughout these years, the residents have lived and supported our growth. Despite managing a broad international flow at the Parker's, the Campanians dining at George represent 40% of the clientele and return because they are intrigued by uncommon flavors. The acidity and bitterness, almost absent in many Neapolitan recipes, peek through familiar ingredients in our dishes. So, people play along, get used to the innovation, and come to "test" the latest menu. I remember that when I left Naples 10 years ago, there was a "void" in fine dining that we were gradually filling: you had to reach the Coast for experimental places. Today, I think of Antiquario, awarded by the 50 Best, and the increasing number of Michelin-starred restaurants. We hope to contribute to making the city more and more a gastronomic hub, for enthusiasts and beyond.

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You mentioned that the "team" is crucial. How do you motivate the young members of your brigade?

Many of us, in the past, have undergone tough training: I remember the challenging moments of the beginnings, elevating the human factor as a training tool. With the young ones, I want to be present, guide them without forcing them, and, above all, set the right example. As Gualtiero Marchesi stated: "The teacher is the one who teaches by example." Each person also requires a different approach. Similar to sports, roles and attitudes need to be respected.

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Will you change anything after receiving the second Michelin star?

I don't think so. I believe the leap forward is a confirmation of what we have built so far, and as you know, stability is essential for balance. The menu recently underwent some changes; now we have a journey featuring "November" white truffle, a yearly delight that I'm happy to reintroduce. Dramatically raising prices? Absolutely not. Here, not only gourmands but also enthusiasts who want to treat themselves to a special dinner should feel welcome: without customers, we are nothing. In terms of investments, it's worth mentioning that those working on vegetable refinement can incorporate avant-garde "green" dishes, somewhat trimming the budget. My choice to connect origins and research also aligns with this: I look beyond the city horizon but never forget where I grew up.

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Grand Hotel Parker's - George Restaurant

C.so Vittorio Emanuele 13580121 Napoli (Italy)

Restaurant Tel: +39 081 761 2474


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