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Officine Gullo has created two outdoor kitchen projects for two absolute jewels of luxury hospitality in Tuscany, owned by the prestigious Belmond group. Villa San Michele in the Florentine hills and Castello di Casole in the province of Siena.
Surrounded by the hills of Fiesole, Villa San Michele is built on an old Renaissance monastery, with terraced gardens and incredible views over Florence and the Chianti area. A fabulous boutique hotel, a place where the past meets the future, in a villa overlooking the eternal beauty of Florence. The outdoor kitchen by Officine Gullo, installed under the portico of the restaurant and pizzeria adjacent to the panoramic pool, has enhanced the unique, exclusive atmosphere, allowing the chefs to have the high-end restaurant equipment of a professional indoor kitchen at their disposal, but outside. In its outdoor kitchens, Officine Gullo takes all of the added values of its solutions into the open air: high technology; better performance; unmistakable style, and infinite customization possibilities.
For this design, the matt beige kitchen (RAL 1019) with satin chrome finish consists of a linear cooker with a pizza oven and lava stone barbecue, as well as two parallel islands. The first island is dedicated to food prep and washing, while the second one includes a chilled display counter for meat and fish. All kitchen worktops are made of Antolini quartzite. Villa San Michele chose Officine Gullo to create this bespoke outdoor poolside kitchen, “because of its history and tradition, exclusivity, attention to detail and, above all, the unique possibility to customize the designs”. The owners’ request was to make the most of the pool area with an informal, interactive restaurant concept. A kitchen that is functional but attractive and appealing at the same time. Officine Gullo met the needs of Villa San Michele, which was looking for “a timeless style that could communicate well with our spaces and where guests would feel at home”, says Alfio Liotta, Executive Assistant Manager in charge of catering: “We want to offer an interactive experience, through show-cooking to make the most of the relationship between the guests and our team”. The chefs, who wanted an absolutely practical and functional kitchen, also played an important part in the design process: every space was studied down to the tiniest detail to allow them to move easily and confidently within the area. Officine Gullo also created two trolleys for Villa San Michele, one for making cocktails and the other for serving cheese at the restaurant tables. Two compact, versatile pieces, created by combining hard-wearing materials and clever design to achieve appealing, practical results.
Two wide avenues bordered by cypress trees lead up to Castello di Casole, an old castle where the gaze loses itself in the backdrop of endless vineyards. A noble estate boasting a history that dates back to ancient times, it has hosted royalty, film stars, and important politicians over the years. Now the buildings have been carefully restored, in homage to a past that is rich with history. At the same time, they offer all modern comforts.
At Castello di Casole, just a short distance from the spectacular infinity pool, Officine Gullo has created an outdoor kitchen in gloss Pearl White (RAL 1013) with brushed chrome finishes, consisting of three elements: a kitchen with barbecue and pizza oven, an island with sink, induction plates and pasta cooker and a steel-topped prep counter.
“We chose Officine Gullo for its great history, unmistakable aesthetics, and its practical use. The idea was to create a genuine poolside restaurant, seeking a classic style that is deeply rooted in Tuscan traditions and at the same time, “on the cutting edge”, says Luca Corsini, Food & Beverage Manager at Castello di Casole.
The project was defined in detail thanks also to contributions from the chefs at the hotel who, together with the Officine Gullo design studio, fine-tuned every detail in the kitchen. Daniele Sera, Executive Chef at Castello di Casole explains: “We will be using the kitchen not only to create our dishes but also to interact with our guests. We appreciate the exclusivity of being able to make the most of our pool area, by cooking in front of guests and interacting with them. An outdoor kitchen must have the same practical features as an indoor one, but it also needs to be able to withstand the elements and show attention to detail, since everything is on display.”
The Officine Gullo outdoor kitchens are designed for outdoor living and feature the use of top-quality AISI 316 stainless steel which is well known for its excellent ability to resist corrosion. This material, which features a low ferrous content, offers unequaled durability, absolute resistance to corrosion, and an elegant design that brings out the very best in any decorative setting.
Pietro Gullo, Managing Director of Officine Gullo, has this to say about the collaboration: “We are honored to have designed kitchens for two of the most prestigious luxury hotels in Tuscany. We share some fundamental values with Belmond, first and foremost the common objective of striving to offer the very best in terms of quality and exclusivity. In other words, excellence”.
The collaboration between Officine Gullo and Belmond will see further developments: for the coming summer season, the outdoor kitchen at Villa San Michele will be expanded with new elements to furnish the outdoor spaces at the Villa in the same timeless style.