Chef Marco Garfagnini joined Jumeirah in July 2018 as Executive Chef – Jumeirah Al Naseem. Today, as Jumeirah continues its drive to elevate its restaurant experiences worldwide, Chef Marco leads the Al Naseem culinary team and has taken a new responsibility as the Head Chef of SAL – a striking new destination at Burj Al Arab Jumeirah serving sea-inspired Southern European dishes. Chef Marco works closely with Michael Ellis, Chief Culinary Officer, and José Silva, CEO, to support the Group’s restaurant and dining development across the portfolio.
Chef Marco Garfagnini was born in Tuscany. An Italian who was destined to cook, he cultivated his passion for cooking in his family kitchen in Carrara before then continuing his skill abroad; in Paris, London, and New York. Bringing decades of experience in the world’s top kitchens to Jumeirah, Chef Marco’s passion lies in the art of creating great dining experiences that offer simple, harmonious cuisines - cooking from the heart.
Under his leadership in Jumeirah, he helped drive the successful Jumeirah Beach Hotel relaunch opening. In this role as the Executive Chef for Jumeirah Al Naseem, he leads a team of +150 chefs and stewards and is responsible for seven restaurants – The Palmery, Rockfish, Summersalt, Kalsa, Ambar, Al Mandhar, and Sugarmash. He also manages the banquet operations and private dining. His priority is to create unique offerings, making Jumeirah Al Naseem not only the place to stay but also a leading hotel in its culinary offerings.
Prior to his time in Jumeirah, Chef Marco had a remarkable journey, full of prestigious accolades in the culinary world. In 1999, at an age of just 25, he opened his own restaurant Ristorante Ninan is Carrara, and was awarded his first Michelin star 1999. In 2011, Chef Marco led the way for ll Lago at Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues, Geneva to receive its first Michelin star. And in 2015, he was the Corporate Executive Chef at Chateau de Noirieux Relais & Chateaux in Briollay, France and was awarded the first Michelin star for the hotel. In 2016, before taking his role with Jumeirah, Chef Marco joined Pierre Gagnaire as Executive Chef de Cuisine for all his restaurants, including the iconic Courchevel property, Les Airelles. His restaurants were recognised by Michelin Guide with two stars.
Chef Marco was also named Young Italian Chef of the Year by renowned Italian Gambero Rosso guide. And was recognised a finalist for the Best Chef in Italy award.