SHOAL BAY EAST, ANGUILLA (November 30, 2016) – Roberto Leoci is named Executive Chef at one of the Caribbean’s hottest new boutique resorts in Anguilla, Zemi Beach House. Appointed by resort management company Trust Hospitality, Montreal-born Leoci will lead the culinary charge for the resort’s four restaurant concepts including Stone, 20 Knots, Shoal Bay Beach Club and the Rhum Room. Fresh off the heels of earning his fifth consecutive title as the Savannah Georgia’s “Best Chef,” he brings years of entrepreneurial restaurant expertise to storied Shoal Bay East, along with a keen sense of artisanal cooking and awareness.
Leoci grew up in a household of artisan cheese and salumi makers, craft wine makers and cooks, where going to the local farmer’s market daily was a way of life. Exposure to Southern Italian cuisine and tradition at an early age fueled his desire to train at La Scuola di Arte Culinaria Cordon Blue in Florence, Italy. From Florence, Leoci moved to Key Biscayne, Florida to further his skills at the Ritz-Carlton. Simultaneously, he worked as a private chef for exclusive families on Fisher Island in Miami, Florida and traveled around the globe to cater private dinners and parties for celebrity clientele. As a private chef for high-profile clients, Leoci mastered the art of crafting elaborate meals using the best seasonal ingredients he could find locally.
Taking his passion for local ingredients and authentic Italian cuisine to new heights, Leoci launched his own restaurant in 2009 called Trattoria Leoci in Savannah, Georgia. Boasting homemade pastas, brick-oven pizzas and an enticing wine list, the restaurant gained quick popularity and was named “Savannah’s Best Italian Restaurant” for four consecutive years by Connect Savannah. Following the same formula, Leoci went on to open Pacci Italian Kitchen + Bar with Kimpton Hotels in downtown Savannah.
“I believe that dishes should maintain the authentic taste developed generations and centuries ago,” says Chef Leoci. “I’m eager to help drive the success of Zemi Beach House’s unique variety of restaurants with cuisine inspired by my international travels – highlighting handmade dishes with fresh ingredients boasting Caribbean flavors for an experience that lives up to Anguilla’s culinary reputation.”
Prior to Zemi beach House, Leoci earned a variety of achievements. After fostering close relationships with farmers across Georgia, he was recognized by the Department of Agriculture in 2014 as one of Georgia’s Grown Executive Chefs. Other accomplishments include his mention in the inaugural edition the book, Best Chefs America; title of “Best Chef” by Savannah Morning News Readers; Miami Food and Wine Festival Host Chef 2014; Iron Chef Savannah champion in 2013; and James Beard Dinner Participating Dinner Chef 2015. Additionally, earlier this year, he launched Leoci Gourmet Food, which manufactures artisanal jams, pasta sauces, meats and salumis.