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Luigi Fineo Appointed Andrea Ristorante Head Chef

The Resort at Pelican Hill today announced the appointment of Luigi Fineo as head chef for Andrea Ristorante, the Resort’s acclaimed Northern Italian restaurant. The accomplished chef will recreate authentic cuisine bursting with the true flavors of Italy, drawing upon deep-rooted family cooking traditions, his early culinary training in Italy and techniques developed during his professional career in America, most recently with the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group.

“Chef Luigi brings an inherent passion and masterful skill for traditional Italian cuisine, proven through the Michelin star he earned previously as a head chef for an Italian restaurant here in Southern California,” said Pelican Hill Executive Chef Jean-Pierre Dubray. “Through his experience in the kitchens of the renowned Chef Thomas Keller, Luigi has honed an intense pursuit of excellence that is certain to shine through in the seasonally driven dishes and signature items he presents to Andrea guests.”

As Andrea Chef, Fineo will lead menu development, kitchen operations and mentorship of the restaurant’s culinary team. Fineo’s commitment to using high-quality, locally sourced ingredients and his personal attention to the development and execution of gluten-free pasta recipes will be reflected in Andrea’s lunch and dinner menus beginning in the fall season. Guests may anticipate seasonally driven, classic Italian fare that Fineo prepares using precise techniques to unite old-world recipes with Southern California’s finest ingredients.

Prior to joining Andrea, Fineo spent more than two years with the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group at two globally acclaimed restaurants in California, including The French Laundry in the Napa Valley and Bouchon in Beverly Hills. Previously, Fineo earned consecutive Michelin star ratings in 2008 and 2009 as executive chef of La Botte Ristorante in Santa Monica. Before that, he was sous chef at Drago Enoteca in Beverly Hills.

Born and raised in Southern Italy in the small town of Gioia del Colla, Puglia, Fineo graduated from the Italian Culinary Institute I.P.S.S.A.R.T in Bari, Italy. Before moving to the United States, Fineo’s early culinary career spanned Italy from south to north as sous chef at Beccofino Ristorante in Florence and Michelin-starred restaurant Shöeneck Ristorante in Falze, near Italy’s northern border. Fineo currently resides in Santa Monica, Calif.

About Pelican Hill®

Set on 504 acres by the Pacific Ocean in Newport Beach, Pelican Hill features: 128 two-, three- and four-bedroom villas with magnificent coastal views and an unparalleled array of appointments, immersing guests in the absolute finest of everything; 204 luxuriously appointed bungalow guest rooms and suites with private terraces; a rejuvenating Five-Star spa with a menu of the world’s most celebrated therapies; world-class restaurants, including Andrea serving authentic Northern Italian cuisine; an iconic “Coliseum Pool,” one of the largest circular pools anywhere with tiered decks and luxurious cabanas; and Pelican Hill Golf Club with 36 dramatic holes by Tom Fazio, nearly all with ocean panoramas. A Five-Diamond destination, Pelican Hill has earned acclaim as the 2012 Grand Resort selected by Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report, as Condé Nast Traveler’s #1 U.S. Resort, Top-Rated Golf Resort Worldwide and Top-Rated California Resort Spa (2011 Readers’ Choice Awards), in Travel + Leisure’s “Top 100” World’s Best Hotels (2011 Readers’ Poll), and with two courses ranked among Golf Digest’s America’s 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses (2011).

The Irvine Company Resort Properties owns and manages the finest resort and leisure destinations in Newport Coast and the City of Irvine. In addition to Pelican Hill, the portfolio includes the Island Hotel Newport Beach, the city’s landmark property and only AAA Five Diamond hotel; Hyatt Regency Irvine, the city’s only Four Diamond hotel; Oak Creek Golf Club in Irvine, featuring a challenging, Tom Fazio-designed public golf course; and several of the finest marinas in Newport Harbor and Northern California.

About the Irvine Company

The Irvine Company is an internationally renowned real estate development company known for its award-winning master-planned communities, its vast portfolio of high-quality investment properties and its leadership in conservation and natural resource management.  The growing real estate portfolio encompasses office, apartment, retail and resort holdings located throughout California’s premier markets, including assets in San Diego, Orange and Los Angeles Counties, and holdings in Northern California.  As a steward of some of America’s most beautiful and scientifically important open space and parklands, the company has donated more than half of the historic 93,000-acre Irvine Ranch in Orange County — 50,000 acres — to permanently preserve these lands. The U.S. Department of Interior and the State of California have designated these parklands as “Natural Landmarks,” one of the most prestigious land preservation designations. The privately held, diversified company traces its roots to the 1860s with the formation of The Irvine Ranch® from Mexican and Spanish land grants.