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Amilla Fushi’s new Barolo Grill Italian Kitchen brings Piedmont flavours to Maldives



Amilla Fushi has yet again introduced a new culinary experience, with the opening of the new Barolo Grill Italian Kitchen restaurant, located at the island’s beachside foodie hub Baazaar.

Conceived by Mark Hehir, Curator and CEO of The Small Maldives Island Co. which runs Amilla and its sister resort of Finolhu, Barolo Grill Italian Kitchen pays homage to rolling hills of Piedmont in northern Italy, a region of rich and distinctive culinary heritage perhaps best known for its famous Barolo wine.

Drawing on his extensive experience as a chef, Hehir and his team have created an inspired menu replete with exquisite antipasti, fresh handmade pasta, and select meats, fish and seafood. Simply cooked over an open flame chargrill it is delicious proof that this manna from the mountains of northern Italy works just as beautifully at sea level in the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Baa Atoll.

A hymn to the hills of Piedmont, the menu at Barolo Grill is a respectful balance of familiar ‘friends’ from the old country and fresh Maldivian twists. Antipasti include Burrata with heirloom tomato and warm aubergine with baby buffalo mozzarella and basil pesto, alongside yellow fin tuna tartare with avocado and black olive tapenade and reef fish carpaccio with taggiasca olives and lemon dressing. The signature charcuterie platter is an utterly authentic affair pairing a delectable selection of small goods with 24-year aged balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.

Fresh handmade pasta, risotto and gnocchi are complimented by ‘Land’ or ‘Ocean’ dishes from the grill, complete with recommended paired wines for selected dishes. Tagliolini pasta with pecorino cheese sauce and crushed black pepper is paired with a 2013 Itynera Prima Classe Montepulciano d’Abruzzo; Mullwara  ribeye beef with a 2013 Meroi Ros di Buri Merlot Friuli; and yellow fin tuna with a 2010 Castello della Sala Cervaro della Sala. Barolo’s house fish specialties, meanwhile, include the signature Fisherman’s Crustacean Stew, slow cooked with blood orange peel, hints of roasted garlic, chilli, thyme and basil, and served with crusty aglio e olio sourdough croutons hot from the pan. Wash it down with a crisp Antinori Santa Cristina, before surrendering to the temptation of the house Dolci – will it be authentic gelato or tiramisu, the more tropical tastes of mango and passionfruit pannacotta or a cheesecake cheekily pairing another of Piedmont’s world-famous exports, Nutella, with a sweetly sour cherry sorbet?

Barolo Grill’s tasting kitchen also gives diners an opportunity to sample special gastronomic menus showcasing some of the region’s most famous wines, together with signature sourdough, marinated olives and delectable artisanal cheeses and charcuterie.

The opening of Barolo Grill Italian Kitchen is the latest hot helping of culinary creativity from the team at Amilla, following hard on the heels of the launch of the island’s new fairytale, festival-inspired Destination Dining den Mystique Garden, and the first edition of a four-stage pop-up partnership with Gordon Ramsay‘s celebrated Bread Street Kitchen. Subsequent Bread Street Kitchen pop-ups will take up residence in Barolo Grill Italian Kitchen from October 16-27; December 19, 2017 to January 10, 2018; and March 23 to April 7, 2018.

The new openings and pipeline of pop-up residencies from the hottest restaurant names underscore Amilla’s deserved reputation for culinary excellence and creativity, and add to the island’s pantheon of food and drink experiences.

As well as Barolo Grill, the island’s breezy culinary heartbeat Baazaar features Joe’s Pizza, the traditional British chippy-inspired Fish and Chips, Fresh and Wok. Emperor General Store is a sophisticated, gourmet café-deli where guests can eat in or grab takeaway snacks, drinks and light meals to enjoy in the privacy of their House. The Wine Cellar serves up carefully curated fine wines and artisanal cheeses, while Amilla’s fabulous 60-cover, signature overwater restaurant Feeling Koi showcases a selection of artfully crafted sushi, nigiri and sashimi in Japanese-inspired minimalist surroundings with a private open-air dining room and open deck seating by the water’s edge and an open kitchen.

Located just 30 minutes by seaplane from the Maldives’ main Velana International Airport, Amilla offers a choice of 59 Houses that sit gracefully over crystal clear waters, nestle among lush tree tops or hug the shores of pristine white sand; plus eight spectacular four- to eight-bedroom Beach Residences ideally suited to large families, groups of friends and VVIPs seeking the ultimate in space and privacy.


Intercontinental Maldives welcomes Chef Mauro Panebianco for exclusive residency



InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort has announced a week-long residency with Mauro Panebianco, an excellent chef known for his exquisite take on Italian cuisine. Set to take place between April 27th and May 4th, guests can look forward to an incredible culinary spectacle as the chef will be preparing various dishes for 3 nights at Lighthouse, an oceanfront culinary gem renowned for its brilliant Mediterranean culinary creations and scenic views.

Passionate about food since his early years, Chef Mauro has over 3 decades of experience mastering Italian cuisine. Originally from Busto Arsizio, a city that serves as the gateway to Milan, Chef Mauro has worked with a series of renowned establishments around the world, including La Terrazza in Rome and the Giorgio Armani restaurant in Munich. He is currently the Executive Chef of Cantinetta Antinori in Moscow, where he has spent nearly 2 decades honing his skills in crafting the finest Italian dishes and pastries.

The talented chef will also help host a management cocktail event, presenting his signature canapes and offering guests a glimpse into the artistry behind his creations. Driven by his passion for culinary excellence and a desire to impart knowledge, Chef Mauro will organise a masterclass delving into the intricate techniques of preparing pasta and pesto from scratch. This enlightening masterclass will offer participants a hands-on experience and inspire them to develop their skills in creating the essential elements of Italian cuisine.

Chef Mauro believes in infusing every dish with emotion, offering guests a journey of exquisite simplicity and taste that leaves a lasting impression on their senses and memories. During the residency, he will be showcasing his culinary artistry for 3 unforgettable nights, crafting gastronomic masterpieces that embody his philosophy and embrace the timeless elegance of Italy, creating a truly exceptional dining experience.

The Lighthouse restaurant, where this incredible gastronomic journey will take place, celebrates the rich Mediterranean cuisine and sources the finest ingredients and seafood. Located at an enchanting lighthouse, the restaurant offers a breathtaking 360-degree view of the property and the serene Indian Ocean. With its warm and inviting atmosphere and alfresco setting, complemented by the exquisite dishes prepared by Chef Mauro, the Lighthouse restaurant is the ideal choice for discerning diners seeking an elegant dining affair.

Tucked away in the secluded Maamunagau island, this astonishing resort offers a charming setting where guests can unwind and immerse themselves in the natural beauty of this tropical archipelago. With Chef Mauro coming soon to join the resort for his residency, diners are invited to embark on a culinary voyage to the heart of Italy, where every dish reflects the passion, expertise, and artistry of this authentic cuisine.

Rates for stays in April 2024 start from USD 1058 ++ per night in an Overwater Pool Villa, including daily breakfast for two and Club Intercontinental benefits including complimentary daily afternoon tea, aperitif hour and pool refreshments. For more information, please visit or contact

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Taste of ‘Just Veg Festival’ at Atmosphere Kanifushi with renowned Chef Fabrizio Marino



Across the globe, people continue to be drawn to vegetarian, health-conscious cuisines. Beyond their visually appealing presentation, these flavourful plant-based and fruit-forward meals offer a world of benefits. Embracing this ethos and responding to increased demand, Atmosphere Kanifushi announces a ‘summer special’ leading up to the Just Veg Festival scheduled for Q3 2024. Widely acclaimed Italian Chef Fabrizio Marino will host the culinary event from 21st to 26th June 2024 at the award-winning Just Veg speciality restaurant.

Guests will be treated to an exclusive five-course dinner hosted by Chef Fabrizio, on pre-booking complimentary with the Kanifushi PlanTM. The spectacularly innovative progressive menu lines up two new recipes, a coconut-milk-based creation bursting with flavours and a progressive dish that blends Indian and Italian cuisines. Also back on popular demand is the fresh smoked cottage cheese and vegetables dish, ‘Bite By Bite.’ Many of the ingredients, from coconuts to herbs, are handpicked by the chefs from the restaurant’s own garden.

“Summer brings with it fresh harvests, and in fact June is also celebrated as the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month in some countries. Studies have shown that a plant-focused lifestyle can help in reducing health risks. At Just Veg there’s a conscious effort to introduce meat alternatives to travellers, from protein-based dishes using cottage cheese and legumes to greens and the use of truffles for a touch of indulgence,” says Raman Gomathi, Director of Food and Beverage at Atmosphere Kanifushi.

Chef Fabrizio is the soul of infamously-refined vegetarian restaurant Maggese, located in Tuscany countryside. For the past three years, he has been travelling across the ocean to Kanifushi, where he closely collaborates with the culinary team to present the Just Veg festival and refresh the restaurant’s menu with an artistic, innovative and flavoursome touch.

Commenting on this special summer edition, Chef Fabrizio states, Fabrizio says “I’ve always pushed the boundaries; recreating sumptuous, homely favourites by choosing the finest natural ingredients, and letting the fruit and vegetables speak for themselves. This year, we’re bringing the richness of Indian and Italian flavours to the plate. Inviting guests for a uniquely-mindful dining experience, as they connect over food, wine and the beauty of the Indian Ocean.”

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Sun Siyam Iru Veli unveils 2 new guest experiences: Floating Delights, Private Lagoon Breakfast



Expanding its collection of remarkable island memories, Sun Siyam Iru Veli has presented two exceptional signature guest experiences: the Floating Delights and the Private Lagoon Breakfast, promising moments of unparalleled indulgence and exclusivity.

Just when you thought the insta-worthy moments couldn’t get any better at Sun Siyam Iru Veli, the Floating Delight Experience emerges as the essence of picture-perfect indulgence. This new experience is available at guests’ fingertips, accessible with a simple call or message to the island butler. Guests can picture this: a floating marvel dispatched at their request, arriving at their very own villa, suite, or private beach at any time of the day or night. Whether it’s a sunrise breakfast with an ocean view, a midday snack by the private pool, or an evening aperitif under the starlit sky in the lagoon, the Floating Delight caters to every whim.

The culinary delights are a celebration of the Maldives’ bounty, featuring an array of delicacies that showcase the resort’s commitment to gastronomic excellence. From succulent tropical fruits to buttery pastries, skillfully crafted sushi rolls to tantalizing tapenades, the variety of choice with the Floating Delights promises a symphony of flavors that will leave an everlasting impression. And the magic doesn’t end with the setting sun – the Floating Delights remain available throughout the night.

Sun Siyam Iru Veli invites guests to embark on the ultimate indulgence with the Private Lagoon Breakfast – a tranquil experience that combines the serenity of the ocean with utmost privacy right at the shore in front of your villa.

Guests can imagine waking up to crystal-clear waters and a palm-fringed island backdrop. As the island team sets the scene for an idyllic morning in paradise, nature is complemented with a calm sea, a rising sun, and the gentle lapping of waves against the shore. Catering to every whim and desire, Sun Siyam Iru Veli offers the opportunity to enjoy a sumptuous breakfast in the secluded haven of our villa’s private garden or a sandy spot by the water’s edge. Various menus are available to choose from while a meticulously arranged spread unfolds, featuring freshly baked pastries, tropical fruits, and a variety of delectable treats designed to ignite everyone’s senses.

The Private Lagoon Breakfast is a moment to linger and savor, allowing guests to become one with the breathtaking beauty that surrounds them.

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