Lux Lucis: Michelin-Starred Restaurant by Valentino Cassanelli

Valentino Cassanelli, born in 1984 in the picturesque town of Spilamberto, situated amidst the scenic countryside outside Modena, possesses an innate passion for the art of gastronomy.

This fervour for food was cultivated at an early age, largely influenced by his grandmother, an exceptional home cook whose culinary prowess left an indelible mark on young Valentino.

As he observed and absorbed the nuances of preparing seasonal produce for daily family meals, his journey into the culinary world began to take shape.

Lux Lucis: Michelin-Starred Restaurant by Valentino Cassanelli

Early Culinary Aspirations and Education

Valentino’s culinary aspirations led him straight to a catering college in Serramazzoni, embarking on this path at the tender age of 16.

His initial foray into the professional kitchen transpired at the renowned London restaurant Floriana, nestled in the heart of Beauchamp Place in Knightsbridge. After this formative experience, he returned to his hometown to complete his culinary education, further honing his skills in a traditional Modena restaurant.

However, the allure of London’s dynamic restaurant scene beckoned Valentino back to England. His culinary journey led him to work at esteemed establishments such as Mosaic in Mayfair, Locanda Locatelli in Marylebone, and the illustrious Nobu on Berkeley Street. Each of these experiences contributed to his culinary acumen, nurturing his passion for innovation and excellence.

A Pivotal Move to Italy: The Carlo Cracco Era

Lux Lucis: Michelin-Starred Restaurant by Valentino Cassanelli

In May 2007, Valentino made a pivotal decision to return to Italy, where he had the opportunity to work alongside the esteemed Chef Carlo Cracco in Milan. This collaboration would span three transformative years, during which Valentino built a strong bond with Carlo and expanded his horizons internationally.

As part of Carlo’s team, he had the privilege of participating in culinary events across the globe, steadily ascending the culinary ladder to ultimately assume the role of Junior Sous Chef.

In 2010, a new chapter beckoned as Valentino received an invitation from two chef friends to join them at Sangal, a popular restaurant in Venice. The synergy between these three talented chefs was immediate, united by a shared philosophy of pushing culinary boundaries through innovative techniques and ingredient combinations.

Valentino’s time at Sangal allowed him to not only grow in confidence but also to unleash his creative culinary prowess.

Return to Principe Forte dei Marmi: The Lux Lucis Era

While still at Sangal, Valentino received a significant invitation from his mentor, Carlo Cracco, to join a team for a pop-up event at Principe Forte dei Marmi in August 2011.

Simultaneously, the hotel’s management sought to revamp their internal food and beverage offerings. With Carlo’s resounding recommendation, Valentino was entrusted with the leadership of this project.

Lux Lucis: Michelin-Starred Restaurant by Valentino Cassanelli

In February 2012, Valentino Cassanelli arrived at Principe Forte dei Marmi, and within three months, he unveiled the remarkable restaurant Lux Lucis to resounding critical acclaim. The culinary establishment earned its first Michelin star in the Michelin Guide Italy 2017, cementing Valentino’s reputation as a culinary virtuoso.

An Award-Winning Culinary Experience

Valentino Cassanelli’s culinary prowess extends to Dalmazia Beach Club, where he directs the culinary offerings. Here, the cuisine harmoniously merges with the breathtaking coastal surroundings, celebrating authentic flavours and locally sourced ingredients. Diners have the option to savour their meals outdoors on the beach, under the welcoming shade of the pergola, or in a comfortable indoor setting.

For a more intimate and exclusive dining experience, Lux Lucis offers the Chef’s Table. Seated informally on stools, guests are served directly by the chefs themselves. This seven-course culinary journey is thoughtfully paired with wines and cocktails by Maitre Sommelier Sokol Ndreko and is reserved for a maximum of four guests per service.

Perched on the same rooftop, the award-winning 67 Sky Lounge bar provides a magnificent setting for aperitifs and post-dinner delights. The bar boasts an extensive drink list, featuring unique twists on Tuscan classics and original cocktails. During the winter season, the bar offers the “Taste of Lux Lucis” menu, a more relaxed and streamlined selection of the restaurant’s iconic dishes.

A Commitment to Sustainability

In collaboration with the entire Principe team, Chef Valentino Cassanelli actively implements practical measures to achieve sustainability, paying homage to the surrounding communities. Their commitment includes the elimination of single-use materials, the installation of renewable energy sources, and a reduction in waste throughout the hotel.

Lux Lucis: Michelin-Starred Restaurant by Valentino Cassanelli

Valentino also engages in dialogues with his suppliers, selecting produce that is as close to “zero kilometres” as possible and sourced exclusively from environmentally responsible producers, certified by local authorities.

His creations incorporate unique, locally sourced ingredients, some of which have seen a resurgence in popularity thanks to his culinary innovations, such as the Pastinoncello di Seravezza and the preservation of the region’s culinary heritage.

Valentino Cassanelli’s culinary journey, from his humble beginnings in Spilamberto to his stellar achievements at Lux Lucis and Dalmazia Beach Club, is a testament to his unwavering dedication to the culinary arts and a commitment to sustainable, locally sourced gastronomy. His culinary creations continue to captivate palates and elevate the dining experience to new heights.

Salon Privé

Salon Privé Magazine is the quintessence of luxury lifestyle journalism, renowned for its sophisticated portrayal of the opulent world since its inception in 2008. As a vanguard of high-end living, the magazine serves as an exclusive portal into the realms of haute couture, fine arts, and the aristocratic lifestyle. With over a decade of expertise, Salon Privé has established itself as the definitive source for those who seek the allure of luxury and elegance. The magazine's content is crafted by a cadre of experienced journalists, each bringing a wealth of knowledge from the luxury sector. This collective expertise is reflected in the magazine's diverse coverage, which spans the latest in fashion trends, intimate glimpses into royal lives, and the coveted secrets of the affluent lifestyle. Salon Privé's commitment to quality is evident in its thoughtful collaborations with industry titans and cultural connoisseurs, ensuring that its narratives are as authoritative as they are enchanting. With accolades that include being voted the number one luxury lifestyle magazine in the UK, Salon Privé continues to be at the forefront of luxury journalism, offering its discerning readership a guide to the finest experiences the world has to offer. Whether it's the grandeur of global fashion weeks, the splendor of exclusive soirées, or the pursuit of wellness and beauty, Salon Privé Magazine remains the emblem of luxury for the elite and the aspirants alike.