Luciana Righi

Luciana Righi was born and raised in Ravenna, Italy, which is situated in the Emilia-Romagna region on Italy’s Northern Adriatic coast. The region is home to towns and cities such as Bologna, Rimini and Parma and also includes the very fertile Po Valley, which is considered the breadbasket of Italy.

Aged 40, Luciana moved to Johannesburg in 1982. There she worked in a kitchen for the first time, at Rugantino. Inspired and tutored by her Mother and Grandmother, both avid cooks, Luciana applied her formidable skill and natural talent in the kitchen, to not only survive in a foreign country, but excel at her craft.

Between 1982 and 1997 Luciana owned and operated 4 different restaurants in Johannesburg and South Broom, Natal, which included La Brocca, Trattoria del Fico, Trattoria La Terazza (South Broom, Natal) and Tré Nonni.

In 1997 Luciana returned to her hometown of Ravenna, Italy and opened a small self titled trattoria, Trattoria Luciana. However, after 4 years in Italy missing the lifestyle and warmth of the South African climate, Luciana returned to Johannesburg in 2001 where along with her son Giancarlo, she opened the hugely successful Illovo restaurant - Assaggi.

Assaggi was later sold and this leads us to July 2012 when the perfect location became available for what will surely be Luciana’s crowning achievement, the conception and development of the restaurant Amarcord Italian Food.

Mario Guerini

Born in Brescia, Italy, Mario Guerini moved to South Africa at age 6. He demonstrated a love for cooking even at this early age, and served many spectacular meals in the family home.

Mario started his hospitality journey with the Southern Sun group of hotels in 1991 where he received an in house internship to study for a diploma in Hotel Management specialising in Food and Beverage. He was nominated runner up trainee of the year for Southern Africa after 3 years of study. Mario has worked in various 4 and 5 star establishments with highlights including being part of the opening team for the Sandton Towers Hotel, and hosting Nelson Mandela's 80th birthday party with 2051 local and international guests including the likes of Michael Jackson and Danny Glover to name a few, at Gallagher Estate.

Mario decided to leave hospitality in 2003, trying his hand at the plastics industry. His first love came calling again in 2005, when Giancarlo asked Mario to open Al Fiume. During this time, Luciana had been off-sick and Mario helped out at Assaggi, for what was supposed to be a few days. When Luciana returned from leave however, she insisted that Mario stay at Assaggi and the rest, as they say is history.

Joining forces again at Amarcord, this unstoppable team is at the pinnacle of their craft and sure to become another success story.

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