Alberto Faccani joins Soneva Fushi for Flying Sauces residency

Maldivian luxury resort Soneva Fushi has teamed up with Italian chef and entrepreneur Alberto Faccani to bring Italy’s two Michelin-starred Magnolia Ristorante to the hotel’s fine-dining zipline restaurant, Flying Sauces.

Running from 1 February to 30 April, the exclusive residency will showcase Faccani’s signature style that is entirely driven by food, crafted using noteworthy ingredients with no anchoring to tradition and a focus on the dining experience as a whole.

Faccani honed his skills at an early age at the Michelin-starred La Frasca and Enoteca Pinchiorri restaurants. Learning technical experimentation from Gualtiero Marchesi and Ferran Adrià, as well as the expert handling of raw materials from Massimiliano Alajmo, helped inspire his culinary style and forge his own path. In 2003 he opened Magnolia Ristorante in northern Italy’s gastronomic region of Emilia-Romagna, serving creative seafood dishes with strong local roots, imaginative combinations and striking presentation.

In his role as chef and entrepreneur, Faccani oversees Magnolia Ristorante and Relais Villa Margherita, as well as the Magnolia-To-Go concept – an itinerant van that interprets haute cuisine with street food. This initiative also gave rise to Magnolia Catering, which organises private and public events throughout Europe, and his new Ristorante Veranda, which will take pride of place along the Cesenatico seafront, is scheduled to open in February 2023.

Working alongside Faccani during the 12-week residency will be Chef de Partie at Magnolia Ristorante, Sean Conti. Hailing from Longiano in the region of Emilia-Romagna, Chef Conti studied Fine Art in Milan before donning his chef whites and forging a career in the culinary industry. With extensive experience working in Michelin-starred kitchens, Conti combines his knowledge of fine art with his passion for food to create visually striking dishes.

Launched in 2021, Flying Sauces is the first fine-dining zipline experience in the world, complete with an open treetop kitchen 12m above the ground. After being securely strapped into safety harnesses, guests soar along a 200m zipline route to reach an elevated dining platform where stunning views of the island’s lush greens and sparkling turquoise ocean await.

“Ristorante Magnolia is the realisation of a lifelong dream. It allowed me to express my passion for cooking and to work on other important projects, including a collaboration with Soneva Fushi,” explains chef Alberto. “The sea is part of me. Feeling it close gives me the energy and strength I need. Furthermore, its breeze accompanies me, every day, all the way to the kitchen. This allows me to unleash my creativity through different forms, giving traditional recipes a new and contemporary twist. With the help and support of my colleagues, I can bring my idea of cooking to life in several places around the world at the same time.”