Mauricio Giovanini and his wife Pia Ninci own and run the much praised restaurant Messina in Marbella: Celebrating keeping its Michelin Star as one of only four restaurants in Marbella and maintaining their position as one of the places to dine in our fair town.

Mauricio was born in Argentina and moved to Spain with his wife in 2002. After a short while, some eight months, they opened their first Messina in the ‘Old Town’. After much success they out grew their little restaurant and took an unprecedented leap of faith by moving to the outskirts of town to the building adjoining the Hotel Fuerte Miramar. The move proved very successful as by 2015 they had gained a Michelin star and were placed in the 2016 edition.

Mauricio like most dedicated professionals of this standard works hard to continue to inspire and create dishes that his clients will be in awe of. He cooks from the heart, but never forgets the techniques that make a great chef and great cookery.

Virtually self taught he has gained his skills through perseverance and dedication but also having the freedom to do his own thing in the kitchen. Claiming that he has no particular style or identity just the freedom to cook what he wants, how he wants and when he wants. Sounds like a good format to me.

Mauricio’s youth was spent more eating in restaurants than clubbing. This enabled him to understand food from the client’s point of you and as he remarked once, if you know the basis of how and what to eat that serves you well as a chef. Citing flavour, richness and style as the main ingredients to a good dish; that and ensuring that the diner eats something they know they could not, or would not, prepare at home.

Admitting that to achieve a Michelin Star takes hard work and long hours: and to keep it the same. It doesn’t get easier but he accepts that it gets more enjoyable.

Diners at this tastefully decorated eatery invariable opt for one of the Menú Deugstación a nine and 12 course tasting menus reflecting the Chef’s style and a ‘doff of the cap’ to his home country as some dishes have an Argentinean influence. At 67€ and 85€ respectively they may not be considered ‘cheap’ but they are good value for money. Even allow the sommelier to arrange your wine flight for you to pair the wines for further enjoyment (27€/38€)

There is also an a la carte menu for those that prefer a standard 2/3 course meal.

With Dani Garcia achieving his second Michelin star for ‘Dani Garcia’ at the Puente Romano I am sure that Mauricio and Pia will not be far behind.