Well traveled and well seasoned, Davide Pugliese is a chef who gets involved with food, friends and life with equal amounts of passion. Born in Torino and raised in Firenze, Italy, Davide was weaned on his mother’s distinctive Northern Italian cooking. Learning the secret to fragrant and flavorsome dishes from his Mama’s kitchen, he brags that it was the best culinary school in the world.
Transitioning from art and fashion photography in Firenze, Italy and New York City to an epicurean career, Davide learned the trade from one of the City’s finest chefs, Fabrizio Bottero at 65 Irving Place. He moved to the British Virgin Islands in 1985 and currently resides at Wali Nikiti, the Scrub Island home and culinary retreat owned by him and his wife, Cele.
As the owner and executive chef of Brandywine Bay Restaurant, Tortola (1988 – 2010), Davide created a landmark restaurant that became the venue of choice for entertaining visiting dignitaries and for hosting government and corporate dinners. His reputation earned him a coveted invitation to host a dinner at the James Beard House, NYC.
After selling Brandywine Bay Restaurant, Davide provided his expertise as a consultant Executive Chef to Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Virgin Gorda where he was instrumental in the set up and design of the Clubhouse kitchen and where he served as the Executive Chef in the opening months. He also took on the role of consultant Executive Chef at the exclusive Amangiri, an Aman Resort in Utah before returning to the BVI and taking up the post of Executive Chef for Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina for the 2012/13 season.
Davide now offers culinary and hospitality consultancy services to local, regional, and USA based commercial and private kitchens. He also runs cooking classes, customized according to the requests and dietary predilections of individuals, couples and small groups.
Davide instinctively knows how to use intriguing ingredients sampled during his travels throughout the Caribbean and beyond to create something sensational. His talents have been recognized globally with invitations to cook in his native country at Cala di Volpe, Sardinia, and to participate in winemakers’ dinners and celebrity chef events throughout the USA and the Caribbean.
Davide was a key figure in the evolution of the food culture in the BVI. He was a chef and team manager of the BVI Culinary Team, bringing home bronze and silver medals from the “Taste of the Caribbean” competitions held in Jamaica, Puerto Rico and Miami. He has also participated in the Gastronomic Competition of American Beef, USMEF, in Mexico City in 2005 (as a finalist) and in 2008. He continues to raise the territory’s’ gastronomic profile on the international scenes.
Davide has brought his particular brand of Caribbean flavour to Florida at the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival and thrills palates at the charitable Celebrity Chef’s Brunch in Wilmington DE. A brand ambassador for Certified Angus Beef®, Davide has demonstrated his original recipes created for cuts of Certified Angus Beef® at food shows in Puerto Rico and the Cayman Islands. He was a featured 2010 celebrity chef at the four-diamond, Waterlot Inn Restaurant, Bermuda and is regularly sought out to serve as a host chef for illustrious visitors to the BVI.