Head chef of restaurant Zur Keiserkron,
Claudio Melis has left Sardinia to conquer
the world with his cuisine.

Life is nothing more than a long sequence of moments sliding doors. Whether it’s the chance or the will to guide us, at any crossroad we find in front of us, many possibilities open and many of them close. The life and career of Claudio Melis is a long succession of moments like this. Cook by chance, Claudio makes studies in Sardinia, where after high school he attends the Hotel School of Sassari. He graduates with honors.

After school, he starts working at the bars of the Emerald Coast during the summer season. It is here, that he gets acquainted with one of the most important people in his career, a pastry chief. A professional who has worked with such big names as Gualtiero Marchesi and Frédy Giradet.

This man sees something special in Claudio and invites him to Milan for a tasting event in the restaurant of Marchesi. It is when Claudio figures out that if he wants to go on doing his job, that is the only way he wants to do it.

Thus, thanks to the intervention of his friend baker, he moves to France where he remains for one year and a half getting much experience.

It is a three-star Michelin local. The demands are high, the environment is harsh and hostile, the stress is enormous. It is, above all, the personal life to suffer. Therefore, at the age of 24, Claudio moves to Parma to work at Palizzi as a chief.

For two years, he’s been maintaining the star and improving the offer, learning what it means to be a leader and beginning to take interest not only in the kitchen, but also in the administrative and managing aspects of the restoration. Tireless and polyhedral, after this experience, Claudio – together with his girlfriend – takes over the management of a chalet in Madonna di Campiglio. They have curated it for two years, learning what it means to have a close interaction with customers.

In addition to this awareness, the experience in Madonna di Campiglio puts a deep love for the Dolomites in Claudio’s heart, so that he returns to these areas to work. First, at Hermitage and then at Siriola, one of the restaurants owned by the Wieser family.

At Siriola, he gets heritage of Fasolato Corrado, a chief who’s had success by offering an extreme and uncompromising cuisine. Claudio proceeds on that line and in 2008 he takes over the entire culinary offer of Siriola, managing up to 240 places a day.

It is in this period that he meets Monica who will then become his wife. In 2010, these two move to Saudi Arabia to manage restaurant La Cucina. Located in a huge hotel complex, in three months, the restaurant passes from 30 guests a day to 90 guests at lunch and 180 at dinner. Despite a very restrictive environment, Claudio manages to impose his ideas that prove to be successful.

In the United Arab Emirates, Claudio meets Gert Copera, a supervisor of the Rosewood hotel group. Gert acts as a mentor for Claudio and reveals the secrets of management of restaurants and hotels at a level, unimaginable until then.

Under his guidance, Claudio rapidly ascends the corporate hierarchy, always gaining more experience and awareness of his own means. In 2012, Gert, who in the meantime has dropped by Jumeirah, invites Claudio to Dubai.

He needs his partnership for the creation of a restaurant structure for the hotels of his new company. The two perturb the corporate structures, by creating a true restoration sector independent of the hotel organization. An absolute originality in an environment resistant to changes. Claudio is at the head of the entire Italian sector of this new corporate structure.

This experience ends in 2015 when, together with Monica, Claudio returns to Bolzano to help his wife’s brother, Robert, in the management of restaurant Zur Kaiserkron, and to give life to a new exciting entrepreneurial project.