Chef Davide Pugliese is Executive Chef at Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina as well as the Host Chef for the 2013 BVI Wine & Food Festival. 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 has been residing and cooking there ever since. During his ownership and role as executive chef of Brandywine Bay Restaurant, Tortola, Davide created a landmark restaurant that became the venue of choice for entertaining visiting dignitaries and hosting government and corporate dinners. Many influential local and international diners have since become Davide’s friends and followers. Davide’s reputation earned him a position with Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Virgin Gorda where he was instrumental in the set up and design of the Clubhouse kitchen. He served as the Executive Chef in the opening months and was responsible for catering regatta events and the grand Clubhouse launch dinner for 350 guests. Davide provided his expertise as a consultant Executive Chef to 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.
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, host a dinner at the James Beard House, NYC and participate in winemakers’ dinners and celebrity chef events throughout the USA and the Caribbean.
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.
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.
Davide was instrumental in the evolution of the food culture in the BVI and continues to raise the Territory’s’ gastronomic profile on the international scenes.