It’s 1939 and
Zeffirino Belloni opens his family restaurant in Genoa.
later Zeffirino’s ten-year old son Gian Paolo begins his life’s work
in the family business.
generations and over six decades later Gian Paolo, along with his wife
Giannina, continue to mesmerize us with the special cuisine. Known
as “the Pope’s Pesto Maker” Gian Paolo’s curriculum vitae is
A professor of
the Italian School for professiona foreign cooks, and at various
Institiuti Professionali Alberghieri (hotel schools), Gian Paolo Belloni
is a member of the Ordine Historatori Porfessionisti Italiani.
Among the many
awards he has received during his long career are the 1987 prestigious
prize as a disciple of Auguste Escoffier which he received in Canries
(this is considered by many to be the highest international gastronomic
award), and the certificate of the Accademia Italiana della cucina and
the Grand Cordon d’Or in Monaco in 1988. He received, the
following year, the prestigious certificate of the Federazione Cuochi,
stating that he could enter the Collegium Cocorum, a club that admites
only professionals who have proved their skills for 25 years.
In 1990 Gian
Paolo was awarded the European Golden Medal for his restaurant’s 50
years existence. In Germany he was awarded a certificate from the
Federation International Cuisiniere Exclusive d’Europa and was
appointed Maitre Rotisseur de la Confreirie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs,
Association Mordiale de la Gastronomie. In 1992, during the
celebration for Christopher Columbus, Gian Paolo received the Premio
della Citta di Genova and the Mayor appointed him Ambassador of Genoese
and Italian cuisine to the world.
Both Gian Paolo
and Giannina were in Melbourne in 1991 when Gian Paolo was appointed
Special Ambassador to the City of Melbourne. In 1993 he was
appointed Cavaliere della Republica and in1994 he was awarded the Cordon
d’Or with the title of Gran Maestro dell’Accademia Gastronomica
The chef has
cooked for Luciano Pavarotti, Frank Sinatra, Muhammad Ali, Sophia Loren
and many international celebrities. As well, he has personally
presented the Pope with his pesto, which he was delighted to accept.
Belloni’s inspired cuisine exemplifies his love of natural ingredients
married with his refined versions of the simple local dishes of his
In honor of his
father and the original family restaurant, Gian Paolo brings to The
Venetian Resort Hotel and Casino, Ristorante Zeffirino.