Gianluca Austin-Rizzo has been appointed to the newly created position of general manager at the Michelin-starred Simpsons restaurant in Edgbaston, Birmingham.
He started working at the restaurant, which is overseen by owner Andreas Antona and executive chef Luke Tipping, in February. The restaurant has held its Michelin star since 1999.
Originally from Puglia in Italy, Austin-Rizzo was most recently food and beverage manager at the Cottage in the Wood hotel in Malvern, Worcestershire.
He originally arrived in England in 1999, where his first position was to work for Michael Roux Sr at the Waterside Inn in Bray, Berkshire, one of only four restaurants in the UK to hold three Michelin stars at the time.
His roles have also included manager of the White Hart Inn in Nayland near Colchester and sales manager for Eurowines, a London-based wine importer with a focus on Italian wines.
He said: “I look forward to a long career here at Simpsons and working alongside Andreas and executive chef Luke, helping to maintain the excellent reputation and status they have earned over the past 25 years. I also hope to make my mark by taking the whole customer experience to the next level. Looking ahead, I want to inspire and welcome a new generation into a highly passionate and rewarding career in the world of hospitality.”
Antona added: “Gianluca not only has an impressive CV but his passion for hospitality is genuine and his customer service skills are excellent. He’s a fantastic addition to the team and with his experience and know-how, I’m sure he can help Simpsons maintain its status as one of Birmingham’s best.”
Austin-Rizzo has taken on the responsibilities of Natasha Shorthouse, who is now working in a part-time reservations role.