Luigi Zambon, or "Mr Luigi" as he was known, died last week aged 79.
The charismatic former restaurant and private rooms manager of the Savoy was an ebullient "old style" Italian who greeted his patrons as if they were the only guest in the room.
Born in Dardago, Italy, Zambon came to London in the early 1950s, where he met his wife while working at the Ritz as Maitre‘d and spent the 1960s working at the Princess and Kings Lynn hotels in Bermuda.
Moving back to London in 1970, he worked for a year with Trust House Forte in various positions before leaving to manage the Restaurant at the Four Seasons Inn on the Park in London for Raymond Pajares, where he remained until joining Willy Bauer at the Savoy.
Bauer told Caterer: "He was known, loved and well respected by so many people. He was a legend in the industry as a restaurant manager"
Zambon was part of the AMIRA (an Italian trade association of restaurant managers) and his enthusiasm spearheaded the creation of an Award of Excellence for the Academy of Culinary Arts. He was awarded a MdL (Maestri del lavoro) by the Italian government for his work in the restaurant trade.
He is survived by his wife of over 50 years and his four children, Nando, Carol and Sara and Sabina and one granddaughter.
His funeral will be held at 12pm on Wednesday 9 December at New Southgate Cemetery, Brunswick Park Road, N11 1JJ. All are welcome.
By Emily Manson
E-mail your comments to Emily Manson here.
If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to www.caterersearch.com/tabletalk
Looking for a new job? Find your next hotel job here with Caterersearch.com jobs