Simone Ragusa

Food and Beverage Supervisor

F&B Supervisor and Master Sommelier, Simone Ragusa joined the team early in 2022 bringing his wealth of knowledge and warm, modest charm to The Brasserie. From Italy, his roots are deeply entwined with Italian culture, where food and wine are not just sustenance but a testament to each region. His formal education took shape at the Higher School of Tourism and Hospitality in Bellinzona, Switzerland, where he graduated as a Sommelier. However, it was in Paris at Il Vino under the guidance of Enrico Bernardo, one of the world’s most preeminent sommeliers, that Simone’s passion for wine truly blossomed.

Simone’s journey led him to Switzerland where he spent a decade honing his craft at the prestigious Hotel Beau Rivage and Hotel Splendide Royal. As the Head Sommelier at the Hotel Splendide Royal in Lugano, Simone curated the extensive collection housed in the “Il Forziere del Vino” winery, a sanctuary of 500 of the world’s finest wines, each bottle narrating its own unique history.

For Simone, the path to becoming a Master Sommelier began during his childhood, from assisting in Sunday Mass to playful grape-crushing games with neighbourhood friends. For him, wine is an inexhaustible source of discovery, where every bottle has a story just waiting to be shared and enjoyed.

The accolades bestowed upon Simone during his career are a testament to his dedication and expertise. Elected as the best Sommelier in Switzerland in 2014 and awarded Swiss Sommelier of the year for Hotel & Gastro Union in 2015, he went on to achieve international recognition as a semi-finalist in the Best World Sommelier competition in Mendoza, Argentina, in 2016.

Becoming a Master Sommelier, a title held by only 269 individuals worldwide, required rigorous preparation and a deep dive into theory, blind tastings, and practical service. He takes a great deal of pride and enjoyment in being among the most qualified in the field, eager to share his skills and passion for wine with others.

Simone finds huge joy in creating wine pairings that embrace the Brasserie’s ever-changing seasonal menu, elevating the flavours of each dish. Some of his greatest pleasures are hosting private tastings, sharing his knowledge at the monthly Swirl wine tasting events, and helping wine enthusiasts build their private collections.

For budding oenophiles, he offers a simple yet profound piece of advice – practice tasting, identify the region of each wine and try new wines beyond the familiar. To catch a glimpse of Simone’s passion in action, join him for a masterclass at our monthly Swirl series, or ask him to suggest his favourite pairings with the Brasserie’s daily menu.