Chef Davide Lombardi returns to his roots and primary passion - the kitchen.

Chef Davide Lombardi is a full time Chef Instructor at the Center for Culinary Arts (CCA), Manila. Having managed many authentic Italian restaurants since his graduation in 1981 from culinary arts in his hometown of Milan, Italy, his bosses at the CCA invited him to set up an authentic Italian restaurant in the Philippines that they would name Lombardi.

The first Lombardi opened last November in the popular new mall these days, Magnolia Robinsons’ in Quezon City. This 80-seater restaurant in the mall’s second floor offers both indoor and ‘al fresco’ dining. Chef Lombardi’s classic menu is a representation of the best Italian cuisine from both the northern and southern regions of Italy. He explains that northern Italian cuisine is richer because of the colder climate. They use more butter and cream in their cooking. A typical example is the popular Osso Bucco, a specialty from Milan. In Italy, since veal is widely available, this is used instead of beef shank, which is more common in the Philippines. The northern cuisine also boasts of its risottos, Parmigiano, fresh pastas and lasagna. The southern cuisine on the other hand includes more Mediterranean fare resplendent with olive oil, seafood, vegetables and a great variety of pizzas. Chef Lombardi likes to maintain the freshness of all his ingredients and produce them from scratch. You will not see any readymade ingredients in his kitchen!

Alegre Beach Resort and SpaFamous for its private personalized service and Filipino-inspired villas, Alegre has aggressively put in place many improvements, including a major organizational change. The best improvement was the appointment of a professional hotelier, who happens to be a native of the province, Dottie Wurgler-Cronin, appointed late last year. I caught up with Dottie in September and asked her a few questions about why we all should look forward to a new Alegre.

GM Dottie is very well loved and respected by Alegre’s 100 plus loyal staff, many of them pioneers of the Alegre, which opened it’s doors in 1993.WHAT ARE YOUR ORGANIZATIONAL TRANSFORMATION CHALLENGES IN THE 19-YEAR-OLD ALEGRE?

The people are one of the best and valuable assets of Alegre. However, it is also the aspect of our organization that challenged us to seriously look into, as majority of the existing team members have been in Alegre for more than five years, so we could initiate programs this year that would start the transformation. There was a lack of appropriate training and development for the people, and the concept of retooling them.

We also had to revisit and rewrite a new Vision, Mission, and Values for Alegre that are more relevant and aligned to the new brand identity. We also have redefined our Vision “To passionately deliver Alegre Moments in harmony with Nature.”

Over the past 19 years, the brand name of Alegre Beach Resort and Spa somehow got “lost.” Its brand story didn’t come clear to the market’s mind. With numerous newer resorts in Cebu, we no longer became very attractive and of good value. We didn’t have a strong competitive edge, especially as newer destinations and resorts have been very aggressive with their marketing campaigns.


  1. Strategic and clear marketing of Alegre to top markets and the new foreign market through our new brand story and identity.
  2. Maximize and take advantage of the country’s drive on tourism as one key avenues to economic growth. We will support the tourism initiatives of the DOT and LGU.
  3. Focus on our strengths. These are our people and our natural environment. We will highlight our Cebuano culture and traditions by integrating these in the delivery of our service and unique experiences for our guests. We call these our Alegre Moments.
  4. Strengthen our programs that will benefit the preservation of our environment and support to the community and its people.
  5. Sustainable financial growth by remaining competitive in the market and instituting internal measures, systems! to improve productivity, and efficiency of people and equipment.


  1. Alegre is in a 40-hectare land, with a beautiful natural white beach, rich marine sanctuary! and unique species of wild life with lush vegetation... a natural environment which cannot be replicated or copied.
  2. In the next 24 months, Alegre will have renovated 42 cabanas, a restaurant, meeting rooms, common areas, and an aqua dive center. In addition, there will be 44 newlybuilt rooms, a spa and wellness center, and a second F&B outlet. The new rooms and improved over-all landscape will complement the natural environment.
  3. We are proud that 95% of our people are from the local, neighboring communities. They have the Cebuano graciousness and charm. ! They are the ambassadors of our Alegre Moments, unique experiences our guests will surely cherish. Our people, they are the "soul" of the new Alegre.

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