Pirata Group | Co-founder
Pirata Group | Co-founder
Pirata Group co-founder Manuel Palacio has a deep rooted passion for quality service. He began his career in hospitality at age 13 in his native Madrid before travelling to both England and the United States to develop his skills at a number of noteworthy establishments. Throughout his service tenure, Manuel has worked at some of the most coveted international hot spots in London, New York, Ibiza and Hong Kong including Floridita and Armani Aqua.
Whilst working in Hong Kong, Manuel noticed a gap in the market in terms of service – Western dining, including Italian cuisine, had become almost an intimidating experience for Hong Kong diners due to impersonal and unapproachable service. Committed to providing a deeply personal yet approachable hospitality experience, Manuel decided to open his own concept with a focus on exceptional service and traditional values. Thus Pirata Group was born.
Pirata Group | Chief Financial Officer
Overseeing the finances of Pirata Group, Kenneth is number savvy and manages the company’s accounts and auditing. He leads the Accounting team and ensures that the Group’s financial budgets are up to date.
Pirata Group | Human Resources Director
As Human Resources Director, Clarine takes care of Pirata Group’s over 300 staff. She works tirelessly through the recruitment process and ensures that each team member feels at home within the Group.
Pirata Group | Operations Director
Managing all aspects of restaurant operations, Ian leads a team of capable managers who make sure that the Group’s restaurants run smoothly and efficiently.
Pirata Group | Central Operations Manager
Drawn to the hospitality industry at the age of 16, Luis was captured by a love for meeting people, building relationships and seeing the many happy faces of his customers. After working in the busy restaurants and tops bars of Madrid, Ibiza and London, he looked for new opportunities and challenges to learn and grow further afield which eventually brought him to Hong Kong.
At home in Pirata Group’s inviting and approachable environment, Luis brings his lively energy, enthusiasm and humour to the team, ensuring everyone that enters feels relaxed and welcome.
Pirata Group | Operations Manager
Hailing from Spain with 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Carlos Gutierrez began his journey by studying hospitality and company management in Valencia. Personable and engaging, Carlos is known for his lively conversation and impressing guests with his ability to make them feel at home within the restaurants that he manages.
Having travelled the world, Carlos challenges himself by searching for new ways to help people improve their lives and hone their personal skills. As Operations Manager for Pirata Group, Carlos never ceases to help his teammates grow through encouraging them and helping them find new avenues for exploration.
Pirata Group | Pici Operations Manager
With a friendly charm and people-loving personality, Pici’s Operations Manager Nacho Lopez ensures every diner feels at home. Starting his career in London, Nacho’s passion for all things hospitality grew after the successful opening the new dining concept Bilbao Berria. After working with popular Argentinian restaurant Gaucho, he was moved to Hong Kong to lead and train the new restaurant team.
In Hong Kong, he enjoys soaking up the hustle and bustle of the city and delving into the city’s lively food scene. When he’s not busy running the floor at Pici, he spends his time working on his other passion, cooking. A true connoisseur and gastronome, Nacho is textbook for all things food and wine.
Pirata Group | Operations Chef
Operations Chef Matthew Hosker’s exploratory nature was always certain to take him further afield than his routes in the kitchens of London. After his first taste of kitchen life at the age of 14, he embarked on a culinary journey that has taken him from London through Australia, the USA, Switzerland, Kenya, The British Virgin Islands and on to Hong Kong.
Now heading up the kitchen operations for Pirata Group. Matthew’s belief is that a chef’s time should be focused in the kitchen and proves time and again that simple organisation and efficiency leads to quality. His support to Pirata Groups chefs focuses on reducing the time spent on tasks that distract chefs from what they do best; creating exquisite food to serve to our guests.
Pirata Group | Peruvian Culinary Director
Hailing from Peru, Chef Arturo’s love of cooking began early when he spent his days with his Grandmother helping her around the kitchen. With a passion for the complexities and multiculturalism of Peruvian cuisine, Arturo was eager to bring the country’s unique recipes, flavours and culture to the world.
His travels have brought Arturo to South Africa, Hong Hong, Singapore and finally back to Hong Kong where he has helmed the kitchen at TokyoLima since March 2017. In 2019, he was made Peruvian Culinary Director at Pirata Group and has since implemented a new dynamic menu at Chifa. Arturo respects the traditional techniques and history behind each recipe, adding his own personal flair for food that is unforgettable.
Pirata Group | Pici Corporate Chef
Andrea’s passion for cooking began in Turin at a very young age with a passionate love for the nature of fresh ingredients. Shunning traditional culinary school in favour of real-life experience, Andrea began his professional career cooking in and around Turin at the age of sixteen, focusing predominantly on cuisine from the Piedmont region.
Before long, he opened his own place – part restaurant, part bookshop. After a successful and exciting experience in Italy, he felt the pull of opportunities and unexplored lands. In 2014, he moved to Hong Kong to help Pirata Group launch a new pasta bar concept. Bringing his vast experience to Pici, Andrea lightens the kitchen with his fresh approach and warm energy.
Pirata Group | Head of Guest Relations
As Head of Guest Relations for Pirata Group, Sophie leads the restaurant reception and events teams. Reflecting the Group’s philosophy, she sets the standards for guest experiences and guides her team on how to offer amazing service.
Pirata Group | Events Manager
Always with a cheeky grin and twinkle in the eye, our Events Manager Borja Martinez Otero brings energetic passion and an adventurous flair to the team. After studying architecture in Madrid, Borja decided to venture to Shanghai where he began his journey and love for hospitality. His first year in Shanghai saw him managing the restaurant of the Spanish Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo in 2010.
Borja’s outstanding management and front of house skills caught the attention of the 3 Michelin star Chef Martin Berasategui, who mentored and trained him, to work after in a top hospitality group, where he managed an unique cocktail bar for three years.
A hunger for a new adventure brought him to Hong Kong, where he joined forces with the Pirata team as our first General Manager, quickly becoming a much loved part of the family. Borja speaks fluent English and Mandarin.
Pirata Group | Head of Training
Pirata Group | Training Manager
#maximumeffort, the life motto of Justin. An enthusiastic Hongkongee who injects his positive vibes into everyone.After studying Screen Acting for Film, Justin decided to swap the stage for the hospitality industry. Striving his way up, he spent years with an international restaurant brand, opening branches in Hong Kong & Taiwan.Touched by a fantastic dining experience as a guest at Pirata restaurant, Justin proceeded to enter the world of Pirata Group, joining the force as a Training Manager. Bouncing around with a big smile, Justin can be found infusing the team with energy to work towards legendary hospitality.
Pirata Group | Training Manager
Upon completion of a business management degree at the University of Kent in UK, Ross began his career in the F&B industry, working in restaurants in UK, Barcelona, Mallorca, Dubai, Singapore and Hong Kong. He joined Pirata Group in August of 2017 as Restaurant Manager of Tokyolima. With a passion for helping people to grow both personally and professionally, Ross now brings his boundless energy and positivity to our training department, contributing to the development and growth of our staff and the group as a whole.
Pirata Group | Marketing Manager
Christina leads Pirata Group’s Marketing team by planning and managing restaurants campaigns. Using her experience from working in the F&B industry, she strategically spearheads promotional plans.
Pirata Group | Public Relations Manager
With past agency experience, Joanna helms the Communications team by promoting Pirata Group’s restaurants in Hong Kong and internationally. She handling media relationships and creates internal communications procedures for the Group.