Francesco Gava

Francesco Gava – The Hari Hong Kong

Francesco Gava

In this interview, Francesco Gava, food and beverage director of The Hari Hong Kong, gives some insight into his role.

What do you do? 

I am the food and beverage director at The Hari Hong Kong. 

How did you get into the industry? 

I started at an early age in restaurants, studying and learning how they operate, and then eventually went to a hotel management school.

What food memory from your childhood or travels stands out? 

One of my first and most vivid food memories is of myself as a child, playing with my dog on a piece of my parents’ land in Piedmont, Italy. I spent so much time out there all around the year, picking fresh fruit. Depending on the season, I would find cherries, strawberries, apples, plums, pears, watermelons and more. I still remember my first taste of these freshly picked ripe and juicy fruits, which is difficult to find nowadays, so whenever I do find produce that allows me to relive those memories, I simply close my eyes and enjoy the moment.

What’s the best/ worst part of your job? 

The best part is definitely being surrounded by the energy of the people in the F&B industry, the finesse behind the details, and the satisfaction you get when everything works perfectly in sync. The worst part is when unexpected things happen that threaten the delicate balance of that harmony.

What’s one of your favourite food and beverage pairings? 

There are so many to choose from! One of my personal favourites is seared foie gras with caramelised peach and a glass of Fiano or a freshly shucked oyster with lardo and Ossetra caviar and a glass of G&T.

What’s one of the most outrageous things you’ve seen behind the scenes? 

I used to work with a chef in the past that was not at all flexible in terms of variation or accommodation requested by a guest. We were working in an open kitchen, and a guest would approach him asking for a few changes, and his answer would always be a loud expletive followed by, “Hey, who is the chef here, me or you?”. The most interesting part was that no one ever complained. In fact they would return to their table smiling – it still remains a mystery to me how he accomplished that.

The perfect day off would be… 

Sunglasses on, a slow lazy walk on a Sunday afternoon around the city and meeting friends and family after for a nice aperitivo.

A day in the life of Francesco Gava is… 

A hectic day of trying to please everyone while still meeting budget expectations!

What do you do for fun? 

I spend time with my wife, who is the best partner and the best friend I could ever ask for.

What’s something you’d like guests to know about The Hari Hong Kong? 

The unity of the team in the hotel is strong – employees and guests are treated on the same level. I also appreciate the style and level of comfort that, in my humble opinion, you can only experience here. The Hari is like a well-tailored suit that needs no adjustment after you’ve tried it on.

How has the pandemic changed your perspective or the way you operate? 

I do believe I am able to react faster, be more flexible and more adaptive to different situations.

What’s something you’d like people to know about being a food and beverage director as a profession?

It’s not all fun and games like wining and dining!

What’s your view on the hospitality scene in Hong Kong? 

I have somewhat mixed feelings about it because while hospitality in Hong Kong always strives to be the best it can be to achieve its goals, it can also sometimes lack consistency, which I think is the most important, yet most difficult.

What practices do you currently implement or hope to implement to work towards social responsibility and sustainability in the future?

There are many practices we already implement, such as serving Nordaq water, recycling coffee beans for other purposes, using compostable material in packaging, having an ORCA machine for food waste, and more. In fact, our Japanese restaurant, Zoku, just won a sustainability award in 2022.

What can guests look forward to in the upcoming months? 

An array of exciting happenings and a diverse flow of ideas relating to our menus and cocktails, together with entertainment and events.

Read more interviews similar to this one with Francesco Gava here, and stay up to date with the latest gourmet and travel recommendations here and here.


  1. Love his idea of having fun! I can see his wedding band on his finger.

  2. Louise Wee

    I have enjoyed especially your Hong Kong posts. It has made me want to try some of your restaurants; they are not ones I would normally consider but you make them all sound so deliciously interesting; by the way, I live in Hong Kong. I love that you have a different perspective from the HK reviewers

    • Louise, So kind of you to take the time to connect. I’d love to hear about your favourite restaurants in Hong Kong. Happy culinary discoveries! Kind regards, Monica

  3. He has nice ideas 😀

  4. I always love these interviews, so interesting. Cheers Diane

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.