Australian chef inks deal to bring Italian restaurants to the Gulf

International retail franchise operator MH Alshaya Co has announced a partnership with award-winning Australian chef Johnny Di Francesco to bring the 400 Gradi Italian restaurant brand to the Middle East this year.

The expansion of 400 Gradi, a Naples-inspired Italian restaurant, will be its first outside Australia, a statement said.

In 2014, Di Francesco was named the world’s best pizza maker during the World Championships in Italy for his authentic Napoletana-style pizza, it added.

He said: “This is a groundbreaking milestone for the Gradi Group. Expanding to the Middle East is an exciting step forward, especially through Alshaya, who are a pioneer in franchising international brands.

“We are delighted with this partnership and we look forward to presenting guests with the best pizza in the world, and great Italian food, at the official debut of 400 Gradi.”   

Mohammed Alshaya, executive chairman of MH Alshaya Co, added: “We’re constantly looking for ways to bring authentic and diverse dining experiences to our customers in the Middle East. 400 Gradi offers a complete Neapolitan experience, and we believe that it will be an exciting addition to the regional dining scene. We look forward to a successful partnership together.”

Johnny Di Francesco’s 400 Gradi Naples inspired Italian restaurant was launched in 2008.

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