Luca Cini – A People’s Story

The best, most delicious and authentic Italian cuisine doesn’t necessarily come from awarded chefs, it comes from a mamma’s kitchen. The Italians call it la cucina della mamma and in Phuket, this style of cooking is a source of inspiration for many excellent Italian chefs. There’s however only one place which instead of serving food “like from a mamma’s kitchen” has an actual Italian mamma cooking it. Her name is Bruna Filipelli and she’s the new hero in this story; the Luca Cini – A Wine Story.

As any captivating tale, this one has its turning points, sudden plot twists, its betrayals and a hero who saves the day. It’s also rather long so I think you’re better off visiting Luca Cini’s shop and asking him to tell it himself; here I’ll focus on chef Bruna and the new chapter of Luca Cini – A Wine Story she helps write.

For a while now, Luca Cini had almost all the ingredients needed took cook up something great on Phuket’s culinary scene – a popular shop in a great location, a constant supply of high-quality Italian ingredients and of course – wine, lots of first-rate Italian wine.

What was missing, was a chef. Luckily Bruna filled this plot hole perfectly. Born in Genoa, she learned to cook the same way any Italian chef should – in her mother’s and grandmother’s kitchen. And it clearly shows in the food that she now serves up at Boat Avenue. “This food is exactly like what I ate at home, 100% traditional style,” tells me Luca, whose passion for Italian food is matched only by his passion for Italian wine. “Bruna reflects the real, authentic, mama-style Italian cuisine and this is exactly what Luca Cini –  A Wine Story is about,” he adds.

Before taking the helm of Luca’s kitchen, Bruna worked in a number of hotels, restaurants and even beach clubs in Thailand. She also learned some more sophisticated cooking techniques from a Michelin-starred chef, but at Luca Cini – A Wine Story she goes back to the basics – no fancy cooking gear, no over-the-top recipes, but simplicity and focus on the flavour; in brief – authentic Italian. “I don’t do any fusion, I respect the ingredients that we import from Italy and I cook real home food the way I learned since I was a child,” she says with a wide smile.

And except for her mouthwatering homemade food and Luca’s world-class wines, it’s this smile that customers flock to Luca Cini – A Wine Story for. After all, any storyteller worth his salt will tell you that good stories are all about great characters. This one definitely has them.  

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Maciek Klimowicz
Maciek Klimowicz

Maciek Klimowicz is the former Editor in Chief at Real Life Phuket. Food, wine, culture and travel are some of the things he enjoys and writes about. Contact Maciek on

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