Panarea from the cliffs

Beneath The Surface

#3 Introducing Chef Lucio Bernardi

25 February 2021

Chef Lucio Bernardi, 70, is the fourth generation Head chef at his family’s restaurant, Filippino, on Lipari, one of the Aeolian Islands off the coast of Sicily. His son, Filippo Bernardi, also works there and is due to take over in the next year or so. The restaurant was founded by Lucio’s grandmother and has been operating now for 110 years. 

As part of the Wine & Catamaran tour, Ristorante de Filippino will be hosting SailSterling’s guests at a private dinner on the final night of their tour of the Aeolian Islands at the Tenuta di Castellaro Vineyard. This will take place at the vineyard, in the most magical setting, after the sunset wine tasting.

Holding on to the membership of the Buon Ricordo Restaurants Association since 1974 means, as you’d expect, that Filippino has an outstanding reputation on the Island. as one of the best places to eat and meet. It’s famous as the place where, over the years, many celebrities, politicians and other prominent people have dined. Its menu changes every day depending on the fresh local catch, but it specialises in traditional Sicilian, Aeolian and Italian fish dishes with an extensive choice of meat options. 

For guests of SailSterling at the private dinner they will serve a traditional Aeolian sauce made with olives, capers, parsley and onion along with the freshest fish and sumptuous Italian vegetarian and meat dishes in accordance with guests’ tastes and dietary requirements.

Lucio Bernardi, the chef of Filippino Restaurant in Lipari

We sat down with Chef Lucio and asked him some questions about Filippino and the restaurant:

Q. Is the story about the painter Monet leaving one of his paintings as a pledge of payment true?

A. “We think so but we can’t find the painting! We know that many famous people over the years have dined here including Tony Blair, Sophia Loren and other well-known celebrities”.

Q. What would you like to eat if you were on a SailSterling catamaran?

A. “It depends on the catch of the day. If I could choose then I would prepare a large fish, an Aguglia, that is native to the Aeolian waters – it’s a bit like a Marlin. I would serve it raw but it would have been marinating in Extra Virgin Italian olive oil, chives, lemon zest, orange rind and mint for around six hours. Delicious!”

Q. Where would you recommend people go to in Lipari (other than the restaurant!)?

A. “I love going to visit the Tenuto di Castellaro vineyard as it has one of the best views over Lipari and the other islands, especially at sunset. It’s just magical.”

Mediterranean spearfish scaloppine with citrus fruits
Mediterranean spearfish "Aguglia" scaloppine with citrus fruits

Q. How have you responded to the Covid-19 crisis?

A. “In the restaurant we have reduced the number of tables we have and created more space between them. We have a one-way system in place and we are taking every precaution possible to protect our guests.”


Thank you, Chef Lucio, for your time. We can’t wait to see you back in Lipari this summer. 

SailSterling interviewed Lucio Bernardi via Zoom on Wednesday 13 January 2021

“I wanted freedom, open air, adventure. I found it on the sea.”

-Alain Gerbault, Sailor


Stringent cleaning procedures are already in-place across all boats globally for the well-being of our crew and guests.  These will be further enhanced to meet government guidelines in the UK and Italy which are in place in July 2021 in relation to the COVID pandemic.  These will include temperature checks prior to boarding; hand-sanitising stations in public areas; additional deep cleans of public areas including decks; social distancing if required.  With each catamaran’s capacity at a maximum of 10 people including skipper and chef, if required in August, guests would remain in catamaran bubbles during visits to vineyards and other on-shore activities.