Mauri Group


Chef Mauri 

Maurizio Intrigila born the 3rd  of April 1969, the namesake and founder of Chef Mauri Group of Restaurants, did not grow up in a wealthy family.  His father was an electrician, and the family lived in Reggio di Calabria, a city in southern Italy.  When Maurizio was a boy, the family didn’t have lots of money, but food played an important and central role in their daily life and he can remember the meals of his childhood in detail. 

His mother, like every wonderful Italian Mamma was never more at home than when cooking an array of wonderful dishes for large family gatherings.  At a very young age, Maurizio was influenced by the food around him.

Armed with his natural talent and culinary degree, he left his native Italy and set forth to the United Kingdom.  It is in the UK where his reputation grew.  He managed the kitchens of several successful Italian restaurants both in England and Wales.  It was while living in Cardiff that he met his wife, Maria.  He was not, he remembers, the easiest young man to be around. 

“I was like a bull in a china shop - anxious to succeed, afraid of not making it,” Maurizio says.  “That translated into being aggressive, temperamental.  I worked 17 hours a day, screaming like crazy.”

Meeting Maria tempered Maurizio’s aggressiveness.  “We just clicked,” he says. “I think the first night we went out, I said, ‘Why don’t you stay here with me?’  We’ve lived together ever since.” He adds, “For me, she’s very important, not only because I love her but because she brings a lot of balance to my life.” 

Maria remembers a man who might have been a terror in the kitchen but was quite different outside of it: “He was extremely shy.  So quiet.  I could see the soul behind his eyes.  It’s not just that he was cute - I wanted to know who was behind those eyes.  And I found someone who is very creative and funny.  Very caring, very giving.” 

In July 1996, fed up with the long winters and tempted by warmer climes, Maurizio and Maria travelled to Brunei Darussalam to oversee the opening of Fratini Restaurant, the first restaurant in the country offering authentic Italian cuisine.  It is here that their love affair with Asia began and here in Brunei that they put down roots and started a family.  They now have three children, Alessia, Matteo and Daniele. 

Eager to expand his horizons and learn new things, together they travelled to Kota Kinabalu and Hanoi where Maurizio worked in large five-star hotels, managing multiple outlets and learning new management skills.  But his heart remained in Brunei and, several years later, the family returned.  And, as they say, the rest is history!

Maria and the children remain the focus of his life beyond the ovens and the stove tops.  While he may not be home to cook gourmet dinners for his family during restaurant hours, they remain his anchor and keep him grounded. 

A Taste of Home

Maurizio’s mother was and is his biggest inspiration and as a child he would watch her sitting around the table making all kinds of different homemade pasta.  In his cooking, he draws heavily from his ancestors influence by providing simple, authentic Italian food from his home region of Calabria and beyond.

In Italy, the cuisine is about simplicity.  It’s about well chosen, great-tasting ingredients, in the right season and region.

He would love to have a restaurant where there is no menu and the food served is prepared daily based on what was available.   Perhaps one day …

Buon appetito!  

A Brief History...Chef Mauri Group

Chef Mauri Group of Restaurants is the 3-strong, Brunei’s leading & best loved Italian Restaurant Group, whereby today employing over 60 people & operating as privately-owned, family- run company.
Based on friendship, family, a love for good Italian food & entrepreneurial flair, the group’s history goes back to august 2008, when Maurizio Intrigila, better known as Chef Mauri, a talented southern Italian

Laying the Foundations...

Chef Mauri, eagerly explored the restaurant scene, carefully noting how the market was diversifying & excitedly developing a vision & a will to recreate the essence of a true Italian restaurant outside his home country ; providing high quality, reasonably priced food to Bruneians & expats alike.
Joint partnership in Bella Italia, an Italian Restaurant in the Jesselton Hotel, a premier boutique hotel in Kota Kinabalu, led Maurizio to taking the plunge in Brunei & branching out on his own. It proved a stepping stone which ultimately led him to Jalan Muara & the opening of Villa Mauri in a converted bungalow (The idea of inviting people to a ’house’ rather than to a ’restaurant’ reflected the warm, traditional Italian welcome)

Rapid Expansion....

As customers flocked to Villa Mauri, Chef Mauri started to look for opportunities to expand & reach a wider customer base but in similarly attractive locations. The year of 2010 has been one of growth with two additional successful restaurants opening in the oil rich town of Kuala Belait and in 2013 We moved the Gadont Outlet Grazie Mauri in the Panaga Club in Seria and called it Panaga Mauri
Since opening their doors, Panaga Mauri & Prego Mauri have joined Villa Mauri in establishing many friends & loyal customers while staying true to Chef Mauri’s vision.

Resounding Success...

Key to its success is the array of daily specials drawn from all over Italy & made from carefully chosen fresh produce.
Traditional recipes are revisited, interpreted & adjusted according to the creative instincts of the kitchen team, against a background of complete dedication to the availability of high quality basic ingredients.
People all over Brunei are starting to discover the joys of real Italian food & to experience the taste of quality at prices which bring customers back.
Chef Mauri credits the success of his restaurants to a high quality & dedicated staff, many who have been with him since the start.
He prides himself on providing consistently excellent food, quality service & hands on management. copyright 2010 - 2019
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