Executive Head Chef - Sarino's

Alex Keene

How do you approach food?

Working closely with suppliers to source the best quality ingredients. I let the produce speak for itself in a dish and don’t over complicate with numerous components. I’m rather ‘old school’ with my approach to cooking as in I love old traditional Italian dishes but exercised with precision.

Describe your culinary journey?

I believe I was the last of a generation of chefs whereby an apprenticeship consisted of 60 – 80 hour weeks earning $350. I began my training in an Italian kitchen where English was not spoken and I was quickly taught the language and culture. This standard of work ethic gave me the opportunity to work alongside a list of highly regarded chefs. Working for 4 years at Ormeggio restaurant working my way up to sous chef was where I honed my fine dining skills.

Having the opportunity to cook for celebrities along the likes of Marco Pierre white, the Roco brothers (owners of El cellar de can roco) John Howard and catering for the Oatley family was another highlight of my career.

In 2015 I opened Via alta alongside Alessandro Pavoni (owner of Ormeggio, Chiosco and Amare) and Bill Drakopoulos (owner of Sydney restaurant group) who trained me in the operations required to run a successful restaurant. The restaurant was recognised by the SMH and placed in the good food guide after having a very positive review from Terry Durack.

What awards have you received throughout your career?

In 2014 I was awarded young Italian chef of the year, this resulted in me receiving an all expenses paid trip around Italy with a sommelier tasting amazing wine and eating too much authentic Italian food. I was also awarded a short scholarship to attend ALMA, a world renowned culinary school outside of Parma where I completed courses in wine and cooking.

What do you strive to do with your menu

I like to change seasonally and have a menu with diversity. My menu will rarely have 2 dishes with the same ingredients.


Our Venues

Hills Distilling Co.

The Hills District’s first locally owned distillery and bar producing handcrafted premium spirits - gin, vodka & Australian white malt - using the finest homegrown local ingredients.

Hudson Hotel

Hudson Hotel & Events Centre is Seven Hill's newest pub! Offering premium dining, live sports, and versatile event spaces suitable for all occasions!

Silverwater Hotel

Silverwater Hotel offers premium TAB facilities, indoor & outdoor dining and an exciting new bar!

Bella Vista Hotel

Whether you want a long lunch in the sun, a dinner under the stars, to cheer on your favourite sports team or to dance the night away, you will find it all here at Bella!
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Hillside Hotel

The Hillside has become a venue that attracts guests from far and wide with its eclectic mix of entertainment, sport viewing facilities and culinary experiences.
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Hilly's Pizza

An exciting new takeaway venue within Hillside Hotel, offering authentic woodfired pizza, a bespoke bottle shop featuring Hilly's Cocktails

Fire and Brimstone

Prepare your tastebuds, the hills district has just welcomed its first low n' slow bbq and bourbon bar, which is also home to award-winning rubs and sauces.
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The Governor Hotel

The Governor Hotel is a sleek and vivacious event precinct that’s as aesthetic as the rich and decadent cuisine it serves, with a sundrenched rooftop with a beautiful backdrop to escape for sunset drinks and afternoon knock-offs.
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Aromatic & vibrant ingredients invite you on a mouth-watering Eastern culinary adventure through a diverse menu of contemporary and classic Cantonese cuisine. Jinja is located on level 1 at The Governor Hotel.

Mullane’s Hotel

Mullane's Hotel is the epicentre of quality dining in The Hills. On level one, you’ll find Sarino’s, an upmarket Italian restaurant and bar, featuring private dining rooms.
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Sarino’s Restaurant & Bar

The artisan modern-Italian restaurant, Sarino’s, features sophisticated Italian fare, a luxe cocktail lounge and private dining rooms.
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Sophia’s is enthralling, glamorous, and mysterious. Frankly, dear, Sophia’s is more than just a venue – she is an experience. Located on Level 2 of Mullane's Hotel.

The Duke of Dural

The perfect venue to drop in for a drink and a bite to eat – with plenty of parking and opened 7 days, The Duke of Dural is set to be the new neighbourhood watering hole.
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Oran Park Hotel

Opening in 2024

Friend in Hand Hotel

Famous old-school pub with newly renovated pool hall & home to local legend Georgie the Cockatoo!

Royal Albert Hotel

Cosy pub with an old-school feel, specialising in craft beer, with something for everybody.

Nags Head Hotel

A traditional, old English style pub renowned for its friendly staff, patrons and great atmosphere.

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