Claudio Liu


Born in China in 1982, in the Zhejiang province, raised in Correggio, Emilia, he entered this business thanks to the family restaurant in Milan. Meanwhile, he grew a deep admiration for the profound respect of raw materials of Japanese cuisine. In 2007, at the age of 24, together with his wife Ilaria Hu, he opened IYO in via Piero della Francesca, innovative sushi and contemporary Japanese haute cuisine restaurant. IYO is the first “non Italian cuisine” restaurant in Italy to be awarded a Star for MICHELIN Guide 2015, confirmed over the years until the last MICHELIN Guide 2023. In 2019 he launched IYO Omakase, a traditional Japanese sushi counter, and AALTO, a fine dining location for a Boundless Cuisine, awarded a Star for MICHELIN Guide 2021, confirmed until MICHELIN Guide 2023. Most of all, three concepts drive him: commitment, passion and determination.

Takeshi Iwai


Born in Japan in 1978, in Ibaraki prefecture, after graduating in Economics, he decided to pursue his passion for cooking. He worked four years with Toru Hayashi and fell in love with Italian cuisine. In 2007 he bought a one-way ticket to Italy, so began his journey through the most diverse kitchens: from regional to starred restaurants, from Northen to Southern Italy. In 2015 he moved to Gaggiano, on the outskirts of Milan, as Chef of a farm restaurant where his cooking was met with both critics and guests approval. Since June 2020 he has been Chef of AALTO where he expresses a boundless cuisine philosophy, free from fixed coordinates or stylistic canons.

Federica Strologo

Restaurant Manager

Born in Ancona in 1986, she has always aimed to become a manager. Degree in International Economics, Master’s degree in International Business, AIS Diploma: she applied her skills to managerial roles. For six years she has been on board of the most luxurious cruises where she climbed up the hierarchy becoming Assistant Manager. She joined IYO Group in 2022, first at IYO and now at AALTO as Restaurant Manager. In the dining room, she is careful, empathetic and hospitable, bringing a managerial vision that nurture everyone’s talent and background.

Luca Roccadoro

Assistant Manager

Born in Milan in 1995, after graduating from Hotelier Institute, he started working in the restaurant field right away. He started his career in Milan and since 2013 worked in renowned restaurant all over Italy. Japanese cuisine and culture enthusiast, he arrived in IYO Group in 2022, as Assistant Manager, flanking the Restaurant Manager Federica Strologo in the dining room and in management activities.

Vanessa Simini


Born in Milan in 1986, after studying foreign languages, she decided to pursue her interest in the beverage field. She obtained an AIS Diploma and a Sake Sommelier Qualification. Japanese culture enthusiast, after working in several fine dining restaurants in Milan, she entered in IYO Group in 2022, first at IYO and now at AALTO as Sommelier. She completes the gastronomic experience with her wise suggestions of wine and sake pairing choosing from more than 700 references with a wide selection of sakes and wines, from Italy, Europe and all over the world.