Chef Philippe Padovani
Award-winning Chef Philippe Padovani began his culinary training at age 15. Born in Marseille, France, Chef Padovani was only nine months old when his family moved to Australia. Raised in the Australian outback, he moved back to France at age 14 and began his apprenticeship the following year in the “Les Mésanges” restaurant in Montbonnot, with Georges Achini and Gilbert Battard in the suburbs of Grenoble. He then worked at some of the world’s top restaurants: La Wurtzmuhle (Strasbourg), La Pyramide (Vienne), La Mère Blanc (Vonnas), and he has worked with such celebrated chefs as Michel Rostang and Georges Blanc. He achieved acclaim at the avant-garde style Restaurant La Tour Rose in Lyon.
Chef Padovani arrived in Hawai’i in 1986 as the Executive Chef of the famed La Mer restaurant in the Halekulani Hotel in Waikiki after serving as a consultant for the Halekulani since it reopened in 1984. After four years as Executive Chef and the Corporate Chef at the Halekulani, he moved to the Big Island to open The Ritz-Carlton Mauna Lani (now the Orchid at Mauna Lani). From there he moved to The Manele Bay Hotel on Lana’i as Executive Chef and finally moved back to Oahu in 1998 to open Padovani’s Bistro & Wine Bar (which later became Padovani’s Restaurant) in the DoubleTree Alana Waikiki Hotel. At Padovani’s Restaurant, he earned accolades, including: Gourmet Magazine America’s Best Restaurants: Honolulu, 2000; Wine Spectator, Best of Award of Excellence, 2000, 2004, 2005; Wine Spectator, Award of Excellence, 1999, 2003; Zagat Guide, Rating of Excellence, 1999, 2001; Fodor’s, Special Recommendation, 2002; Frommer’s, Best Restaurant, 3 Star Rating, 2002; Gayot, The Best of Hawaii, Excellent Rating, 2000; Honolulu Advertiser Ilima Award, Critic’s Choice, 1999; Honolulu Magazine Hale ‘Aina Award, Best New Restaurant, 1999; Honolulu Magazine Hale ‘Aina Award, Restaurant of Distinction, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003; Honolulu Magazine Hale ‘Aina Award, Best Restaurant Wine List, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005; and Honolulu Magazine Hale ‘Aina Award, Top Oahu Restaurant, 2001 He is one of the original twelve members of Hawaii Regional Cuisine, Inc., a coalition of Hawaii’s most celebrated chefs formed to celebrate the remarkable diversity and sophistication of food in Hawai’i. He continues his involvement in promoting the foods of Hawai’i by being a part of the Hawaii Dept. of Agriculture Foods of Hawai’i program.
Chef Philippe Padovani was a participant of the World Gourmet Summit 2002 in Singapore. He was one of only ten chefs worldwide invited to an international showcase of the best of food and wine. The event featured culinary masterclasses, vintner dinners, wine masterclasses and activities such as the Masterchef Safari and the James Beard Foundation Charity Dinner. He opened a second restaurant in San Francisco, also named Padovani’s Restaurant, in March, 2003. He opened his newest venture, a retail shop for Padovani’s Chocolates, in February, 2006. In May, 2007 he begins a new venture with fellow chef Donato Loperfido, opening `Elua Restaurant & Wine Bar at 1341 Kapiolani Blvd. His latest venture will feature dishes which change seasonally and are specifically paired with wine.