THE CHEFS OF MAUNA KEA BEACH HOTEL
Executive Sous Chef Rio Miceli
Soon after joining the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel culinary team, Chef Rio was tasked with developing a fun “sharable plates” concept and menu for the hotel’s new Copper Bar. Within a year, Miceli was promoted from Sous Chef to Chef de Cuisine for the hotel. At Copper Bar, he was responsible for planning and directing food preparations, while supervising kitchen staff and developing menus.
Born and raised in Hawi, Hawaii, Miceli began his career as a line cook at Bamboo Restaurant. He continued honing his culinary skills in the San Francisco Bay Area before attending the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont.
In 2003, Miceli returned to Bamboo Restaurant as head chef shortly before opening the very popular Sushi Rock restaurant in his hometown of Hawi, where he served as chef and co-owner. After seven years, he launched his own private catering company, Rio Chef Services.
Miceli joined Mauna Kea Beach Hotel mid-2015 where he was quickly able to utilize his full breadth and width of talent. Promoted in 2017 to Executive Sous Chef, he is now responsible for restaurant menu development and preparation throughout the hotel's dining outlets while ensuring innovation and quality.
Banquet Chef Polly Pagdilao
Over the past more than 31 years, Pagdilao has learned from a succession of executive chefs at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel including Daniel Thiebaut, George Gomes Jr. and others. From each, with their own styles and techniques, Pagdilao retains the best to add to his own arsenal of natural talent. Pagdilao trained for one month in every culinary station; the bake shop, garde mange and in the main kitchen. Then he worked in the hotel’s Garden Room and Batik restaurants.
He has worked throughout Mauna Kea Resort including the Coast Grille and banquet kitchen at sister property, Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel.
What he has always loved is that he feels he is constantly learning. Today, he is proud of the menus throughout Mauna Kea Beach Hotel that are filled with the bounty of the island, from the ocean to the mountain, from fresh seafood to Kulana beef and lettuces and vegetables from Waimea.
As the hotel's Banquet Chef, Pagdilao is responsible for planning and directing food preparation and supervising kitchen staff with menu development and quality controls for the resort's Luau and Clambake and for the many special occasion events hosted at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel throughout the year.
Sous Chef Christopher Galindo
Chef Chris began his culinary journey as a student of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Sacramento, California. Soon after his certification, he began an internship under the direction of Executive Chef Oliver Beckert where he honed his skills under Chef Beckert's tutelage.
Galindo joined the Mauna Kea culinary team in April 2015 following a stint at the Four Seasons Hotel on Lanai.
Here at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, he has put his creative touch on new menus items at Number 3 and the beach side Hau Tree restaurants while assisting with management of the hotel’s multiple kitchens, staff development and training.
Sous Chef Gianni Fabiani
Chef Gianni has nearly 20 years in the hospitality/culinary industry. After time spent at the Four Seasons Lanai and then in Chicago, Fabiani was excited at the opportunity to return to Hawaii - and the opportunity to work once again with amazing local produce and protein.
Specials which showcase the breadth and depth of Fabiani's skill can be found on evening menus at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel's signature dining room, Manta.