Our Chefs

Photos of each of the acclaimed chefs at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is coming soon.


Executive Sous Chef Polly Pagdilao

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.

Over the past 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.

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.

He is also proud to pass his skills, honed over thousands of hours in the kitchens of Mauna Kea Resort, along to a younger generation so that the rich culinary traditions of the hotel might continue for decades to come.

As executive sous chef, Pagdilao is responsible for planning and directing food preparation and supervising kitchen staff while assisting the Executive Chef with menu development and quality controls.

Chef de Cuisine Rio Miceli

At Copper Bar, Chef Rio Miceli is responsible for planning and directing food preparations, while supervising kitchen staff and developing menus.

Soon after joining the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel culinary team, he 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.

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 is able to utilize his full breadth and width of talent to ensure the menus of Mauna Kea are relevant and innovative while helping to mentor others to grow and develop their own culinary chops.

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.

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 already put his creative touch on a new menu at Number 3 restaurant while assisting with management of the hotel’s multiple kitchens and staff development and training.