New Chef Christian Testa brings delectable Mediterranean-Italian cuisine in a casually elegant setting
WAIKIKI, HAWAII (December 15, 2016) – Halekulani, Oahu’s famed luxury hotel just steps away from Waikiki Beach, announces the newly conceptualized menu at one of its five award-winning dining venues, Orchids, and the two recently appointed Food & Beverage executives behind the cuisine. The duo of Executive Chef de Cuisine, Christian Testa alongside Orchids General Manager, Dante Camara, reintroduce Orchids with a fresh and innovative culinary focus, integrating local Hawaiian and coveted European ingredients into masterful Mediterranean-inspired, coastal Italian cuisine.
“As we approach Halekulani’s centennial year, we are delighted to welcome an experienced and dynamic restaurant team to assume the operational and culinary leadership of Orchids at Halekulani,” said Peter Shaindlin, Chief Operating Officer of Halekulani Corporation. “The new menu concept perfectly complements the oceanfront, casually elegant ambiance of Orchids and our world-class service.”
In celebrating the sophisticated flavors of the coastal Italian regions, Chef Testa has infused his own distinctive flair to create signature dishes for Orchids including a Harris Ranch Prime Beef Fillet appetizer, served with thinly sliced prime fillet, arugula salad, parmesan, mushroom and truffle aioli; Homemade Lasangette featuring freshly chef-made pasta, local Kahuku prawns, scallops and avocado; and the Seafood Carta Fata made with local Hawaiian onaga (red snapper), clams, mussels, scallops, shrimp, crouton and fresh tomato sauce.
Chef Christian Testa hails from Genova, Italy, renowned for its exquisite seafood, abundance of fresh vegetables and skillfully invented dishes. His extensive knowledge of Italian and international techniques gained from his previous experiences at acclaimed hotel kitchens across the globe, such as the Splendido Hotel in Portofino and La Coquille in Bermuda, has developed Testa into a young master of Italian cuisine. His unique technique allows him to create elegantly simple and flavorful dishes utilizing the finest of locally-sourced and global products in his deftly energized menus.
“As the new Chef de Cuisine, I look forward to executing a creative vision that will elevate the gastronomy at Orchids,” said Chef Christian Testa. “My inspiration comes from cooking with my grandmother as a child—a lifelong passion that has translated into an innovative new menu at Orchids, with something special infused into every dish.”
Partnering with Chef Testa and overseeing all operations at Orchids, Dante Camara is a native of Hawaii, who has worked as a restauranteur for more than 20 years. While on the mainland, he worked in New York City at Daniel Boulud’s restaurants and Andrew Carmellini’s A Voce Italian Restaurant, as well as Wynn in Las Vegas. In Hawaii, Dante has worked as General Manager at Azure in the Royal Hawaiian Hotel and General Manager of Hoku’s at the Kahala Hotel & Resort. The combined years of experience and techniques from Dante Camara and Christian Testa will bring a new and refined touch to the quality and presentation of the food and cultivate the overall Orchids experience.
Since its inception, Orchids has been known for serving guests delectable dishes that reflect sophisticated simplicity. With its new Mediterranean menu concept, complemented by its unparalleled seaside location on the ocean at Halekulani, Orchids offers relaxed yet elegant ambiance that promises to deliver an extraordinary guest experience in each bite.
Since its inception in 1984 as one of the world’s finest and most acclaimed independent luxury hotels, Halekulani has received more than 500 accolades, awards and honoraria. The property was voted Best Hotel on Oahu in Travel + Leisure’s 500 World’s Best Hotels for 2015 and was ranked the top Hawaii Hotel on Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards in 2016. Halekulani is home to SpaHalekulani, House Without A Key, Lewers Lounge, Orchids and La Mer, Hawaii’s longest, consecutively ranked AAA 5 Diamond and Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Restaurant. For twenty years, Halekulani has maintained a strong commitment to arts and culture through exclusive alliances with Oahu’s most iconic cultural venues. Halekulani is operated by the Hotels and Resorts of Halekulani, a brand management division of the Honolulu-based Halekulani Corporation, which also oversees the Waikiki Parc. Halekulani is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World and is aligned with Japan’s legendary Imperial Hotel.
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