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Halekulani Announces the Launch of an Exceptional New Culinary Concept at Orchids

December 23, 2016 Hotel News No Comments Email Email

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 restaurateur 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.

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