Peter Armellino - Hawaii Food & Wine Festival

TENTH ANNUAL - SAVE THE DATE – OCTOBER 2-25, 2020

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Peter Armellino

The Plumed Horse - Saratoga, CA

Chef Peter Armellino began cooking professionally in Long Island, New York at the age of 17.  Growing up in rural Suffolk County surrounded by farmland and top-notch seafood cultivated his love for food and cooking. In the early 90’s, Armellino made the big move to New York City.

Throughout his twenties, he honed his craft working in some of New York City’s best restaurants.  Having returned from an eye opening travel experience in Europe, he decided to challenge himself with another move, heading west to the mecca of California cuisine, the Bay Area. Armellino began working alongside Chef Laurent Manrique, first at Campton Place and then later at Aqua restaurant as Chef de Cuisine.  They were awarded two Michelin stars in the inaugural Bay Area Michelin guide.

The Plumed Horse has also been awarded a coveted Michelin Star consecutively since 2009.  The Plumed Horse’s quintessentially California cuisine is luxurious and refined. Named the Best New Restaurant in 2008 by Esquire and with one Michelin Star for the last 10 years, this contemporary Californian restaurant features a seasonal menu using the highest quality ingredients, including sustainably sourced fish and shellfish, and local and organic produce.

The original Plumed Horse in Saratoga opened in 1952, in 2008 the restaurant underwent a multimillion-dollar facelift and with the addition of Chef Peter Armellino, have made this into an entirely new restaurant. Its cutting-edge design, with a glassed in Chef’s Table, multi-colored chandeliers, and a three-story glass wine cellar, creates a modern stage for Peter Armellino’s contemporary California-inspired menu.  The list of 1,800 wines from around the world is encyclopedic and the service is formal but friendly.



 

WHY DID YOU BECOME A CHEF?
I became a chef to express my creative self, to take care of people, and be part of a team striving for the goal of making memories. I’ve wanted to be a chef since before I knew what that meant. Food and wine are my passion, my hobby, and my inspiration. Fine dining is the highest form of culinary art and we strive for that excellence every night.

HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COOKING IN THREE WORDS?
Contemporary, seasonal, Californian.

WHAT’S THE BEST HONOR YOU’VE RECEIVED AS A CHEF?
To be awarded a Michelin Star, which is an amazing honor.

WHAT IS YOUR GO-TO MEAL AFTER A BUSY DAY?
In my younger days, I could eat anything I wanted after work which would usually be late night pizza after a few drinks. Now the policy is no food after 8, and drinks are water, or wine on the weekends!

HOW DO YOU SPEND YOUR TIME WHEN YOU’RE NOT IN THE KITCHEN?
I’ve been learning to do ceramics for a couple years now. It’s like letting go and relaxing, with that added bonus of something beautiful coming out of it. I use it in the restaurant, I give some away, and some are stacked up all over my house!

WHAT THE ONE LOCAL INGREDIENT YOU’RE EXCITED TO COOK WITH DURING HFWF19?
I’m a little crazy about seafood, so I will be hoping to get my hands on some. I’ve cooked abalone on the Big Island and had prawns in Maui. We are open to whatever is freshest and in season. I also have never tried Hawai’i’s beef and would love to cook some as well!

HAVE YOU BEEN TO HAWAII BEFORE? WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO DURING YOUR VISIT?
This will be my fifth trip to Hawai’i and my first trip to Oahu and Waikīkī. I’m really looking forward to getting out and exploring the island. We are really excited about the event and our focus is to give everyone a chance to see what we can do with Hawai’i’s amazing products!

IF YOU WERE NOT A CHEF, WHAT WOULD YOU BE AND WHY?
I was born to be a chef , but if for some reason I couldn’t be a chef, I would do some form of healing. Physical or mental healing is something that people will always need and would be gratifying way to take care of people.