Raphael Lunetta - Hawaii Food & Wine Festival


Raphael Lunetta

Lunetta - Santa Monica, CA

Born in Southern California, celebrated chef and personality Raphael Lunetta is recognized as one

Los Angeles’ most respected chefs. He grew up in a bicultural and bilingual family where cooking played an integral role in family life. Every summer, his family spent time in the South of France at his aunt’s 18th-century farmhouse where they enjoyed large family dinners, cooking fresh-caught fish and vegetables picked from their garden over open fires. This setting ignited Raphael’s love for light, simple French cooking.

In 1986, Lunetta moved to France, where he worked in Paris at Café Pacifico, La Perla, and Restaurant La Posté. After two years, Lunetta returned to Santa Monica to work in the kitchen at the just-opened Broadway Deli. From 1990 through 1996, he worked his way through some of the city’s top kitchens including the esteemed Patina, Capri in Venice and Jackson’s in Beverly Hills.

His experiences culminated with him opening his own restaurant, JiRaffe, in Santa Monica in 1997. Lunetta became one of the city’s most respected chefs and was honored in 1997 as a Food and Wine Magazine Best New Chef and received the Fine Dining Award from Nation’s Restaurant News.  Throughout his career, Lunetta has participated in national television shows, including Knife Fight, My Country My Kitchen, Top Chef, and Beat Bobby Flay.

In 2017, Lunetta partnered with hospitality veterans Daniel Weinstock and Mike Garrett of Divide + Conquer, Inc. to open Lunetta and Lunetta All Day in Santa Monica. At these restaurants, Lunetta continues to craft what he is best known for—a warm, comfortable setting where simple, clean flavors and local ingredients take center stage.