Fête - Honolulu, HI
Born and raised in Honolulu, Robynne Maii is the chef and owner of award-winning restaurant Fête in Honolulu’s Chinatown. A proud alumna of Punahou and ‘Iolani School, Maii pursued modern dance and English at Middlebury College before obtaining culinary and pastry arts degrees at Kapi‘olani Community College.
Maii began her culinary adventure at Kaimuki’s 3660 on the Rise, cooking under Chef Russell Siu and Padovani’s Bistro and Wine Bar, in Waikīkī where she transitioned to full-time pastry cook under Chef Pierre Padovani before leaving to New York for graduate school. After earning her master’s degree in food studies from New York University, Maii went on to work at Union Pacific and the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York.
Robynne Maii has also worked for Gourmet Magazine, Kitchen Arts & Letters Bookstore and played an integral role in developing and teaching the culinary program at The Art Institute of New York City and CUNY’s Kingsborough Community College. She was named the 2022 James Beard Award Foundation Best Chef for the Northwest and Pacific Region on her first nomination.
Robynne Maii is the first Hawai‘i-born recipient to win this award in 19 years and is the first Native Hawaiian woman to win a James Beard Foundation award.