Culinary Team Profiles
PIERRE ALBALADEJO, EXECUTIVE CHEF
With more than a decade of experience working in highly-regarded kitchens in Europe and the United States, Executive Chef Pierre Albaladejo has perfected his contemplative and respectful style of cooking. Chef Albaladejo oversees Park Hyatt Aviara Resort’s complete culinary operations, including four restaurants, the lobby lounge, banquet facilities, room service, menu and recipe development, and management of the hotel’s kitchen staff.
Chef Albaladejo’s culinary style pays respect to each ingredient in order to maximize taste. Creating new dishes, drawing from the abundance of local, fresh ingredients from San Diego, challenges and inspires him to continually update the hotel’s food program.
Chef Albaladejo joined the resort in 2003. Before joining Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Chef Albaladejo was the Executive Chef for Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea where he and his team helped to earn the resort several prestigious culinary awards. Prior to that, Chef Albaladejo was the Executive Chef for Ritz Carlton Hotel Company in Rancho Mirage and at the Hotel Arts Barcelona (a Ritz Carlton Hotel) in Spain.
A native of Dax, France, Chef Albaladejo graduated from the Culinary Institute Lycee d’ Enseignement Professionel de Capbreton in Landes, France. His culinary career in France included posts at the three-star Lucas Carton in Paris, two-star Café de Paris in Biarritz and Palais de L’Elysee in Paris in the private kitchen of President Francois Mitterand.
Chef Albaladejo currently lives in San Diego with his wife and three children. When he’s not in the kitchen, you can find him surfing at one of the local beaches.
FRANCK RIFFAUD, EXECUTIVE PASTRY CHEF
As Executive Pastry Chef for Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Franck Riffaud is responsible for designing and producing delectable desserts for banquets, catering and five on-property restaurants including Vivace, the resort’s signature AAA Four Diamond Italian restaurant. His renowned, elaborate holiday displays for Easter, Halloween, and most notably, Christmas, have become a guest-favorite attraction on property. His Gingerbread Mountain Village, complete with “Frosty’s Ski-Daddle Ski School,” a “Snow Tube Rental,” and of course, “Santa’s House,” takes Chef and his team more than two months to carefully construct.
Chef Riffaud joined Park Hyatt Aviara Resort after three years at Four Seasons Hotel Dublin, where endless tempting pastry creations earned him a reputation as one of Ireland’s leading pastry chefs.
Born in France, Chef Riffaud grew up on a farm in Bordeaux. His grandmother taught him to cook, instilling in him a respect for the quality of the produce in each dish. At the age of 17, Riffaud went to the Culinary School of Quercy Perigord in Souillac. While there, he learned all aspects of French culinary skills and cultures, and discovered his love of sweet foods, especially pastries. Chef Riffaud continued his career in France and worked as Assistant Pastry Chef in Three-Star Michelin restaurants and some of the top Relais & Chateaux restaurants including Le Bateau Ivre, Le Grand Coeur & Le Cagnard.
“There are two kinds of pastry chefs; the artist who creates elaborate dishes that are almost like sculptures and the passionate,” said Riffaud. “I fall into the latter category.”
He was later named pastry chef at L’Orangerie (Five Star Mobil and Five Diamond AAA) in Los Angeles, where he stayed for three years; The Ritz Carlton (Five Star Mobil) in Naples, FL; and Paris Las Vegas Hotel. It was there that Chef Riffaud received an offer with Four Seasons Hotels in Dublin, Ireland. During his time at Four Seasons Hotel Dublin, he pushed the boundaries of creativity, developing a unique dessert menu that was distinctive from any other in the country. His White Chocolate Scones became legendary, but Chef’s personal favorite dessert is Crème Brulee.