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Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong

  • 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong, China
HKG_2203_square_300x300

Dirk Haltenhof

Executive Chef
“Travel the world with open eyes and respect artisans who connect ancient and present flavours in their cuisine. There are no better history lessons than the stories told by the combination of spices and herbs.”

 

Four Seasons Tenure

  • Since 2019
  • First Four Seasons Assignment: Current

Employment History

  • Badrutt’s Palace, St. Moritz; Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai; The Oberoi, Dubai; Mandarin Oriental, Macau; Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur; Le Grand Hotel Bellevue, Switzerland

Birthplace

  • Black Forest, Germany

Education

  • Bachelor Degree, Culinary Apprenticeship, Bad Hotel Bad Teinach, Germany; Bachelor Degree, Engineering, Wood, Technical, Study and Apprenticeship, Company Fleck Zaeune

Languages Spoken

  • English, German

Dirk Haltenhof hails from Black Forest, Germany, the magical land of artistic traditions, and strikes a beautiful balance of creativity and practicality influenced by cultural legacy. As a seasoned chef and an engineer, Haltenhof has left footprints in Europe, Middle East (Dubai) and Asia, adding flair to his traditional European cooking. Influences from various cultures with different cooking techniques and spices left a mark on Haltenhof’s palate, which he translates into his creations and the guest experience. With an illustrative background including managing the culinary division in luxury destinations such as Badrutt’s Palace in St. Moritz, doing a series of hotel openings and rebranding projects across different markets, and a notable feat of having led 42 restaurants and five executive chefs at The Madinat Jumeirah, Haltenhof’s repertoire of experience makes him a mentor to the brigade of ambitious chefs at Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong and lend remarkable dining experiences in the Hotel’s restaurants, bars and event catering. With an entrepreneurial mindset, he also brings his specialty into developing restaurant concepts and new dining venues, bridging multi-dimensional flavours.

Haltenhof’s passion for cooking began as he watched his grandfather, a German master chef, create magic at his parent’s restaurant. He had a penchant for antique pots and pans he found in the attic of his grandfather’s place. However, he took a diversion in his teenage years and decided to score a degree in engineering, followed by the completion of military service in the German army before going to culinary school during his second apprenticeship in southern Germany. His engineering background provided an edge to his capacity as he adopted a mindset that every problem can be solved.  It can be the geometric side of plating a dish and other times, building furniture that will help with the operations of the kitchen service or elevating guest experiences. Meanwhile, his technical background instilled a strong sense of self-discipline and perseverance throughout his career.

Haltenhof is quite a world traveller. He embarked his culinary journey from Black Forest via The Hotel Engel in Obertal, a five star hotel renowned for its spa and dining venues. He then cooked in several Michelin starred restaurants in Austria, northern Germany and later Gstaad, Switzerland.

His fruitful career then brought him the position of sous chef at Le Grand Hotel Bellevue, creating dishes for a one Michelin star restaurant Prado. After Switzerland, Asia’s fastest growing city Kuala Lumpur beckoned, where Haltenhof became chef de cuisine at the award-winning Pacifica Grill & Bar in Mandarin Oriental.  Shortly after, he was promoted to executive sous chef for the entire hotel before he joined the pre-opening team at Mandarin Oriental, Macau as executive chef.

With a wealth of leadership experience, Haltenhof took on the role in another pre-opening hotel, The Oberoi, Dubai as executive chef. His success led him to oversee the multi-outlet hotel at Madinat Jumeirah as resort executive chef, overseeing a total of 450 chefs and 200 stewarding staff. He was instrumental to the opening of Jumeirah Al Naseem, renovation of six restaurants, and the relaunch of four restaurants and two bars.

Prior to Hong Kong, Haltenhof was with Badrutt’s Palace in St. Moritz, Switzerland, managing the culinary division of 10 restaurants and bars, offering gourmet dining to both large banquets and intimate events.

Among his collection of accolades, Haltenhof has been recognised:

  • 2016 Power 50 – #1 by Caterer Middle East
  • 2015 Winner of Hotel Executive Chef 2015 by Caterer Middle East
  • 2015 Finalist of the Executive Chef of the Year & Pro Chef of the Year by Pro Chef Dubai
  • 2013 Winner of Innovation Chef by Pro Chef Dubai
  • Triple 5 Star Rating for Mandarin Oriental, Macau by Forbes Travel Guide

Hong Kong is a city that celebrates diversity and Haltenhof, with his wife and two daughters, find comfort quite promptly in this cosmopolitan setting. “Joining this renowned flagship of the Four Seasons brand, I am honoured with this opportunity to continue with the legacy that Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong has become known for, with an unprecedented 8 Michelin Stars under one roof. It's exciting to meet old and new friends in this city and in this iconic hotel, and create new successes together with the team,” says Haltenhof. The international chef has always had an affinity and connection to the Four Seasons brand, as he and his wife wed at Four Seasons Resort Langkawi.

With new restaurant openings and refurbishments under his belt, Haltenhof will continue to cement Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong as the dining mecca - the destination for the city’s most sought-after dining experiences.

Following his motto of always staying curious, he is currently working on obtaining his MBA from EHL in Lausanne, Switzerland.