Four Seasons Resort Hualalai
- 72-100 Ka`upulehu Drive, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, 96740, U.S.A.
Four Seasons Tenure
- Since 1999
- First Four Seasons Assignment: Chef de Cuisine, Four Seasons Hotel Toronto
- Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills, A Four Seasons Hotel; Four Seasons Hotel Toronto; Four Seasons Hotel Boston; Four Seasons Resorts Lana’i; Four Seasons Resort Carmelo, Uruguay; Four Seasons Hotel Toronto; The Inn At Manitou, McKellar, Ontario; Hotel Des Neiges, Courchevel, Savoie, France; Little Dix Bay, Virgin Gorda, BVI; Le Galion, Concarneau, Finistère, France
- Concarneau, Brittany, France
- Baccalauréat Professional, St-Marc Culinary School, Trègunc, France; Brevet de Technicien Supérieur, Sainte-Anne Culinary Institute, St-Nazaire, France
- English, French, Spanish
Whomever the customer, Thomas Bellec finds it best to simply go with what he knows: “I try not to focus too much on trends. I look first at where I am and what’s available seasonally, then at what I like to cook and how I like to cook it.” Local and seasonal ingredients are the cornerstone for the restaurants and dining experiences at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai. The Resort sources 75 percent of its ingredients from Hawai’i Island, and even hosts an oyster farm on-site where two types of oysters are grown and harvested.
Raised in coastal Concarneau in Brittany, France, Bellec was inspired to cook by his grandparents, who ran a renowned bakery in Brittany. His desire to go professional was his own, however: “I always wanted to play with food and please people” – a recipe for restaurant success if ever there was one. Trained in the classical tradition at a Michelin one-star in his hometown, he worked at a few addresses before joining Four Seasons as Chef de Cuisine in Toronto. He made five more stops with the company en route to Hualalai, including Carmelo, Lana’i, Boston, Toronto again, and Beverly Hills.
In 2015, Chef Bellec was deeply honoured to be named a Master Chef of France by Maîtres Cuisiniers de France, one of the most highly regarded French culinary organisations in the world.
As throughout his Four Seasons career, Bellec believes strongly in coaching his kitchen staff and guiding “green talent” to gold for Four Seasons. “Guiding and coaching are things I really enjoy, and it’s very rewarding to do what someone did for me,” he says, recalling the training he received from Michelin-starred Chef Henri Gaonac’h at Le Galion in Concarneau. “He was very strict and it was not always pleasant, but I realise now that it’s on you to make things pleasant or not. Every time I go back home, I thank Chef Henri.”
Meanwhile, every time he gets off work, Bellec thanks his lucky stars that he is not needed in the kitchen. “My wife is an excellent cook,” he says. Bellec, his wife, and their dog are loving life back in Hawai’i and appreciate the rich Hawaiian culture. Returning to the islands was a dream come true for Bellec, and he is taking his time soaking in the beautiful views at every turn.