I suppose I hadn’t done enough research the first trip to Bora Bora for our honeymoon because we didn’t know La Villa Mahana existed until reading some restaurant reviews on TripAdvisor after the fact. So when Jessica and I visited Bora Bora the second time we decided to try this intimate fine dining restaurant on the main island.
Jessica and I enjoyed an incredible dinner at La Villa Mahana, so when preparations began for our third trip back to Bora Bora, making reservations was on the top of our to-do list. This place fills up quick so be sure to email Chef Damien ([email protected]) to make reservations 1-2 months in advance.
The La Villa Mahana Team pictured above (from left to right): Vaihere, Chef Damien, Yolande, Chef Jonathan, and Anne.
We wanted to learn more about the Chef/Owner and the magic behind La Villa Mahana. We were very grateful for Chef Damien Rinaldi-Dovio taking the time to answer our questions. Below is our email exchange.
Q&A with Chef Damien Rinaldi-Dovio:
1) When did La Villa Mahana first open?
- April 23rd , 2004
2) How did you select to have your restaurant in Bora Bora?
- Fell in love with the place
3) What culinary school did you go to?
- Institut of Paul Bocuse in Lyon, France
4) Who are your chef inspirations?
- Paul Bocuse, all the classic of French gastronomy
5) How would you describe a day in the life in the kitchen at La Villa Mahana?
- A lot of work in a pleasant atmosphere
6) La Villa Mahana has the reputation of being the best fine dining restaurant in Bora Bora, how do you continue to impress your guests?
- Never stop creating
7) What experience do you want to create for your customers when dining at La Villa Mahana?
- Joy and happiness
8) How does the French Polynesian culture and your previous cooking experiences influence your menu creations at La Villa Mahana?
- It does a lot but try to keep my background French origin pretty present and play a little with the produce of here.
9) Have any celebrities dined at La Villa Mahana?
- A lot: Bill gates family, John Travolta, Tom Cruise, Pierce Brosnan, Charlize Theron, Colin Farrell, James Cameron, Joel Silver, Brad Grey, Giada de Laurentis, Bill Clinton Family, Tara Banks, Zucchero, Sean Parker, and many more…
10) Fun Fact, what is your favorite food?
- My mom’s food wich is a mix of italian and french