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EXECUTIVE CHEF MIRKO PADERNO
FOUR SEASONS HOTEL LOS ANGELES at BEVERLY HILLS
                I feel like my job is more a mission to bring
April 2017 Issue | Vol. 5, No. 6                                                                    my culture to the table here.





 









 










 
 
 
 


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Chef Paderno shares why he does not cook when he visits his parents in Milan on our


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Mirko Paderno | Executive Chef | Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills Hanging out in the park and playing soccer, or a James Beard nomination? That’s the choice Mirko Paderno, when a clueless teenager, faced. Paderno, born and raised in Milan, Italy, had just finished high school and had to figure out what school to attend next for his chosen career. “You know,” Paderno described the situation, “I was like 15 years old. When you’re 15, what do you care about? You just want to have fun.” So he and some kids from school started “this little gang between friends”. He was, he said, “shopping around after high school” with his friends, going to different schools. “At one point,” Paderno said, “we walked into this building, I don’t remember, it had 20 floors, whatever, and at the front desk are beautiful girls about 15 or 16 years of age. I called my mom and said, Mom, there is my place. That is where I want to go.” Paderno informed his mom, who logically asked—What are you talking about?—that he wanted to be a cook. Not a chef, but a cook. He just wanted to work in a kitchen. “As a family,” Paderno said, “we cooked, always. So she said, Okay. We grew up around food, so it’s okay. If it’s what you want, why not? “So my first day was very bad,” Paderno continued. “I was focused on having fun. It was 50-percent in class and 50-percent in the kitchen. I was just, honestly—Leave me alone. I just want to have fun. And I remember, back in the day, one of the chefs was very, very old school. You know the kind of chef with a suit and tie and jacket, a chef’s coat. He, honestly, targeted me and the other three guys. He told us, You know what? I’m going to make your life impossible. That was the message.” Paderno remembers days of just peeling potatoes or only washing spinach. Don’t even think about going into the kitchen. “Day by day,” Paderno said, “I started to get more passionate about food. They actually saw something in me. Something was coming out.”