Born and raised in St. Tropez, France, Chef Dominique Filoni saw cooking and eating as a family affair. Activities often revolved around food, whether it was helping his grandmother prepare one of her legendary culinary feasts, foraging for wild mushrooms and leeks with his uncle, tending to the family garden, or searching for snails with his mother. By the time Filoni was 16, he had already graduated with honors from the intensive culinary program at the Lycee Hotelier Institute in Hyeres, France.
For five years, Filoni cooked at several well-regarded restaurants in the French Alps, the French Riviera, and Paris. During this time, Filoni learned the importance of using the freshest ingredients, and the necessity of incorporating these ingredients on a seasonal basis into menu development. As he rose through the ranks, he began to understand the subtle hand necessary to coax maximum flavor from dishes by letting flavors speak for themselves.
Always eager to expand his knowledge and take on new culinary challenges, Filoni moved to the United States in 1995 to accept the position of chef de cuisine at Tierra restaurant in Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania.
In 1997, the owners of the former Tierra restaurant recognized Filoni’s extraordinary talent and promoted him to chef de cuisine at the subsequently named Savona. Keeping in line with his simple philosophy of utilizing only the best ingredients available, Filoni blended his superb French discipline with his love for Italian spontaneity. The result of this combination developed into his own innovative signature style of cooking. Filoni’s dedication to Savona was soon rewarded when he became one of the restaurant’s partners and executive chef in 2000.
Just three years later, in 2003, Filoni became inducted into the Maitres Cuisiniers de France, making him the youngest French Master Chef in the United States. In 2004, StarChefs.com named Filoni one of its Philadelphia Rising Star Chefs, and he has been featured on the Food Network, in Wine Spectator, Bon Appetit, Town and Country and Culinary Trends, among others. After leaving Savona, Filoni headed to Long Branch, New Jersey where he became the executive chef at Avenue.