Joachim Splichal of Patina Restaurant Group - Biography

Los Angeles, CA

November 2010

Joachim Splichal is a leading figure in America's evolving food and restaurant industry, with over 20 years of experience in hospitality. Born and raised in the Spaichingen, a small village in Germany, he left his home country at the age of 18 to work in the hotel industry, allowing him to travel around the world to places like Canada, Morocco, Israel, Sweden, Norway and Switzerland. He perfected his culinary training in France, where he worked as chef saucier at La Bonne Auberge, a Michelin three-star restaurant in Antibes, and at the legendary L'Oasis in La Napoule. At age 23, he was hired as sous chef by Jacques Maximin, who became his professional mentor, and worked at his side for four years at the Chantecler restaurant in the Hotel Negresco in Nice. During this period, Splichal accumulated numerous culinary awards, including first prize for "Youngest and Most Creative Chef" from the Cercle Epicurien Society.

With nothing but trunks filled with personal belongings, Splichal came to the United States in 1981 to serve as Executive Chef for the newly established Regency Club in Los Angeles. His reputation spread, and he proved wildly successful at the Seventh Street Bistro in downtown Los Angeles, an establishment he helped develop from the ground up. He left to open Max Au Triangle in 1984, where his memorable meals were the talks of L.A.'s food aficionados.

With his wife Christine, Splichal opened the famed Patina Restaurant in Los Angeles in 1989, and has since gone on to open five additional French bistro-style restaurants, a museum cafe, and a catering division. In 1995 he was inducted into the James Beard Foundation Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America, who also named him the "Best California Chef" in 1991 and nominated him (twice) for "Best Chef of the Year" in 1991 and 1994. In 1996, Splichal was named "Treasure of Los Angeles" by the Central City Association and Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan. In 1997 he was voted Restaurateur of the Year by the California Restaurant Writers Association.

Patina's success enabled Joachim to open Pinot Bistro in Studio City, Patinette at MOCA and Cafe Pinot in downtown L.A., Pinot Hollywood in Hollywood, Pinot Blanc in St. Helena, Napa Valley and Pinot at the Chronicle in Pasadena. In 1995, Splichal published "Patina Cookbook: Spuds, Truffles and Wild Gnocchi," with text by noted food historian and Los Angeles Times staff writer Charles Perry. And Splichal has consulted for numerous hotels and restaurants, including the Highland Inn in Carmel, the Ventana Inn in Big Sur, CA, and the Canyon Ranch resorts in Tucson, AZ and Lenox, MA. He has also consulted for Windstar Cruises, for whom he recreated their overall menu design and trained kitchen staff.