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Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Hotel
Ralf Bauer always dreamed of becoming a chef, ever since he was a youngster growing up in Germany. And what better dream come true than to be a chef in paradise, previously overseeing two of Waikiki's premiere hotels – the then 795-room Sheraton Moana Surfrider and the 1,142-room Sheraton Princess Kaiulani. Currently Chef Bauer still oversees the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Hotel.
Promoted as the bi-plex executive chef for both the then Sheraton Moana Surfrider and Sheraton Princess Kaiulani hotels in February 2001, Bauer was recently the executive chef for the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani. With more than twenty years of culinary expertise behind him, Chef Bauer now oversees the kitchen operations for seven food and beverage outlets. His creative expertise is also relied upon when catering books meetings, weddings and special events within any of its 25,000 square feet of combined hotel function space.
Chef Bauer received his formal training at the Trade School for Chefs in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. "I always wanted to be a chef, since I was a kid," explains Bauer. "When I was 14, a big hotel opened in Germany. It was the biggest hotel in the area. I went there and said, ‘I want a job!' They told me, ‘You're too young – go to school.' I came back a year later and said, ‘Here I am again." And they gave me an apprenticeship at that hotel – I was just 15 years old."
Prior to joining Sheraton, Bauer was the executive sous chef at the former Kahala Hilton in Honolulu. He also has held positions as sous chef at the Toronto Airport Hilton, as sous chef at the Trinidad Hilton and chef de parte at Vista International Washington.
Bauer has participated in numerous culinary competitions and has received awards for his creativity, including the grand prize for the Dole Tropical Fruit Competition and gold medals for the Hawaii Dessert Fantasy Competition. He is a member of La Chaines Des Rotisseurs and Chef de Cuisine.
Chef Bauer has conducted numerous cooking demonstrations before a live audience and has a great rapport with the crowd. He has promoted Sheraton's "Flavors of Hawaii" cuisine throughout the island including at Williams Sonoma, Liberty House and Kahala Mall. He has appeared on KHON TV 2 (FOX affiliate) for the Hearty Chef morning show with host Diana Helfand. His recipes have been featured in MIDWEEK and THE HONOLULU ADVERTISER.
Chef Bauer comments, "There's no other place in the world like Hawaii. With Hawaii's diverse ethnic backgrounds, it gives us (chefs) the opportunity to create fantastic dishes. We have to make our customers feel special, feel comfortable, feel good." Customers are sated with cuisine choices like sautéed mahi mahi with lemon thyme sauce and Kamuela tomato / avocado salsa, or crispy opakapaka with Hawaiian fern shots, and Maui onions served with soy vinaigrette and tomato ginger chutney – both featured "Flavors of Hawaii" dishes at the Ship's Tavern restaurant. Each restaurant has its own special charm and attraction. Bauer oversees the following food and beverage / restaurant outlets at the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort: The Banyan Veranda, Ship's Tavern and Beachside Café. At the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani, he oversees Momoyama, Pikake Terrace Buffet & Broiler, Creation – A Polynesian Journey (Dinner Show) and Minute Chef.
Chef Bauer is an outstanding executive chef because he understands his customers and their needs. Everyone wants to "feel special, feel comfortable, feel good" – sounds like a great recipe for dining, and for living.