Steve Pagano has spent over 40 years in the hotel business working in Hawaii to Washington D.C. Pagano has held a multitude of positions in 15 resorts and hotel beginning with culinary apprenticeships at Kona Village Resort and Mauna Kea Beach Hotel in Hawaii.
In 1986, Pagano became a certified Executive Chef with the American Culinary Federation. Since then, he has held the Executive Chef position at several hotels accruing culinary medals at the International Culinary Olympics in Frankfurt Germany competing as an individual against teams from 62 countries. He has been awarded the Antonine Crème medal for his contributions to the food and beverage industry.
Pagano shifted careers from chef to manager, becoming the Director of Food and Beverage at The Monterey Plaza Hotel, Renaissance Esmeralda Resort and the Mayflower Hotel in Washington D.C.
It was in San Diego that Pagano was hired as the General Manager for the Marriott Del Mar where he created Arterra Restaurant with chefs Bradley Ogden and Carl Schroeder. Pagano then transitioned to Hotel Manager at the San Diego Marriott Marquis. Pagano is a founding partner of Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant as well as a partner in other free-standing restaurants. Pagano has served on the Board of The American Institute of Food and Wine. He also holds Advisory Committee positions for the San Diego Somm Con, the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival as well as being Bailli Honoraire for the Chaine des Rotisseurs. Pagano is a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers.
Having traveled to over 70 countries in pursuit of the best in food and wine, Pagano now owns and operates Luminosa Luxury Travel LLC where he provides global food and wine tours, luxury cruises and expeditions, as well as golf tours, safaris and high-end train tours.
Steve Pagano is a member of the SommCon Advisory Board