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a man that is standing in the snow

In a recent episode of the Port City Plate podcast, our owner Chris had the pleasure of speaking with celebrity chef Panini Pete. With a multitude of successful restaurants under his belt, Panini Pete’s culinary journey began in 2006 in Fairhope, Alabama. In this blog post, we delve into the chef’s humble beginnings, his passion for local history, and his plans for the future.

The Origin of Panini Pete:

Panini Pete, known for his illustrious career and unique dishes, shared the story behind his nickname. Growing up in South Florida, he graduated from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America (CIA). It was this background that led him to the charming town of Fairhope, Alabama, where he opened his first restaurant, Panini Pete’s.

From Panini Pete’s to a Culinary Empire:

In 2006, Panini Pete took the leap of faith and opened his first restaurant. With a strong social media presence, he attracted customers in the early days, even before social media took center stage. One unique feature of his dishes is the use of lemons in his beignets, a story shared on the Taste of Fairhope food tour.

Panini Pete’s passion for local history is evident in his dishes at Squid Ink in Mobile, where many food items have stories tied to Mobile’s rich past like the two you will try on the Bienville Bites Food Tour. With a love for history, Pete has become a local celebrity chef in our area, appearing on the Food Network and getting involved with the Messlords, a group of chefs who entertain and cook for the military.

The Growth and Evolution of Panini Pete’s Brand:

After opening his second location in Downtown Mobile, Panini Pete partnered with Nick DiMario, leading to the expansion of their culinary empire. Together, they have opened Sunset Pointe at Fly Creek Marina, Squid Ink, Ed’s Seafood Shed, Fairhope Squeeze, and more. This growth forced Pete to transition from the day-to-day grind in the kitchen to focusing on the business side of his restaurants.

Consistency and Distinction in the Panini Pete Brand:

Balancing consistency with distinction, Panini Pete ensures each restaurant stays true to its brand while offering a unique experience. Nick DiMario’s support of Pete’s innovative thinking has played a crucial role in their success.

Future Plans:

Pete broke the news on this podcast about their newest venture, The Waterfront Restaurant. The return of Ed’s Seafood Shed after a fire, Parc Le Tralour a food hall in Downtown Mobile are all coming soon!

Giving Back to the Community:

Panini Pete’s commitment to the community is also evident through his work with the PR Foundation, where he helps to build new homes for those in need.

Panini Pete’s culinary journey is a testament to passion, innovation, and determination. As he continues to expand his brand and create unforgettable dining experiences, we can only expect greater things from this local celebrity chef.