Hobbit Experience

Staff

Michael Philippi
Executive Chef / Owner

Mike Philippi has been the owner and executive chef of the hobbit restaurant for over 30 years. His culinary training is from a classic French background; today his cuisine is focused on global and seasonal foods. You can see his passion for wine when viewing over 1000 selections of wine, which are on display in the wine cellar.

Debra Philippi
Event Coordinator / Owner

Debra Philippi owner, manager and event coordinator has over seen and trained the dining room staff for over 26 years. Debra’s staff has garnered the highest Zagat rating for service in Orange and L.A. Counties. Her artistic abilities can be seen on the Hobbit Champagne bottle, the label is an oil painting of the Hobbit, which she painted. Her attention to detail is evident in everything from seasonal changes in the decor, to the stunning fresh flower arrangements.

 Matthew McKinney
 
General Manager

Matthew began his fine dining career here at the Hobbit over a decade ago - time flies when you're having fun! In 2012 he moved to Texas, where he worked at Bob's Steak and Chophouse before coming back to California. He spent a couple of years with Mastro's Steakhouse as a sommelier and service trainer and most recently worked as a sommelier for the prestigious resort, Montage Laguna Beach. Having a wide array of experience in the industry, from small family-owned restaurants to very high volume, fast paced environments, returning to the Hobbit is a sort of homecoming for Matt. His passion for food, wine, people and genuine hospitality is infections - and he strongly believes that gathering around the table with great food, good wine and lively conversation creates some of life's best memories. 

Kyle Gilles
Chef de Cuisine

Kyle began his tenure at The Hobbit in 2002 until relocating to Baltimore in 2004. While in Baltimore, Kyle was first a personal chef, then the founding chef/executive of Bagby Pizza Co. in 2009. Kyle helped develop every aspect of the business, from start up through launch and beyond. In 2011, Kyle returned to Southern California with his family and was welcomed back at The Hobbit as Chef de Cuisine. In 2015 he again ventured into restaurant ownership with his wife until 2019 at which point he returned home to The Hobbit.


Amy Cody
Certified Sommelier


 

 Marco Morales
Sous Chef

 


 Jodi McGuire
Executive Office Manager

After earning a Master's degree at Cal State Fullerton, Jodi has pursued careers in hospitality and retail management. As Office Manger and Executive Secretary, she has found a new home at the Hobbit. If you are looking for private party information or booking a reservation you will probably be talking to Jodi.