Fave Friday - Hawaii Chefs

January 29th, 2010
By

I know, I know, there are not many to choose from, in terms of really well-known chefs from Hawaii. Let's see, off the top of my head, we got the big dogs like Roy Yamaguchi, Alan Wong, Sam Choy, Russell Siu, Chai Chaowasaree, Chef Mavro (George Mavrothalassitis), etc., and some of the lesser known, but equally impressive, like Hideaki "Santa" Miyoshi, Collin Nishida and Onjin Kim (anybody know what happened to her btw?).

In the comment area below, list your favorite Hawaii Chef(s) and why. Whether it be their cooking ability, ono-ness of their restaurant, their personality, or all of the above. I have a few for various reasons:

  • Hideaki "Santa" Miyoshi: He's the co-owner of Tokkuri-Tei, my all-time favorite restaurant, hands-down. He's down to earth and has a hilarious sense of humor. Santa always makes me crack up without even saying a word.
  • Chuck Furuya: Yeah, he's not really a chef, but close enough. He runs Vino Italian Tapas & Wine Bar in Restaurant Row, and, oh by the way, is one of only two Master Sommeliers in the state of Hawaii. He's genuine and friendly and has a knack for taking the intimidation out of wine. Back in college when I worked at KHET Hawaii Public Television, we filmed a segment with him for one of our shows. During setup, he yells to this little student grunt (me) across the room and says "Eh, I know you! I played ball with you in Hawaii Kai the other weekend! Remember me?" Stunned, I was like "Huh!?" Then I realized he was talking to me and was able to muster up this glorious response: "Me? Oh yeah!" We continued to shoot segments with him and he would always take the time to make conversation with all of us about anything and everything. Recently, I saw him with his son at Cafe Laufer and he still recognized me and shook my hand. What an awesome guy!
  • Sam Choy: just seems really friendly and welcoming. Plus, he loves him some poke. My kinda guy!
  • Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong: though insanely intimidating, these two guys seem warm hearted in person and continue to stay true to their roots, choosing to buy local whenever possible. My "claim to fame" for Roy Yamaguchi was that I gave him a ride to and from Roy's Hawaii Kai - in my little Civic hatchback - before and after a shoot in our KHET studios (I lived in Hawaii Kai at the time and it was looked at as a better, more economical idea than sending a production van out to Hawaii Kai to pick him up). My "claim to fame" for Alan Wong was actually a few days ago when I interviewed him for Part II of my "Poke Paradise" series for AroundHawaii.com, set to be published on February 1st. 8) Here's a little sneak peek for y'all! Let me know what you think!



An Interview with Alan Wong

Talk to me!
* Post your favorite Hawaii chefs below and why.
* Thoughts on the above interview?
* Excited about the new iPad?
* Excited about the Olympics?

Have a happy VH07V Friday and weekend y'all! See you on the flipside! :)

27 Responses to “Fave Friday - Hawaii Chefs”

  1. Coconut Willy:

    I really don't get why society puts chefs in celebrity status. I respect them for what they do, but why the noteriety? Too much ego turns them into a chef nazi.
    I go to the restaurant for the food, not the chef. Plus once these guys have made it, they don't do any cooking anyway. Except on tv.

    Great interview. Not sure 'bout that "pokepine" creation. Looks kinda foofoo.

    iPad? Apple has had the magic touch. We'll see.

    Bring on the Olympics!


  2. kuya.d:

    Sam Choy - he did some cooking demos for the kids years ago when we still had home ec at the middle school. Very down to earth guy.

    Russel Siu - onoest higher end grinds in my opinion. If I had a choice of which restaurant I could go to for a nice dinner, it would be 3660 on the Rise.

    Colin Nishida - Side Street Inn was our college hangout. Many nights and Sunday afternoons were spent with fried rice, sizzling steak, katsu, gizzards, and karaoke here. Best bar food, and wasn't too crowded back then.


  3. kuya.d:

    Olympics? No swimming, no volleyball ... No thanks.


  4. kuya.d:

    iPad ... I'll wait for the second gen version with wings.


  5. kuya.d:

    If Giada DeLaurentis were a local gal, I'd choose her. Simply because she's gorgeous .... *sigh*


  6. che:

    Favorite chef would be the person at Jimbo's (the udon place but I like the tempura). Also I like the chef at Hanamaru and Roy Yamaguchi. I hear really good things about Alan Wong's but I never went there yet.

    I'm not excited about the IPad. I don't have any Apple gadjets yet.

    Not that excited about the winter olympics.


  7. M:

    Good morning Ed!

    All those chefs aready mentioned are my favorites and all the chefs/cooks that prepared the food I ate in Japan too.


  8. hemajang:

    hmm, like Mr. Willy, don't have a "favorite" chef but I enjoy going to their restaurants. However, my favorite chef nazi is in Seattle...Chef Matsumoto who runs a small strip mall restaurant-the Grouchy Chef, is truely grouchy and like the Steinfeld's soup nazi, has lots of rules posted and a no nonsense style. His regulars go in with a subdued demeanor, afraid to irk his ire and be kicked out. Son is a regular and close to his workplace at Boeing and has told me of incidents where he has scolded and thrown customers out. One time, son told me, he made a mistake on an order and was throwing dishes in his kitchen was so angry at himself, thought he was going commit hari kari. But food is very good and reasonable, he doesn't accept tips...don't even try. Think our well-known Hawaii chefs are not only good at food but become known from their business and marketing acumen.

    Nice interview Mr. Ed, keep it up...you must do a lot of preparation beforehand, it shows.

    Not excited about the iPad.

    Sorta excited about the Winter games, I'll be going next month courtesy my sons, will be watching ice hockey, speed skating and curling...I better start finding out what those sports are about.


  9. NeedaHobby:

    Good morning. I would have to say D.K. Kodama because Sansei is my favorite - I love the Kapalua Butterfry, calamari salad, rock shrimp dynamite, Sansei special roll, miso butterfish ...

    iPad - I was thinking of getting a netbook, so the iPad is intriguing to me. I'm not sure if Apple will be able to pursuade people who already have an iTouch or iPhone to get this extra device, though. It kinda just seems like a "maxi" version of the iTouch :lol: If I were to get a iPad, I think I would just opt for the WiFi version - I don't really feel like getting tied down with a data plan w/ AT&T. Speaking of that, I thought I read somewhere where the iPhones are not going to be an AT&T exlusive soon ... true?

    Go Apollo Ohno!!!


  10. NeedaHobby:

    @kuya - hubby always seems to tune in when I'm watching Giada's show - I'm sure it's because of her cooking skills, right? :lol:


  11. bB:

    dk kodama's sansei restaurant is the last well know restaurant i went too. love the sushi and food over there.

    i'm really missing roy's on maui. family enjoyed going over there to celebrate special occasions. service, atomsphere, and of course the food is awesome.

    izakaya matsu in kihei doesn't have a famous chef, but it serves some of the best authentic japanese food according to the wife.

    not feeling the ipad. the lack of usb ports, internet connection port and limited to att 3g bothers me. i would rather get a netbook. if i had the money i would look into alienware m11x.

    for some strange reason i'm looking for curling at the olympics.


  12. Mash:

    Good Morning All,

    A little bias on this subject. My favorite chef just so happens to be one of my best friends, Aaron Fukuda. Currently at Tsunami's and responsible for getting me into cooking.


  13. rayboyjr:

    :D :D :D :D :D Happy VH07V Friday Errr-One!!! :D :D :D :D :D

    ... hey Ed ... favorite Hawaii Chefs??? ... ooh ... yummy food ... ok, here's my list ... in no particular order ...

    1. Chef Sanders
    2. Chef Jack
    3. Chef Ronald
    4. Chef B. King

    ... Chef Sanders does wonders with his original recipes ... Chef Jack does this spicy chicken thing that I just luv ... Chef Ronald has a fun-loving attitude and I'm loving it ... Chef B. King does the food my way ...

    ... if you haven't figured it out by now ... I don't get out to restaurants with famous chefs much ... only Sam Choy's ...

    ... but put on a blog about the Colonel, Jack's, McD's or BK and I'm there ... fatter and unhealthier, yes ... but I'm there ... :D

    ... Have a Good One Everyone!!! ...


  14. Chicken Grease:

    I only have two local celebrity chefs that I like right now:

    Grant Kawasaki (funny. Genuinely funny and makes me laugh out loud -- I don't do that when I see certain comedians on TV. Love that show on OC16).

    Sam Choy (great restaurant, great portions, great tasting food. Ichiban chef, in my eyes, in terms of what a chef should do).


  15. tita leerz:

    #4...that's just too funny! so is it scented or unscented?


  16. tita leerz:

    how about boyardee? JK

    something wrong with Giada's cooking. She PHAT but not fat. Look at everyone else on Food Network.


  17. tita leerz:

    Olympics. Ohno....Oh yeah!!!


  18. tita leerz:

    i like yan. cuz he can cook.


  19. kuya.d:

    @Hobbz - next time she's on, tell your husband all he needs is EVOO, prosciutto, parmeseano, and nutella ... Haha!


  20. rayboyjr:

    @tita ... oh, yeah ... boyardee was da man ... small kid time ... used to think all chefs looked like him ...

    ... still eat the ravioli's once in a while ... bring back dem memories ...


  21. mcat:

    Cool! Tokkuri Tei is a great restaurant, so I vote for Santa as one of my favorites. I've been to Alan Wongs once and loved it too. Have never been to Roys yet but would like to try it.

    Great interview! I'm jealous. I wanna eat that food too!


  22. World Wide Ed:

    * 1.Coconut Willy:
    Great interview. Not sure 'bout that "pokepine" creation. Looks kinda foofoo.

    LOL! Might be Dubbs, but was onoz!

    * 2.kuya.d:
    Colin Nishida - Side Street Inn was our college hangout. Many nights and Sunday afternoons were spent with fried rice, sizzling steak, katsu, gizzards, and karaoke here. Best bar food, and wasn't too crowded back then.

    Bring back those days yeah dewz? So crowded now!

    * 4.kuya.d:
    iPad ... I'll wait for the second gen version with wings.

    LOLOL!

    * 5.kuya.d:
    If Giada DeLaurentis were a local gal, I'd choose her. Simply because she's gorgeous .... *sigh*

    Who? Never heard of her. 8) Nah! :P

    * 6.che:
    Also I like the chef at Hanamaru

    Word! It's grindz over there yeah cheche!?

    * 7.M:
    All those chefs aready mentioned are my favorites and all the chefs/cooks that prepared the food I ate in Japan too.

    LOLOL! Funny, I like all the chefs who make my food in Japan too! :P

    * 8.hemajang:
    Nice interview Mr. Ed, keep it up...you must do a lot of preparation beforehand, it shows.

    Mahaloz for noticing hemmz. Yeah, there's nothing worse than an unprepared "journalist". ;)

    * 9.NeedaHobby:
    Speaking of that, I thought I read somewhere where the iPhones are not going to be an AT&T exlusive soon ... true?

    I've heard that before too Hobbz, but then again, we've been hearing that for years yeah? LOL! I guess we'll believe it when we see it. I'm happy with my Droid so far though. Speaking of Sansei, can anyone tell me why the crab rahmen recipe is different. We had it once in Waikoloa (Kona) and fell in love. Then, we tried to order in Honolulu and also at Kapalua (Maui) and both were let downs. :( I'm scared to go back to Waikoloa to find that it changed there as well.

    * 11.bB:
    not feeling the ipad. the lack of usb ports, internet connection port and limited to att 3g bothers me. i would rather get a netbook.

    Yeah, the lack of USB port turned me off fo sho beeBz. Something like they wanna push everyone/everything through iTunes? Fail.

    * 12.Mash:
    A little bias on this subject. My favorite chef just so happens to be one of my best friends, Aaron Fukuda. Currently at Tsunami's and responsible for getting me into cooking.

    Nice! Way to give a shout out Monstah Mash! And welcome to the blog! :) I haven't been to the new Tsunami's (since it moved), but looking forward to tasting what you are talking about...

    * 13.rayboyjr:
    here's my list ... in no particular order ...

    1. Chef Sanders
    2. Chef Jack
    3. Chef Ronald
    4. Chef B. King

    Bwahahaha! You so silly beej!

    * 14.Chicken Grease:
    Grant Kawasaki (funny. Genuinely funny and makes me laugh out loud -- I don't do that when I see certain comedians on TV. Love that show on OC16).

    Good choice Ceeg (and welcome back)! ;) He's one of my columnists on AroundHawaii too! Yay!

    * 16.tita leerz:
    something wrong with Giada's cooking. She PHAT but not fat. Look at everyone else on Food Network.

    Why leerz? Gotta be large and in charge in order fo be good? ;)

    * 18.tita leerz:
    i like yan. cuz he can cook.

    LOLOLOL! Stoops! :)

    * 21.mcat:
    Great interview! I'm jealous. I wanna eat that food too!

    Hehe, it was yummy! Having a ball covering my favorite food! :)


  23. tita leerz:

    check yo FB for my iPad thoughts.


  24. NeedaHobby:

    @bB - the chocolate souffle at Roy's was the bomb! I tried the takoyaki at Izakaya Matsu - that was pretty good. Also, like the okonomiyaki.

    @Ed - hubby just had the crab ramen at the Sansei Kihei location. He seemed to enjoy it. ;)


  25. tita leerz:

    CHOCOLATE SOUFFLE AT ROY'S! AAAAAHHHH!!!! YES I AM YELLING!!!! YUMMMMM....


  26. kuya.d:

    @leerz - way to pull a flower right there!


  27. World Wide Ed:

    * 23.tita leerz:
    check yo FB for my iPad thoughts.

    Will do cuz!

    * 24.NeedaHobby:
    @Ed - hubby just had the crab ramen at the Sansei Kihei location. He seemed to enjoy it.

    Oooh, he gotsta try the one at Waikoloa then Hobbz... 10 times better... I think! :)

    * 25.tita leerz:
    CHOCOLATE SOUFFLE AT ROY'S! AAAAAHHHH!!!! YES I AM YELLING!!!! YUMMMMM....

    LOLOL! Shhhh!