Hail to the Chef! Alan Wong
From one home town boy to another, President Barack Obama loves Chef Alan Wong's culinary creations and who could disagree? Winner of countless culinary awards, co-founder of Hawaii Regional Cuisine (1992), recognized by Robert Mondavi Winery as one of 13 Rising Star Chefs in America (1994), recipient of the prestigious James Beard Award for Best Chef: Pacific Northwest, Chef of the Year by Santé Magazine (2001), Gourmet Magazine ranked his restaurant sixth in a list of America’s Best 50 Restaurants... Alan Wong also owns The Pineapple Room at Ala Moana Center, Alan Wong's on King St., and Alan Wong's Hawaii at Disneyland in Maihama, Japan... and yet he considers his business a mom and pop operation?
His Hawaii roots are grounded firmly in the islands and he proves it by the support he has given colleagues and local producers from the coffee farms in Holualoa to Nalo Farms in Waimanalo. This interview is an excerpt from a series called Changing Hawaii. One of our most enjoyable documentary style forays into life in contemporary Hawaii on PacificNetwork.tv.
Do we miss King's Bakery, McCully Chop Suey, Flamingo's, College Inn for those of you old enough to recall, and so many other local landmarks that have disappeared during the last two decades? Like Mavro, Hiroshi's, Dk's Steakhouse, Orchid's, Michel's at Colony Surf, Vino, Merriman's, Hoku's, Pastiche, and other spectacular Hawaii restaurants owned and operated as small businesses (vs large corporations) these restaurants and their Chefs are uniquely Hawaii and they reflect a lot about who we are. These restauranteurs and chefs have managed to survive and thrive through changing economies and changing audiences. They remind us that there has to be change in all industries, including entertainment and travel, and that a good chef makes the most of the situation. Good food and dining with friends and family are comfort we long for during difficult times. So thanks to Chef Alan Wong and other great Chefs of Hawaii for making us feel that it's going to be ok... that Life is Good in Hawaii. We just need to pay attention to the sign posts along the changing path.