Hawaii Living & Life in a Restaurant Kitchen

Can you believe that I have already been living in Hawaii for 6 months! You might be saying, “Yes actually I can because you have fallen off the face of the web only to periodically brag to us about your awesome time there.” Ok, ok you are right- BUT, I am moving back to home sweet home in a little over a month to go to Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in none other than Boulder, Colorado (the town I went to college in AND the town named the #1 Foodiest Town in America by Bon Appetite!). Although my time here is almost over, it is bittersweet. I miss home but I have learned so much about different cultures and cuisines while here and I am so excited to share everything I have learned with you once my adventure is over.

For now, I thought I would fill all of you in on what I have been doing in Hawaii (apart from the weekend that my mom came to visit; no I don’t get to eat like that on a regular basis). To start, I got a job a Morimoto Waikiki, you know Iron Chef Morimoto? This was definitely the biggest name restaurant I have ever worked in, but I quickly realized that I was working the line mechanically much more than learning recipes and about the food. I must say I had hardly any knowledge of Asian food before working there, so it really opened my eyes to Japanese fusion cuisine. Not to mention, I also met my boyfriend while working there (call it clich√© but I moved to Hawaii and fell for a local boy, surprised?).

I left Morimoto to go work with a great chef, Maka, at the executive dining room for Bank of Hawaii employees, also combined with a company cafeteria. This has been such a great learning experience for me. We have a scratch kitchen, which means we make everything from scratch- including all sauces, stocks, you name it (except I have to admit we buy canned, yes canned, pudding). I have learned so many recipes. Each day we have our regular menu as well as a daily entree and specials, something that Morimoto’s didn’t have. I work with mostly Filipinos in this kitchen, which has enabled me to learn a lot about Filipino cuisine too! I will definitely be recreating and blogging about these recipes when I get home! Just think Adobo, Pork Gisantes and much more….

Apart from the two very different kitchens I have been working in, I have been learning so much about Hawaiian cuisine from eating it! I have fallen in love with poke, a raw tuna dish with cubed pieces of fresh Ahi and various toppings. I get it at practically every restaurant I go to. I also found amazing fresh poke at a sketchy fish market in Kalihi Valley. I have been eating poke, Kalua pork, manapuas, and so much more. Once again, you are going to love all the recipes I have gathered while being away!

For now I leave you with some pictures and recipe sneak previews. Hope you are all enjoying your summer!


1 Year Ago: Sun-Dried Tomato, Flank Steak & White Bean Stew

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9 Responses to Hawaii Living & Life in a Restaurant Kitchen

  1. Kimby says:

    Jenny, this is such a beautiful post (not just for the photography… wow!), but because you’re “finding your way.” In the kitchen. In life. In relationships. You can’t know until you try, and it’s great to see you try and DECIDE what works for YOU — and what doesn’t. That’s what it’s all about, kiddo! Best wishes on your upcoming culinary education. You’re bringing a lot to the table already!

  2. Tara Noland says:

    What an awesome experience you are having. So very exciting to be able to do what you are doing!! Love it!!

  3. Thank you! It has definitely been quite the experience!

  4. Joanne says:

    Sounds like you’ve been having an amazing time, both in the kitchen and out!

  5. Hawaii! I’m so behind on my blog reading. What a fun move. Best of luck and keep the recipes coming :)

  6. Hannah says:

    Living in Hawaii sounds (and looks, judging by those photos) like absolute heaven. I would feel lucky just to visit, though…!

  7. Dewi says:

    Beautiful island to live in. Love the food you presented here. It looks very appetizing.

  8. Hi sweets!! In Hawaii … How lucky are you?! VERY! :) That’s wonderful…good for you, my friend!