Home

Welcome to Hukilau

DEREK WONG

EXECUTIVE CHEF

Born and raised in Kalihi to local parents, our weekends were mostly spent with family in two main ways.  We either would cook; rolling and steaming laulau or grating plantains by hand and folding pasteles. Or, we would drive to various markets for local produce then having lunch somewhere before going home to cook dinner.  We would visit all of the popular local stores.  From waiting in line at Marukai Market on Nimitz with the Nana's and Tata's because the store hadn't opened yet, to the original Ward Farmer's Market.  Chinatown, Tamashiro Market, Jessie's and the old Helena's are just a few of the family’s favorites.  But my favorite memory of all-time is buying live Dungeness crab from 99 Ranch Market. We would bring them home, steam them and break out the butter and lemon. And you know who ate all the crab heads!

With no formal culinary training I honed my craft by paying my dues in kitchens throughout Oahu.  I started out at Zippy’s and also worked at Michel's at the Colony Surf, Roy's Restaurants, Morimoto Waikiki, Alan Wong’s Pineapple Room and short stints at a few others.  The cook I am today is a reflection of the people around me.  I have been fortunate to have worked with those who possessed passion, the ability to teach, who were great cooks and even better people.  I try to carry on that tradition with the people around me now.  Every day is an opportunity to grow together even if it's just a little bit.  I can only be as good as the people surrounding me.