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Kevin Chong has fond childhood memories of going to the farmer’s market with his mother in the mornings and watching her cook amazing meals for the family. “She cooked from her heart, and I still believe she is the best cook,” Chong says.
The cooking talents of his mother helped inspire Chong to pursue a culinary career, which he has been working professionally in for the past 21 years. Most recently, Chong has been at the helm of ‘AMA’AMA, a contemporary island style restaurant at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa. A native of Honolulu, he finds the Hawai‘i’s local products to be a big inspiration in his cooking.
Prior to joining Aulani, Chong worked as chef de cuisine and corporate chef at Chef Mavro restaurant in Honolulu. While at Chef Mavro, he earned many awards, including AAA Five Diamonds, Mobile Four Stars, and Gayot Three Toques 18/20, the highest rating in the state of Hawaii. In addition, the restaurant was voted a Top 10 Restaurant in the World by Fodor’s Choice.
Chong attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Culinary Arts Management. He also completed a five-month externship in California at Pinot Bistro, one of the restaurants in the Patina Restaurant Group portfolio.
Family is still the most important thing to Chong. When he is not working, spending time with his wife and son is what brings him the most enjoyment.