Keoni Chang - Hawaii Food & Wine Festival

NINTH ANNUAL - OCTOBER 5-27, 2019 - SAVE THE DATE!

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Keoni Chang

Foodland Super Markets - Honolulu, HI

Born and raised on O‘ahu, Keoni Chang joined Foodland Super Market Ltd. as their Corporate Chef in April 2004. At Foodland, he develops recipes for the company’s various departments, including seafood, bakery, and deli. His goal is to create easily accessible restaurant-quality food. Chang also works closely with Foodland’s kitchen to ensure all products created for the company’s 32 stores statewide meet Foodland’s quality and presentation standards. Day to day, Chang works with vendors to procure products and unique items to enhance the company’s food offerings. He also teaches Foodland’s website viewers how to create delicious meals through online cooking tips and suggestions.

After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park, New York, Chang went on to apprentice at the landmark Greenbrier resort in West Virginia and worked as a chef at Windows on the World at the World Trade Center. From there he became the executive sous chef at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant in the Paris Hotel, Las Vegas. Chang later returned to Hawai‘i where he was chef at Ryan’s restaurant before joining Foodland Super Markets.



 

WHY DID YOU BECOME A CHEF?
It was really by accident. I was studying graphic design at UH, and was reading an article about the KCC Food Service and Culinary Arts. I thought, why not change my focus to art, with food as a medium. So I enrolled and discovered that I always had a connection with food and that food is more than pure nourishment. I learned that food and cooking are expressions of one’s self and expressions of caring. It can be entertainment and is a great way to look at culture and history. Being a chef allows me to immerse myself in all of that.

HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COOKING IN THREE WORDS?
Approachable, flavorful, simple.

WHAT’S THE BEST HONOR YOU’VE RECEIVED AS A CHEF?
Two thumbs up from my 6-year-old son Bodhi for a dish I made for him.

WHAT IS YOUR GO-TO MEAL AFTER A BUSY DAY?
Bowl of hot rice with a can of Holme’s sardines, shoyu, furikake and kimchi.

HOW DO YOU SPEND YOUR TIME WHEN YOU’RE NOT IN THE KITCHEN?
I’m usually thinking about the next thing I’m going to be doing when I’m back in a kitchen or thinking about what concepts to put into the next kitchen.

WHAT THE ONE LOCAL INGREDIENT YOU’RE EXCITED TO COOK WITH DURING HFWF19?
Too hard to answer right now!

WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND FOR VISITING CHEFS TO DO IN HAWAII?
Go check out Mari Gardens, Frankie’s Nursery in Waimanalo, Fish Auction, Tamashiro Market, Kailua Beach, hike Diamond Head, Waihee Falls hike, KCC farmers market or the one at old ward warehouse, Punch Bowl cemetery and check out the lookout over the city. Island hop!

IF YOU WERE NOT A CHEF, WHAT WOULD YOU BE AND WHY?
I would be a sommelier or mixologist. I really like what goes into the winemaking process, and then the work that has to be done curating selections and educating guests. I also like the creativity you can apply to crafting cocktails, plus the showmanship of it all.