Lance Kosaka - Hawaii Food & Wine Festival

TENTH ANNUAL - SAVE THE DATE – OCTOBER 2-25, 2020

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Lance Kosaka

Top of Waikiki and SKY Waikiki - Honolulu, HI

Lance Kosaka fell in love with food well before he pursued it as a profession. He was lured to the culinary world while growing up in Honolulu attending social gatherings where food brought his friends and family closer together.

Those fond memories shaped him into the Executive Chef he is today. Kosaka enjoys sharing his award-winning Hawaii Regional Cuisine (HRC) with the world. He is committed to working with farmers throughout the 50th state to seek out the freshest ingredients and to give guests a truly unique dining experience in the heart of Waikiki. He infuses as much locally-grown produce and livestock as possible to create dishes just as memorable as the glittering views from the Top of Waikiki and SKY Waikiki.

For more than two decades, Kosaka steadily worked his way through the culinary ranks starting out as a dishwasher and now oversees a culinary team at the Top of Waikiki – Hawaii’s only revolving restaurant. He spent 17 years at one of the most recognizable names in HRC – Alan Wong’s Restaurants. Kosaka previously served as Executive Chef at the Pineapple Room at Ala Moana Center and Café Julia in Downtown Honolulu.



 

WHY DID YOU BECOME A CHEF
I’ve always enjoyed cooking, especially the camaraderie and teamwork that’s required in the kitchen. On a personal level, food has always been the centerpiece of good times with family and friends. Many of the positive aspects in my life are associated with cooking.

HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COOKING IN THREE WORDS?
Appreciate the product.

WHAT’S THE BEST HONOR YOU’VE RECEIVED AS A CHEF?
It really gives me great joy to see the younger cooks I’ve worked with going forward and pursuing their culinary goals. I feel honored if I was a help to them in any small way.

WHAT IS YOUR GO-TO MEAL AFTER A BUSY DAY?
Spam musubi.

HOW DO YOU SPEND YOUR TIME WHEN YOU’RE NOT IN THE KITCHEN?
Family time.

WHAT THE ONE LOCAL INGREDIENT YOU’RE EXCITED TO COOK WITH DURING HFWF19?
I don’t know what the options are, but I’m open to anything.

WHAT YOU DO RECOMMEND FOR VISITING CHEFS TO DO IN HAWAII?
Visit the farms and try out some of the smaller, mom-and-pop style eateries where the locals frequent.

IF YOU WERE NOT A CHEF, WHAT WOULD YOU BE AND WHY?
I’d pursue my childhood dream of being a fireman.