Chef Joseph Almoguera, Prince Waikiki
Photo: © PRINCE WAIKIKI
JOSEPH ALMOGUERA DISCOVERED his passion during his high school years in Guam. Today the chef de cuisine for 100 Sails Restaurant & Bar at Prince Waikiki, Almoguera says it was working in kitchens while learning about hotel operations as a teenager that ignited the spark for a career in the culinary world for him.
Almoguera moved to the Big Island of Hawai’i in 1999, then to Oahu in 2008. Throughout that period, his career spanned John Taiyo’s Cuisine Corp., Kuakini Health System, Hilton Waikoloa Village, The Fairmont Orchid and Waikoloa Beach Marriott. While working with chefs from Japan and Hungary, Almoguera refined the art of ice carving. In his free time, he’s also drawn to the water, surfing and bodysurfing with his children.
Rivaling the delicacies is the vista from 100 Sails Restaurant & Bar, located on the third floor of Prince Waikiki and offering views of the many sails in the harbor and ocean below. For breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, Chef Almoguera serves fresh island cuisine with foods from various cultures. Signature menu items include the Tako taco, crispy garlic soy chicken with spicy banana ketchup, poke tempura, uni carbonara, Prince shaved ice, and chocolate macadamia nut pie.
Located at the entrance to Waikiki, Prince Waikiki offers more than 563 oceanfront accommodations and suites, complemented by world-class service and, of course, exceptional cuisine.
WHICH DESTINATIONS INSPIRED YOU, AND HOW HAS THAT INSPIRATION TRANSLATED INTO YOUR CULINARY CONCEPTS?
Japan influenced my cooking style and dishes. I experienced the care and tradition in the food. When composing menus, I use tradition and heritage as inspiration.
WHOM DO YOU CONSIDER TO BE YOUR CULINARY HERO?
Anthony Bourdain because of his travels and what I learn from them.
WHAT ONE PERSON MOST INFLUENCED YOUR COOKING STYLE, AND HOW?
My grandfather — watching him cook taught me the proper steps to cooking. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FOOD CITY? My favorite food city isn’t actually a city. It’s the island of Guam, where I was born and raised. Various kinds of kelaguen, finadene, kadun pika and red rice are just some of the delicious food of the Chamorro cuisine.
WHAT DO YOU THINK THE NEXT BIG TREND ON THE FOOD SCENE WILL BE?
I think Filipino cuisine is emerging on the food scene.
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