HAWAIIAN AIRLINES RECENTLY appointed Lee Anne Wong of Honolulu’s Koko Head Café its new executive chef. Chief among her responsibilities: leading the airline’s ongoing Featured Chef Series. The Featured Chef Series is a collaboration with renowned chefs on trans-Pacific flights that highlights Hawai’i’s vibrant culinary cultures and heightens its distinct onboard experience.
Under the direction of Wong, the following chefs will make an appearance on the Featured Chef Series, launched June 1, 2018: Mark Noguchi, cofounder/chef, Pili Group; Eric Oto, chef de cuisine, Hoku’s; Wade Ueoka, co-owner/chef, MW Restaurant; and Chang-Wook Chung, owner/chef, Kumsan Restaurant.
Say “Aloha” to a truly exceptional onboard culinary experience with Hawaiian Airlines.
WHICH DESTINATIONS INSPIRED YOU, AND HOW HAS THAT INSPIRATION TRANSLATED INTO YOUR CULINARY CONCEPTS?
I’ve been so fortunate to travel all over the world, but I have a few destinations I return to time and time again, Japan being one of them. I’ve spent the last eight years traveling to Japan. I’ve staged at kaiseki restaurants in Kanazawa and Kyoto and most recently spent time working with Hawaiian Airlines’ catering partners at Kansai, Narita, Haneda and Chitose airports while I was creating the menus for the inbound Japan route. Japanese cuisine thrives here in Hawai’i, and I love utilizing Japanese ingredients and flavors in unexpected ways — furikake chicken breast in a wakame-ginger beurre blanc, for example.
WHOM DO YOU CONSIDER TO BE YOUR CULINARY HERO?
André Soltner. I worked as the executive chef of events and continuing education at the French Culinary Institute (now the International Culinary Center), and one of my jobs was working with our culinary deans. Chef André, of the famed Lutece restaurant, is the dean of Classic Studies and did a live demonstration once a month in my kitchen showcasing some of his classic Alsatian recipes. I worked side by side with André, helping him get ready for his event, and just talked story with him all day. He regaled me with tales of when he was a young apprentice in the 1940s and how things worked in the kitchen before electric appliances and all the luxuries we have today in a modern kitchen. Hence my motto, “What would André do?” Whenever something is going terribly wrong in the kitchen, I pause, take a breath and ask myself that question.
WHAT ONE PERSON MOST INFLUENCED YOUR COOKING STYLE?
Definitely Marcus Samuelsson and Nils Noren, executive chef and chef de cuisine at the time, respectively, of Aquavit. It was my first job, back in 2000, where they both mentored me and taught me how to create a dish and write a menu. While a Scandinavian restaurant, they both infused global ingredients and ideas into the menu in unexpected ways, from the flavors of Southeast Asia to the native spices of Samuelsson’s Ethiopian heritage. That really led me to not only travel and discover more about these flavors but also continue to be bold in the kitchen, blending culture and technique.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FOOD CITY?
WHAT DO YOU THINK THE NEXT BIG TREND ON THE FOOD SCENE WILL BE?
Vegetarian focus, if it isn’t already happening.
Located in the South Pacific, The Islands of Tahiti are just eight hours by air from California. Surrounded by pristine, crystal-clear blue waters, the 118 islands and atolls offer natural beauty, authentic island culture and unique French Polynesian style. The Islands of Tahiti are world-renowned for white-sand beaches, stunning turquoise lagoons and varied landscapes ranging from coral atolls to volcanic mountain peaks. Privacy comes naturally in The Islands of Tahiti and offers visitors the space to relax and reconnect and to be Embraced By Mana. Mana is the life force and spirit that connects all things in The Islands of Tahiti.
With Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, Plant Riverside District, also known as Savannah’s Entertainment District, is officially dedicating a park to Martin Luther King, Jr. Located on the Savannah riverfront, Plant Riverside District will hold a ceremony to unveil a commissioned bronze monument dedicated to the late Civil Rights leader.
Nayara Alto Atacama, in Chile’s Atacama Desert, recently launched private plane transfer service for guests, allowing up to eight people to depart Santiago and fly directly to San Pedro de Atacama aerodrome in one hour and 50 minutes. Previously, guests would have to fly two hours to Calama, followed by a one-hour, 20-minute drive to Nayara Alto Atacama. The new private jet option saves guests 90 minutes of transfer time each way.
IHG® Business Edge: Working Together with SMEs for a smarter way to manage travel
For guests wanting the ultimate VIP experience at this year’s Super Bowl, QuintEvents offers an exclusive opportunity. Guests can choose from a variety of QuintEvents’ offers to not only have a seat at the game but also to enjoy cocktails, chef-prepared dishes with legendary football hall of famers like Dan Marino, and a stay at a luxury premium hotel with a beachside option.
Introduced and managed by Sonesta International Hotels Corporation, Sonesta Select and Sonesta Simply Suites celebrated their first anniversary since launching in December 2020. Responsible for almost 2,500 new hires in the last year, Sonesta Simply Suites and Sonesta Select allowed Sonesta as a whole to become one of the fastest-growing hotel companies in the United States.
It’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Cologne, Germany, with us.