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.
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I had just taken off my sandals, stepping onto the white-sand beach for a late-morning walk to a secluded spot I heard about from a front desk clerk, when I glanced down and saw the time on my phone. It had just turned 11 a.m., which meant it was only 7 am back home, the perfect time to call and say good morning to by husband before he left for work. Not quite ready to head back to my room, I decided I’d test the WiFi signal and made the call as I continued walking toward the shoreline.
San Antonio celebrated 300 years of progress in May 2018. With a clear vision following that anniversary year, the Texan city set its sights firmly on 300 more. While commemorating this milestone, the city underwent a major overhaul to prepare for the next phase in its history.
When you think of a relaxing spa day, mountains, rivers and view of gorgeous landscapes pop in your head; a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of any city’s booming music and honking taxis. SoJo Spa Club and Hotel gives you the relaxing feeling of being away while still staying close to the busy center of Manhattan.
Dance the night away with Grand Hotel’s Ballroom Dance offer, available May 16–18. Dancers of all skill levels will experience a diverse range of ballroom dance styles, alongside daily breakfast and dinner, a welcome reception and complimentary golf green fees.
Step right up to the greatest show on Earth as FXExpress Publications, Global Traveler, trazeetravel.com and whereverfamily.com celebrate their 2020 award winners! Join the big top on Dec. 14 as we virtually award the winners of the 17th annual GT Tested Reader Survey awards, including the Airline and Hotel of the Year; the 17th annual Wines on the Wing Airline Wine Survey; the eighth annual Leisure Lifestyle Awards; the sixth annual The Trazees; and the third annual Wherever Awards.