Friday - November 17, 2010 Share Del.icio.us | Podcast | WineAndDineHawaii.com
Occupation: Chef/owner of Tango Contemporary Cafe
Where were you born and raised? Just outside Helsinki, Finland.
What started your interest in cooking? At the age of 13, I decided I wanted to be a cook. My plan was to work on a ship so I could travel and see the world.
The design and some of the dishes at Tango have a European influence. Do you describe the food as Scandinavian? I usually describe it as Euro Bistro with some Scandinavian touches. It’s what we think of as “real food.” Just simple, pure and close to nature, like Finnish design.
You are open for three meals a day. What are some of the most popular dishes at breakfast, lunch and dinner? At breakfast we have six different Eggs Benedicts, and they are really popular. At lunch we have a series of daily specials, like our Thursday Kulana Big Island Kobe Beef Pastrami Sandwich, or our Friday Crab Cake Sandwich on a nori roll. At dinner the Hamakua Mushroom Risotto and Five Spice Braised Beef are really popular.
Where do you like to eat when not working? I’m always working, but the times we have gone out lately we’ve been eating ethnic food at Super Pho in Kaimuki or Phuket Thai by my place, where the sticky rice is good.
Do you cook at home? Hardly ever, although I did some cooking with my son and his girlfriend when they were home for the summer. They are foodies.
What’s your favorite kitchen implement? A large (and by large I mean large) cutting board that is big enough to hold all prep for a dish, and a good, sharp chef’s knife. I don’t use gadgets.
Anything about you that might surprise people? I like architecture and design. I did my own drawings for my home in Nuuanu. I designed the kitchen for the Leeward Community College culinary program, and I designed my own restaurant.
Who’d you most like to see in Tango for dinner? Anthony Bourdain and Gordon Ramsay.
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