Friday - August 17, 2007 Share Del.icio.us | Podcast | WineAndDineHawaii.com
Michael Imada is the evening banquet chef at the Hyatt, and the chef responsible for The Colony, the hotel’s fine-dining restaurant, where a new a la carte menu is now being served.
Title: p.m. banquet chef, The Colony restaurant chef
Where were you born and raised? Hawaii Kai
High school, Kaiser ‘93; then I graduated with a double major in culinary and patisserie from KCC.
First job in the industry?
My first job was at Queen’s Beach Restaurant at the Hawaii Kai Golf Course club house. I was there alongside Tony Liu (Iron Chef), Travis Nishioka and Russ Okuhara, formerly of Sugoi’s.
Who’s had the most influence on your career so far, and why?
So many people have helped along the way. I really can’t name them all. I’d probably leave someone out by accident. It’s safer just to say a lot of people.
Favorite place to eat when you’re not working?
Caryn’s Okazuya on Young Street.
Favorite dish there?
It should be “favorite dishes.” Their mochiko chicken is awesome. So is their kobumaki, inari sushi ... it’s all good. They have this Spam-stuffed eggplant tempura that is so winner.
What’s always in your fridge?
Hawaiian Taro pancake mix. Also, the Hyatt released its own signature brand of wine called “Canvas” recently. The Canvas Chardonnay and Merlot have been awarded a space in my fridge.
Favorite late-night snack after work?
Fook Yuen’s Juk and Ginger/Garlic Lobster. Us chefs like to eat well after a hard day’s work.
What do you think local people enjoy most about the Hyatt restaurants?
Definitely the quality. We say this a lot, but it really is true - we only use the freshest island seafood, USDA prime steak and as much local produce as possible. We definitely don’t scrimp on the ingredients here. Also, our excellent service. We have some pretty awesome staff here at the hotel.
I don’t have time to watch movies - they keep me too busy at the Hyatt!
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