Colin Nishida

Jo McGarry
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Friday - March 28, 2008 Share | | podcast Podcast |

Colin Nishida
Colin Nishida

Title: Chef/owner, Side Street Inn

What was your first industry job? In 1972 I worked as a dishwasher/cook at C’s Diner in Kalihi.

What ignited your interest in cooking?

When I was growing up, the kids all had to take turns helping with dinner. First person home made the rice, next person started on the meat or whatever. From about the age of 11, I started to learn about cooking and about how it can involve everyone.

So many of the chefs we interview tell us their favorite dish is pan-fried Island pork chops at Side Street Inn. What’s your favorite?

Pan-fried Island pork chops. And we do a beef-tomato dish sometimes that’s pretty good.

What’s always in your fridge?

Kim chee. I try every variety I can find. I love just checking out the different recipes and I try any I can get my hands on.

Favorite late-night snack?

Saimin - the packaged kind, or sometimes I buy fresh.

Travel writers, TV stars and celebrities all come to Side Street Inn. Anthony Bourdain (No Reservations on the Travel Channel) was there recently. Was he a good guest?

He was a good guy. Pretty quiet, really. He was real interested in the kind of things that interest restaurant people - kitchen and staffing issues ... and drinking.

What ingredient can you not live without?

Salt and shoyu.

How would you describe your cooking?

Totally local, ethnic food.


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