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4 Chefs of the Moment

BY Ning Chao and Nuy Cho | June 15, 2018 | Feature Features National

The 39 most fascinating things happening in Hawai`i's food scene.
Sheldon Simeon

1. Ed Kenney
With four sizzling restaurants, Town (3435 Waialae Ave., Waialae, 735.5900), Mud Hen Water (3452 Waialae Ave., 737,6000), Mahina & Sun's (412 Lewers St., 924.5810) and Kaimuki Superette (3458 Waialae Ave., 734.7800), this 2018 James Beard award semifinalist for best chef in the Western region is incendiary. His farm-to-table-style dishes are always a guaranteed win.

2. Jon Matsubara
To add to the incredible rejuvenation of the Kaka`ako nabe, Merriman’s will be opening a 6,000-square-foot restaurant (Anaha Tower, 1240 Ala Moana Blvd., Kaka`ako) with an 1,800-foot lanai this summer. The philosophy will be “farm to high-rise,” and executive chef Matsubara will continue Merriman’s minimalist approach to food, serving local whenever possible. Mastubara has been featured at the James Beard House and won numerous awards while he was executive culinary director at Forty Carrots.

3. Sheldon Simeon
The islands can’t wait to see Simeon’s new full-service restaurant, Lineage (in partnership with ABC Stores). Opening later this summer in Maui, the eatery will pay homage to the chefs local roots, with references to Maui cultural food.

4. Jojo Vasquez
After earning several accolades at The Banyan Tree restaurant in Maui, Vasquez then moved to head The Plantation House Restaurant atop the famed Kapalua Plantation Golf Course. He was awarded the 2017 chef of the year at the ‘Aipono Awards, from Maui Nō Ka ’Oi magazine. Vasquez is now exploring a new chapter as the chef de cuisine and partner for Maui Brewing Co.’s brewery and restaurant in Kihei (605 Lipoa Parkway, Kihei, 213.3002).

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