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Talented Toque

BY Margo Steines | January 16, 2018 | Feature Features

The Kahala Hotel & Resort has foodies buzzing. Hoku's, the award-winning restaurant and perennial East Honolulu favorite, has snagged Eric Oto as its new chef de cuisine.

The Kahala Hotel & Resort has foodies buzzing. Hoku’s, the award-winning restaurant and perennial East Honolulu favorite, has snagged Eric Oto as its new chef de cuisine. In his role as overseer of the menu and culinary vision, Oto will draw on his decade of experience, which includes posts as chef sous-chef at Fish House and chef at Orchid’s. But beyond technical proficiency, the toque is ready to share his deep, soulful connection to the ingredients from the sea and land, a quality which he developed during his childhood on O‘ahu. Since the age of 4, for example, Oto has been catching fish—first with a bamboo pole, later from offshore and while free diving. “My dad taught me not to waste food. If I choose to take a fish, treat it with respect, for the fish has given you his life,” says the chef. “I believe my deep reverence of food initiated from these experiences.” With such a thoughtful approach, Oto’s take on Hoku’s promises a memorable experience. 5000 Kahala Ave., Kahala, O‘ahu, 739.8760

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