Chef Alan Wong of Alan Wong’s - Biography

Honolulu, HI

October 2012

Alan Wong is considered one of the godfathers of modern Hawaiian cuisine. He was part of the group of on-island chefs who, in the early 1990s, decided to erase the poor-food reputation in Hawaii and replace it with innovative, sustainable riffs on local favorites.

Born in Tokyo, Wong soon moved with his Japanese mother and half-Hawaiian, half-Chinese father to Hawaii. He worked on pineapple plantations but knew cooking was in his blood. He attended Kapiolani Community College, and worked at a number of restaurants on Hawaii and in Japan. Wong staged at The Greenbrief Hotel and later worked at Lutece in New York City under mentor Aldre Soltner, who instilled the importance of being a skilled craftsman more than an artist. Wong opened the Canoe House in the late 1980s and, six years later, opened his eponymous restaurant in Honolulu, which won the James Beard award for "Best Chef: Pacific" in 1996, one year after opening. Three years later he opened The Pineapple Room above the Macy’s in the local mall, focusing on casual fare, and in 2012 the fusion-oriented Amasia in Grand Wailea Resort. Today, Wong is one of the unofficial ambassadors of Hawaiian cuisine, having cooked for President Obama at the annual White House Congressional picnic in 2009 and earning a place on Gourmet’s "Best Fifty Restaurants" list in 2001.