Jason K. Kina
Executive Sous Chef, Ihilani Resort and Spa
Where were you born and raised? Honolulu – I graduated from Farrington High School.
What’s your first food memory? Cooking teriyaki beef on the stove. My brother and I got Mom mad, and she didn’t cook us dinner. So I attempted frying teriyaki beef on a cast-iron skillet … and you can imagine what happened!
What dish reminds you most of home? Corned beef hash patties, fried somen noodles and jook.
You’ve worked with many different local chefs. Has anyone had a big influence on your career thus far? I’ve learned from all the places I worked and from all the people I’ve worked with. My high school teacher Mrs. Linda Uyehara was an influence; KCC instructor chef Conrad Nonaka, chef Roy Yamaguchi … they all had something special to teach.
What’s your essential kitchen tool? My 10-inch knife.
Do you cook at home? All the time. My wife has a lot of unimaginable allergies, so its easier to eat at home than eat out.
What’s always in your fridge? Bacon. Almost everything I cook at home has some bacon in it.
What dish do you cook to make a lasting impression? Rack of lamb.
Although you eat at home a lot, are there favorite restaurants you enjoy occasionally? Ushio Tei Japanese Restaurant here at Ihilani. My son loves the buffet, and they make a gluten-free tempura with dipping sauce that my wife can enjoy without worrying about allergies.
What would you be if you had not been a chef? A basketball coach – I played basketball and I am still real interested in sports. But once I got into the hospitality industry there was no time.
With whom would you most like to have dinner? My son Stephen Joshua, who is in North Carolina serving our country. Miss him.