I was raised in a large Hawaiian family in a rural area of Oahu where my parents sustained the household with farm animals and their own fruit and vegetable gardens. My mother taught me to cook at an early age to help her with providing food for 10 people each and every day. I learned how to prepare traditional island food as well as Asian foods for the family.
My mother showed me patience in the kitchen, no rushing, use of simple ingredients, and the need to prepare food in a safe manner.
My mother learned the art of cooking from her grandmother who owned a Chinese restaurant on Maui and her own mother who was a cafeteria manager at a high school on Lanai. After graduating, I took a position at a large medical center in Oahu where I learned scratch cooking from trained chefs who had a variety of backgrounds and specialties. I have been cooking for about 30 years for different groups and situation