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  • The Coconut Traveler

Meet Chef Andrew


Meet Chef Andrew

Local Chef Doing Good for the Hawaiian Islands

The Coconut Traveler is thrilled to introduce you to one of our favorite people in the islands, Chef Andrew, who will be the featured chef of our Women's Wellness Retreat, June 19-25, on the North Shore of Oahu. We call on Chef Andrew and his team to create extraordinary culinary experiences for you from daily meals, private dinners, Omakase, cooking classes, weddings, and events.

Growing up in New England, his family had over 20 acres of land with three separate kitchen gardens where they grew a large variety of herbs, vegetables and fruits for home consumption. Both his mother and grandmother were exceptional cooks and experts at seasonal cooking using what they had in the garden. Chef Andrew, ever the hard worker, recalls, "I would help my family in the field, weeding, watering, and harvesting; my very first food memory is eating a fresh carrot straight from the ground."

This passion for food paired with a true love for the aina (land) is reflected in his cooking the freshest, local, and thoughtful ingredients to the surprise and delight of diners.

"Bold, clean natural flavors; I grew up eating!"

A Culinary Arts graduate of Johnson & Wales University, Chef Andrew has honed his skills at many top, fine dining restaurants in Hawaii. With over 20 years of experience in the kitchen, he creates memorable meals using exotic, ethnic, locally grown ingredients while incorporating cooking styles from around the globe resulting in cuisine that is fresh, seasonal, locally sourced, and contemporary.

The Coconut Traveler asked Chef Andrew a few questions:

What is your favorite local food and do you make it? If you do, what’s your spin on it?

I like Kalbi (Korean BBQ ribs). My spin is a soy-braised short rib version. I also make a "Beef Musabi" replacing the typical filling with beef tenderloin. It's my elevated take on Spam Musabi, a local's favorite dish in Hawaii.

TCT Note:

Spam musubi is a popular snack and lunch food composed of a slice of grilled Spam sandwiched either in between or on top of a block of rice, wrapped together with nori in the tradition of Japanese omusubi.

What motivated you to become a chef?

My mother and grandmother were great cooks, I remember watching them as a child and them feeding the family. We also had a few gardens growing up so I was always around fresh produce.

What’s your favorite “small kid days” memory; specifically if you have one around the North Shore.

I grew up on the mainland but moved here in 2001. My favorite childhood memory is eating Matsumoto shaved ice.

TCT Note:

Matsumoto Shaved Ices was established in 1951 is still a family-owned and operated business, with only one location in the entire world! On a warm sunny day, the store produces over 1,000 shaved ices.

In 2016, Chef Andrew founded Hawaii + Pantry, a line of locally sourced salt blends, sauces, and pickled vegetables, using some of his family's recipes that have been passed down for generations.

In his own words:

"The State of Hawaii is one the most isolated population in the world. This geographic isolation coupled with the globalization of the world’s food supply has led to an over-reliance on imported food from the U.S. mainland. We import over 90% of our food! It makes no sense to us that we import so much. With energy, transportation, and costs continually rising, there is a growing urgency to address food security by re-establishing a local food system."

We love that is Hawaii + Pantry is designed to supporting regional farmers, growers, and producers, while Chef Andrew is committed to re-establishing a local food system that supports the Hawaiian community, farmers, and agriculture. 1% of all the revenue from Hawaii + Pantry products directly to Hawaii nonprofits focused on our planet.

For more information and the full product line visit Hawaii + Pantry


The Governor's guidelines are in place and working well to protect locals and visitors alike, giving you peace of mind when traveling to Hawaii. Here are the guidelines, testing partners, and testing platform. We look forward to welcoming you to Hawaii with a pre-arrival, negative Covid test. Aloha.


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