chef | Ken Lum
s fabulous fresh
will wow you.
nd favorite. Kauai’s only AAA
tiful choices to please all. Indoor
ay for reservations 240.6456.
Working as a dishwasher at a small café on Kaua‘i in his teens, local boy
Ken Lum probably never imagined he would one day be Chef De Cuisine
at the Grand Hyatt’s award-winning Tidepools restaurant. His course,
however, was a steady rise as he cut his teeth at a coffee shop and in
Japanese and German restaurants before attending Kapi‘olani Community
College. There he met Chef George “Mavro” Mavrothalasitis and was
promptly offered a job working in the Halekulani Hotel’s AAA Five-Diamond restaurant La Mer.
After three years, Chef Ken relocated to Las Vegas where he cooked
at Chef Emeril Lagasse’s restaurant inside the MGM Grand. This was
followed by a return to Honolulu where he was sous chef at the James Beard
Award winning Chef Mavro restaurant. Chef Ken again returned to Las
Vegas as sous chef in Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House. Since mid-2007,
Chef Ken has been at the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i’s Resort and Spa where he
oversees Tidepools, which was named Kaua‘i’s Best Restaurant by Honolulu
Magazine (five different years) and Zagat Surveys (2009).
Tidepools’ menu includes local favorites like ‘ahi and tako (octopus) poke,
Garden Isle salads with hearts of palm and goat cheese, ginger soy glazed
Hawaiian sea bass and Hawaiian salt and garlic rubbed prime rib. True to
his upbringing, the chef’s dishes make use of Hawai‘i’s best ingredients for
meals that are flavorful, creative and will definitely stick to your ribs.
What are the most important elements of running a successful kitchen?
A positive attitude, surrounding yourself with the right people and acquiring
the best ingredients.
Describe Tidepools food in one sentence.
Interesting and creative yet identifiable and delicious without being
What is a common misconception about food in Hawai‘i?
That a lot of the fruit associated with Hawai‘i is native. Actually it originated
What changes have you made in the kitchen as a result of the recession?
Not a lot in the kitchen, but as a restaurant, we have been running nightly
specials that benefit the diner’s budget.
If you had only five ingredients to prepare a fine meal, what would you use?
Sea salt, a whole chicken, carrots, onions and potatoes. It sounds simple but
the possibilities are endless.
Imagine that your final meal is off Tidepools menu, what would you order?
Easy – prime rib. Deep down inside I’m a meat and potatoes kind of guy.