In July 2016, Christoper Kim began his post as chef de cuisine at the St. Regis Princeville’s Kauai Grill. Born in Garden Grove, CA and raised in Mission Viejo, CA, Kim fell in love with cooking as a child.
“I remember cooking my mom breakfast for Mother’s Day,” recalls Kim. “It required thinking days in advance because I wanted to surprise her. I set my alarm so I’d wake up early, put the chair close to the stove (I couldn’t quite reach it), and prioritize what I was going to cook so everything stayed warm. It consisted of sunny-side-up eggs, toasted bread with butter and a touch of sugar, and bacon.”
The economy took a hit when Kim graduated from college and entry level management positions didn’t excite him. A good friend was accepted into the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in Napa Valley and suggested that Kim join him. The following 8 months changed the direction of his career. Kim landed a cook position at the prestigious Restaurant at Meadowood and he says from there he knew he was never going to leave the industry. Positions at Angelini Osteria, Bazaar by Jose Andres, Munchery, and Stonehill Tavern by Michael Mina refined his food philosophy.
“My specialty is vegetables,” says Kim, whose dishes are a blend of bold flavors and contrasting textures. “One of the main reasons that drew me to Kauai is the abundance of produce that pretty much has a year-long season for most crops. I like to transform and utilize them in different ways. Take garlic for example. It doesn’t have to be a stinky vegetable, you can cook it down and make it sweet, you can fry it and make it crispy, or you can ferment it and make my favorite ingredient: black garlic.”
Menu changes at Kauai Grill include a signature Chef’s Tasting Menu and the addition of new appetizers, entrees, and sides. Everything pictured in this blog post is a new menu item.
“We try to stay within the four seasons,” says Kim, “although it is hard to see the four seasons in Kauai, it is very important to show off a specific product when it is at its peak. Many locals appreciate the effort to have the menu change quite often, it also keeps me on my toes!”
The St. Regis Princeville Resort
5520 Ka Haku Rd.
Tuesday 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Wednesday 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Thursday 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Friday 5:30 to 10 p.m.
Saturday 5:30 to 10 p.m.
All images copyright 2016 Daniel Lane/Pono Photo. For more information, visit www.PonoPhoto.com.