- Sam Choy, Pineapple Express
Appearances at Pebble Beach Food & Wine 2011:
Sam Choy’s years of cooking alongside his parents provided him the skills and inspiration to become a local Hawaiian celebrity in the early 1990s. It is his exceptional creativity, love of good food and aloha for the guests he serves that has propelled him into the status of an internationally-recognized chef today. Choy’s colorful personality and welcoming smile have drawn customers to his multiple restaurants over the last 30 years, but it is his award-winning cooking that keeps them coming back.
After the early days of working with his family, Sam spent twenty-plus years mastering his craft in the kitchens of noted hotels and resorts on the mainland and Hawaii. Following the footsteps of his heritage, Sam and his wife, Carol, opened Sam Choy’s in their newly adopted home town of Kailua-Kona in 1991. The combination of a million-dollar view and Sam’s delicious menu make this a not-to-miss dining experience on the islands.
For the last 16 years, Sam has appeared on his weekly cooking show, Sam Choy’s Kitchen, on the Hawaiian Island’s local NBC affiliate. He has authored 16 cookbooks, has a frozen food line, has his personal recipe sauces and dressings available in national food store chains, and has designed first and business class menus for American’s Airlines International Flights. Choy is a four-time nominee for the James Beard Best “Pacific Regional chef” award, winning in 2004. He is often credited as the “Godfather of Poke” and the Culinary Ambassador of the Big Island.