Meet Our Chefs

Chef Dennis Franks  Big City Diner

Big City Diner prepares multi-ethnic local favorites throughout their 5 locations across Oahu. Chef Dennis Franks uses local ingredients, adding the flavors of Hawaii that we love, cooking techniques that bring out the natural flavor of ingredients while preserving quality and freshness. All of this leads to delicious, local, homemade-style meals. Locally owned Big City Diner has consistently received awards such as the Honolulu Advertiser’s “Best of the Best,” Hale ‘Aina and I’lima.

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Chef Jesse Cruz,  Livestock Tavern

Livestock Tavern in Honolulu’s Chinatown Art District is a Seasonal American Eatery with a focus on simple & comforting dishes.

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Past Chefs

Chef Chris Kajioka,  Miro Kaimuki

Chef Chris Kajioka of Miro Kaimuki is a James Beard Semifinalist and former Executive Chef at Vintage Cave in Honolulu. He is also chef and co-owner of the acclaimed downtown restaurant Senia and Bar Maze opening soon in Kaka`ako.

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Chef Keith Kong,  Basalt Waikiki

Born and raised on Oahu, Keith has worked in top kitchens across California, including the Four Seasons Resort in Newport Beach and the highly acclaimed Auberge du Soleil in Napa Valley. After 10 years on the mainland, Keith returned home to Honolulu and became Executive Chef of a number of well-regarded restaurants including Gordon Biersch, Matteo’s, and the Kilauea Lodge.

In 2001, Keith took over the helm of Duke’s Waikiki as their Executive Chef. In April 2017, Keith decided to take on a new challenge as the Executive Chef leading the team in the opening of the hotly-anticipated Basalt Restaurant at Duke’s Lane Market and Eatery, in Waikiki.

Chef Marc Freiberg,  Green Apron HI

Marc Anthony Freiberg was the Executive Chef at Neiman Marcus at Ala Moana for the past 10 years, featuring the Mariposa restaurant. He was also a featured chef in the 2015 and 2016 Hawaii Food & Wine Festivals. Chef Freiberg has traveled the world gaining knowledge and experience, which he believes is key to a successful chef. He had the great opportunity to train in Milan, Italy where he enjoyed the simple philosophy of seasonal cooking using local ingredients.

For several years he has worked with healthcare organizations to focus on heart-healthy dishes and healthier lifestyles. His delicious menus highlight all the amazing flavors of vegetables and plants while maintaining their nutritional value. He believes a healthy diet, coupled with exercise and proper stress management, can help boost your energy and support your immune system.

Chef Moumen El Hajji,  Pur Sina Hawaii

Moumen El Hajji has over 30 years of experience in the catering and restaurant industry in Hawaii. He brings his world travels to the kitchen with inspiration coming from Italy, France, Malta, Peru, Turkey, and his birth-place Morocco. Using the incredible resources from Hawaii’s farms and the Pacific Ocean, along with exceptional epicurean specialties from around the world, he creates unique, beautiful, and modern cuisine. Moumen provides exquisite meals to the Private Aviation industry with his company Pacific Catering with clients ranging from Heads of States to celebrities who fly him around the world to fulfill their culinary needs. Moumen has recently set out on an all-new adventure with Pur Sina Hawaii at the John A. Burns School of Medicine.

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