While leaving the Executive Chef position of the reigning Hale-Aina Awards Restaurant of the Year might not seem like an obvious career move for a brilliant chef, it is exactly what Chef Ronnie Nasuti has done. After ten years of guiding the flagship Roy’s in Hawaii Kai to a multitude of awards and praises, Chef Nasuti will now bring his knowledge and culinary passion to Tiki’s Grill and Bar.
Pan Seared Opah over Yukon Gold Potato Gnocchi and a sautee of spinach, macadamia nuts, and raisins. Finished with a Carrot-Citrus Beurre Blanc.
Chef Nasuti has a sort of panache that is quite endearing for a man of his talents. His down-to-earth mentality and matter-of-fact sensibility give you the idea that he really loves what he does. Taking the Executive Chef position at Tiki’s is a whole new challenge that he has met head on with the goal of, “getting locals to come back to Waikiki.” With the open-air patio, breath-taking views of the Waikiki sunset, and an evolution of the menu that has Chef Nasuti’s stamp on it, it would seem that they are headed in the right direction.
However, getting locals back to Waikiki is no easy task. This is why Chef Nasuti is making changes such as sourcing local produce and meat, which is something he believes locals place value in. The local-organic and farm-to-table movements are, “something every young chef has been taught over the last twenty years.” Chef Nasuti also explained to us that “buying local is an experience,” that connects people to each other and to the land.
Seared Coconut Scallops accompanied by Nalo Baby Bok Choy and a reduction of Moloka’i Sweet Potato.
He further delved into his culinary philosophy by detailing the importance of teaching your children “how to make something from scratch…I taught my kid how to make meatballs, like my father taught me. Nowadays, in the current economy when two parents work, Old World values don’t have to be thrown out the window.”
With big hopes, a new menu, and an iron will, Chef Nasuti will lead Tiki’s Grill & Bar into a new year that is looking brighter and brighter by the day.
Story by: Keola Warren
Photos by: Malie Moran
Posted on 05/29/2015 at 02:32:00 PM