Diclaimer: Chef Felix is the Sous Chef, and Chef Miya is the Chef de Cuisine at Alan Wong's Honolulu. Chef Alan T is the chef-instructor at KCC Culinary School.
September 22, 2013
I recall in one of the pre-shift meetings led by Chef Felix, he talked mainly about positivity, then the sense of urgency, and finally just having fun on the line. I know this is something we should always have, but I thought I could elaborate and try to recapture what he talked about. A positive attitude will lead to a positive environment, hence, a good time at work satisfied customers. In the end, the goal is to make the customer happy and a positive attitude is a great way to start the day. The sense of urgency was deeply expressed upon us by my Chef Alan T during my time in CULN 120, Intermediate Cookery. That’s where we always need to be on top of things, be on our toes, and if possible, take that one step forward if you know that’s the right step to make. Having fun on the line applies to everyone else who are actually working on the line, unless that is, I’m given that opportunity to jump in and learn for myself. I’ve watched them work and they all wear their game faces. They can crack a joke or two but when crunch time begins, then that’s where it’s all game. The fun of it all is how they take on their work I suppose. I wouldn’t really know what they do to incorporate fun in their work besides telling jokes, but that’s something I’d have to find out when I’m on that position. I could always ask though.
I have decided look into ‘Nalo Farms, one of many local farm-to-table food distributors. The reason why I decided to choose this one first is because of how commonly it crossed my path on the wing station. According to Chef Miya, ‘Nalo Farms is one of Alan Wong’s main distributors for micro greens. I know there’s more to it than just the micro greens, so I do hope to one day actually go to the farm itself and experience by heart what ‘Nalo farms is truly about. Chef Miya spoke of the limitations online resources, books, and fliers may give a reader. It’s actually going to the place that will truly make a connection with yourself and the business altogether.
‘Nalo Farms, founded by Charles Okimoto and now lead by Dean Okimoto is one of Hawaii’s largest local suppliers for greens, fresh herbs, and micro-greens. They cater to over 130 restaurants, supplying in total—if not more than—3,000 pounds of their produce weekly. They began with growing produce like guava and papaya, then later on expanded onto herbs and micro greens, whom Roy Yamaguchi, founder of Roy’s, has suggested which led to what ‘Nalo Farms is today. Their produce includes categories such as lettuces, herbs, micro greens, sprouts, and other specialty items. They host events that encourage and inform consumers and restaurants alike about what ‘Nalo Farms is all about and how they integrate themselves into the community and give back to what made them who they are now.
It’s true about what Chef Miya had said. I don’t feel the same connection as would an actual tour would give me of ‘Nalo Farms. Hopefully in time, I will have that opportunity to actually go out there and visit these farms so I can connect better than just online researching and reading.