Jon Matsubara

May 5, 2014 | By Waikiki Magazine Team

Chef de Cuisine
Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa


Aloha, Welcome to Waikiki! As someone from O‘ahu, I am always delighted to see so many people who have chosen our island as their vacation destination. As a chef, I love being in Waikiki.

Over the years I have been honored to have worked alongside some of O‘ahu’s most famous chefs, including Alan Wong and Roy Yamaguchi, and I have observed that our greatest assets as a culinary community are our talented chefs and our wonderful array of local ingredients. From line-caught ocean fish to grass-fed beef and exotic fruits—the abundance and variety of flavors are every food lover’s dream. That’s why when visitors ask me where to eat when they come to Waikiki, I always say buy local. Visit restaurants that favor sustainable menu selections.

At Japengo, in the Hyatt, guests dine on the freshest fish in the area that is prepared by trained Japanese sushi chefs. Between the quality of the ingredients and the excellence of our chefs, we are known for our memorable sushi as well as our Hawaii Ranchers beef, scallops and coconut crème brûlée. Some of our dishes are also flavored with honey gathered from our own beehives and ingredients grown in our own gardens.

With the increasing popularity of farmers markets, anyone, resident or visitor, will find plenty of foods from Hawai‘i to purchase, including hot fudge, honey, heirloom tomatoes and baked goods as well as mangoes and liliko‘i. At the Hyatt Farmers Market every Thursday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., we have a vendor who sells organic cotton candy and another who sells raw cane sugar juice! I also like to visit the Kapi‘olani Community College Farmers’ Market every Saturday morning from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

No matter where you go, make sure you are buying or eating something that was made in the islands. You’ll be helping our local farmers while enjoying the freshest selections available. Additionally, if you are planning on a return trip in the future, consider visiting in September when we have the annual Hawai‘i Food and Wine Festival.

Me ke aloha pumehana