This Celebrated Chef Found Paradise in Hawai'i
After a life on the move, the food and community of Honolulu gave Lee Anne Wong a reason to stay.
Lee Anne Wong has spent the majority of her chef career on the go, whether cooking in Oaxaca and Japan or traveling for Top Chef—first as a contestant, and then as a supervising culinary producer. Even when she overcame her wanderlust and settled down in New York, the self-described "culinary polyglot" found herself pursuing positions like executive chef of event operations at the French Culinary Institute, where she was able to host a visiting who's who of the culinary world (Ferran Adrià, Thomas Keller), "never," she says with pride, "having to make the same thing twice."
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But in 2013, Wong decided to take a break from the relentless traveling and TV appearances, so she packed up her life and moved to Honolulu. In Hawai'i, Wong fell in love, reacquainted with family, and opened Koko Head Cafe—a celebrated brunch spot serving comfort dishes that reflect the inventiveness the chef has become known for, including her fried-poke omelet, an original dish first conceived at home with leftovers in her fridge.
"When people ask me if I'm going to stay in Hawai'i, my answer is simple," Wong says. "On my days off, I get to do things people save their whole lives to experience. Even on crappy days, there's a double rainbow in the sky."
Make it at Home! Get the recipe to make your own poke omelet here.