Originally published in the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival 2016 program.

Photo: courtesy of Tae Hwan-Ryu

Tae Hwan-Ryu

Seoul, South Korea
Chef: Ryunique

Signature Events: Hot Lava, Hotter Cuisine

What do you look forward to most about coming to Hawaii for the Sixth annual Hawaii Food & Wine Festival?

Special local ingredients grown in Hawaii and collaboration with the chefs who are invited to this event.

The festival strives to bring together the world’s best chefs, winemakers and mixologists. Name 3 people you would invite if you were putting together your own “culinary dream team” and why.

My Sous chef Jean, Senior CDP Kim, R&D Willy. They are responsible, initiative and diligent. They give me confidence and energy.

Is there a local ingredient that you are excited about working with in Hawaii?

All seafood, herbs and vegetables from Hawaii

What’s one thing that you like to eat or drink that might surprise people?

Pike eel and sea cucumber. Pike eel has really good flavor and is juicy and savory. Sea cucumber has rich flavor of the sea.

What’s your favorite late night snack or night cap?

Sushi, Sashimi and rice are the best combination in the world.

Best indulgence- dessert, dish, or drink?

Sushi, sashimi, beer, pan-fried egg and ketchup.

What’s the coolest highlight of you career so far?

It’s really hard to answer this kind of question. We do our best every moment. But I believe that we can be the best team one day. Every time our effort is appreciated is the best moment.

What’s the best (or worst) advice anyone ever gave you?

The best advice was when the customer catch the meaning about the chef’s effort and intention for the dishes. The worst one was when they depreciate about them.

What’s on your bucket list?

It is to open ‘Ryunique’ and ‘Normal by Ryunique’ at Busan in 3 years.