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Sheldon Simeon Books In Order

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Publication Order of Cookbooks

Cook Real Hawai'i (With: Garrett Snyder) (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Sheldon Simeon
Chef Sheldon Simeon, born in Hilo, acquired his love of cooking from his parents. Sheldon’s path led from Hilo High, right on to the Culinary Institute of the Pacific onto an internship at Walt Disney World, where he met his future wife.

After leaving, he graduated from Maui Culinary Academy in 2002, and won second at a local Maui culinary competition, he took a job at Aloha Mixed Plate, an eclectic lunch plate restaurant in Maui. While working his way up the ladder, his bosses named him head chef at Star Noodle, Aloha’s new sister restaurant, where he helped craft ramen, pork buns, yakitori, and udon, all with local twists.

His mix of innovation and adherence to tradition on the Star Noodle led to him getting nominated for two James Beard Awards in 2011. one for “Best New Restaurant” and for “Rising Star Chef of the Year”.

During his high school years, he wanted to be an architect, so he took mechanical drawing through his freshman, sophomore, and junior year. His senior year, he started hanging out with his friends more and more, going surfing. It made him wonder if he really wanted to to a four year college. His family were all wonderful cooks.

If there were family gatherings, it was Sheldon’s house that did all of the cooking. He knew how to cook pretty well. One of his brothers went to culinary school. Sheldon would see how he would go cruising around, and he got to hang out with everybody, so he attended and found he liked it and sorta good at it, so it turned into a passion.

Growing up in Hawai’i, the first dish you are sure to learn how to cook first is rice. You wash it enough, add in the right amount of water, and press the button to turn the cooker on. There was always rice sitting on a pot on the counter top, and he would sometimes eat rice that had sat out for two to three days.

His family would head out to Hakalau to pick pohole (fiddlehead fern), and catch some opihi prawns and small fry in the rivers. Back at that time they had a bartering system, where food was money. His dad was a welder, so if he fixed somebody’s fence, then some fried fish or smoke meat would show up on the doorstep. It was here that he and his family learned to respect food.

The pork and peas recipe in his book, called “Cook Real Hawai’i: A Cookbook”, was taught to Sheldon’s dad by his dad’s uncle and it is the most requested dish for huge parties. While the coconut shrimp that they created is sort of tongue-in-cheek. It is a play on honey walnut shrimp which has been in his family forever.

He shares some other beloved family recipes, the stuff that he cooks for his four kids and wife at home. One dish he constantly makes is beef lauya, which is a simple beef shank, cooked cabbage, and fish sauce, and called Beef Shank a la Oxtail Soup. He makes vats of it, as it is there favorite dish, something that they are able to eat constantly, particularly on the weekends. Sheldon loves to eat some Sunday morning and take a nap for the rest of the day.

He says the best cook in his clan is his Grandpa and his Grandpa’s cousin. They have the touch when it comes to the kitchen, however his mom would always be there in the background.

In the year 2016, he opened Tin Roof, his first solo restaurant in Kahului, Maui, where he serves local dishes in takeout bowls. In the fall of 2018, he opened Lineage, his second solo project, and also on Maui. It was a James Beard Award semifinalist for “Best New Restaurant”. At the restaurant, with his first full service concept, he delights guests with traditional local Hawaiian fare.

Upon coming back to Hawaii, he went to Maui Culinary Academy. Sheldon competed in the tenth season of Top Chef in Seattle where he finished as a finalist and won the highly coveted “Fan Favorite” title. He won the title again when he appeared on the show again in season fourteen.

After he served as the executive chef at Maui’s Mala Wailea and MiGRANT, he was named in Hawaii Magazine’s Top 5 Best Hawaiian Chefs of the year 2014. He got voted FOOD & WINE Magazine’s 2014 People’s Best New Chef for the Pacific & Northwest.

“Cook Real Hawai’i: A Cookbook” is a cook book that was released in the year 2021. The tale of Hawaiian cooking, by a two time Top Chef finalist and Fan Favorite, through one hundred recipes which embody the gorgeous cross-cultural exchange of the islands.

Even while Sheldon Simeon was winning adulation and accolades for his cooking, he chose to drop what he believed he was supposed to cook as a chef. He dedicated himself instead to the local Hawai’i food which feeds hi ohana, both his neighbors and his family. With flavor forward and uncomplicated recipes, he illustrates for us the many cultures which have come to create the cuisine of his beloved home: the Japanese influences, the native Hawaiian traditions, Chinese cooking techniques, and the dynamic Filipino, Korean, and Portuguese flavors which are the closest to his heart.

With poignant stories, stunning photography, and dishes such has wok-fried poke, crispy cauliflower katsu, pork dumplings made with biscuit dough, and charred huli-huli chicken slicked with a sweet-savory butter glaze. This book is sure to bring a true taste of the homes, the cookouts, and iconic mom and pop shops of Hawai’i and into your own kitchen.

These are recipes and stories through Sheldon’s eyes. It is a book made up of the things that influenced him, as the people in the book are real. He lived these stories, they aren’t just things that he made up.

This is an incredible primer on the delights of Hawai’i’s food, and is a heartfelt portrait of Simeon’s own family history there. Simeon delivers a highly authentic and artistic cookbook with supreme photos, stories, and recipes. Readers enjoyed reading about Sheldon’s background and family memories, and general history of Hawaii.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Sheldon Simeon

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