We appreciate and delight in the food, but what’s cooking beyond the dish? In a new series, Ono Yum steps out of the kitchen and gets a peek at the man behind the chef coat. To kick us off, meet Chef Keoni Simmons of Sushi on a Roll.
OY: What did you have for dinner last night?
KS: Shoyu Ramen, Gyoza, Hamari Beef and Chicken wings from Yakitori Yakyudori & Ramen on Convoy. This is my favorite ramen place.
OY: If you could share a meal with any one person, who would it be?
KS: Troy Polamalu, I’m a Steelers fan.
OY: What inspires you in and out of the kitchen?
KS: I’m always trying to create a positive food memory for the people who eat what I make. I want them to eat my Pokē and ten years from now, remember it when they are talking story with their friends.
Outside of the kitchen I would have to go with my wife. On May 18th, she and I will have been married a month.
OY: What is your theme song? Why?
KS: I actually have two theme songs. When I’m in the kitchen or competing, the song is “I want to Conquer the World” by Bad Religion. You have no choice but to hustle when you are listening to this song.
My other song is “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” remake by Brother IZ. It helps me unwind; it’s easy because his voice is relaxing and I can visualize what he is singing about.
OY: Give away one trick/tip anyone could use in the kitchen.
KS: When peeling fresh ginger, use the edge of a spoon —so easy!
See Chef Keoni Simmons and 14 other chefs at this month’s I Love Poke San Diego event. Buy tickets here.