Profiles: Chef Stephen Rouelle
The Orchid at Mauna Lani
Background: Rouelle, 33, was born in Montpelier, Vt.; he attended Central Vermont Vocational School and Johnson and Wales University for culinary studies. He has worked at hotels in Ohio and has been at Mauna Lani since it was a Ritz Carlton.
In Hawai'i: nine years
Style of cooking: "My style of cooking is seasonally and classically inspired, but I keep a willingness to mix it up with new ideas, technique, or style."
I love to cook with: "all the best island products like hearts of palm, local lamb, Waimea tomato. I like to make marinated heart of palm and Waimea tomato salad, with grilled shoyu bourbon-glazed lamb chops ... a great dinner."
My favorite decadent meal: "seared veal chop topped with foie gras with black truffle risotto and a great glass of port"
My comfort food: "fresh-baked bread and sweet butter"
My favorite cookbook: "Culinary Artistry" by Andrew Dorenburg and Karen Page
My favorite kitchen tool: "my 10-inch chef's knife"
When I'm hungry I grab: "cheese and crusty bread"
When I'm not working I like to: "see movies and fish"
When I go out to eat, I like: "to eat and see food I don't usually work with North African, Moroccan or Indian food are good examples. The products and flavors in these cuisines are unique and exciting to me."
Chef I admire the most: "chef Ronald Wheeler. This is the man who first showed me this business and instilled a passion in me for food."
The weirdest ingredient I've used: "breadfruit ('ulu). I'd never seen or worked with these before getting to Hawai'i, and even after being here for several years, it still strikes me as an odd plant."
My dream job: "owner/chef of my own country inn"
If I could invite three people, living or dead, to share a meal with me, they would be: "my grandfather, whom I never met; my lifelong friend and companion, Kristine, and my parents. (I know that's four people, but it's my dinner.)"