This month, Food and Wine Magazine named its 2021 Best New Chefs in America. Gaby Maeda, originally from Kaimuki, is on this list. She is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy and is a chef at State Bird Provisions in San Francisco.
“She and her team are putting together a menu of bright and punchy Californian cuisine, rich in local produce and with strong Asian influences,” the magazine said. “When she stepped into the role of chef, she also found her culinary voice and perspective, rooted in her past, but not bound by it. Maeda grew up around phenomenal home cooks.”
The Conversation caught up with Maeda to talk about her debut in the industry at age 14 and her favorite places to eat when she comes home.
Her first choice is Angelo Pietro in Kaimuki because she’s been going since she was three. She said she gets the same pasta every time.
“My grandmother worked at ‘Ono Hawaiian Foods. She was a waitress there for about 30 years. I know it’s closed now, but it was a place I had to go,” she said. . “I just have all the usual stuff. I go to Foodland and I get poke. I go to Rainbow Drive-In and I get lunch on a plate. I go to 7-Eleven and I get musubi spam.”
This interview aired on The Conversation on September 30, 2021.