The owner of the lovable, guava-sized Tin Roof Hawaiian eatery. A devoted husband and dad. A “Top Chef” finalist and two-time “Fan Favorite.” And what I like to call, the MacGyver of chefs.
There was the time when I dined at one of his previous restaurants, when he talked about how he and a line cook came up with a way to cook perfect pork belly — in Hot Pockets sleeves, of all things.
Then, there was the time when a table of chefs fell silent and began madly typing notes into their phone, when Simeon let slip that he makes his own chow fun noodles and generously began sharing the recipe just like that.
So when I spied that chow fun recipe in his debut cookbook, “Cook Real Hawai’i” (Clarkson Potter), I knew I had to make it. The book was written with Garret Snyder, a former Los Angeles Times food writer.
Through 100 recipes, Simeon gives you a taste of today’s Hawaii, mixing tradition with fun spins that amplify the unique cross-cultural blend of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Filipino and native Hawaiian flavors that makes this cuisine so mouthwatering. Along the way, you get to know him, too, from how his grandpa left the Philippines at age 18 to work on a sugar plantation in Hawaii to how Simeon slyly fed the tired and hungry camera crew of “Top Chef” with his Spam musubi.
Deep, dark and rich, these irresistible brownies are gluten-free, as they’re made with almond meal.
They also sport a very unlikely ingredient.
Before you scratch your head in complete disbelief, consider that soy sauce actually amplifies the chocolate even more, in much the same way that a little espresso does.
Only in this case, the soy sauce imparts a subtle salted caramel note.
If that doesn’t make you a believer, one taste surely will.
This genius recipe comes from food writer and best-selling cookbook author Hetty McKinnon, who started a community salad delivery business in Sydney, Australia, before moving with her family to Brooklyn in 2015.