New Chefs and New Restaurants at the Waikoloa Beach Resort

Foodies have three new reasons to celebrate at Queens’ MarketPlace, as new chefs and restaurants add their special flavors to the popular shopping center in Waikoloa Beach Resort.

Ippy Aiona at the 2012 Mealani Taste of the Hawaiian Range

First up, “Food Network Star” Season 8 finalist Philip “Ippy” Aiona premiers his new dining option in the Food Court.  Highly-anticipated, Ippy’s Hawaiian BBQ is scheduled to open in early December, serving Aiona’s special twist on the iconic Hawaiian “plate lunch.” Diners can look forward to brined rotisserie chicken basted in homemade teriyaki sauce, furikake mahi burger, miso fried chicken, BBQ ribs and more, served with Ippy’s specialty sauces, homestyle gravies, and indulgences like corn and bread puddings.

Aiona grew up in the restaurant business, learning from New York-Italian and Hawaiian parents, and is presently executive chef of the family’s Italian eatery and coffee bar, Solimene’s in Waimea. He attended California Culinary Academy and Le Cordon Bleu in San Francisco, and refined sophisticated culinary techniques with mellow island style to help win a spot on Chef Giada De Laurentiis’ team on the Food Network competition.  Easy going and popular on the show, Aiona’s excellence in the kitchen, combined with a winning personality, won acclaim through the gamut of challenges to Season 8’s last episode before its grand finale.

Next, in mid December, Chef “TK” Thepthikone Keosavang opens Lemongrass Express—sister restaurant to his popular Lemongrass Bistro in Kona, in an abbreviated version for the Food Court.  With focus on quality fresh food (locally sourced whenever possible), Chef TK says Lemongrass Express will feature excellent value with inexpensive lunch and dinner specials and return-customer incentives.  He plans to offer select beers, wines and sakes to compliment the Asian Fusion cuisine, he describes as “not strictly Thai, not strictly Japanese, Chinese or any one style.”

Chef TK’s award-winning style comes from a long career with some of the best restaurants in the business, including 13 years with the MGM Grand Hotel, where he helped win “Best Japanese Restaurant in Las Vegas” two years in a row for Shibuya.  Most recently Chef de Cuisine of the AAA Four-Diamond Brown’s Beach House at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, Chef TK brings worlds of experience to Lemongrass Express, blending French and Asian techniques into his “nouvelle Asian fusion” cuisine.  For more information, visit www.lemongrasskona.com.

Nearby, Sansei Seafood, Steak & Sushi Bar announces the appointment of Executive Chef Paul Goodwin to their award-winning team. A solid professional, Goodwin brings broad knowledge and experience from working with some of Hawaii’s top chefs into the kitchen at Sansei.  Originally from Oregon, his culinary career has included Merriman’s two Hawai‘i Island locations, Wolfgang Puck’s Spago at Four Seasons Wailea, Roy’s in Kihei, Waikoloa and San Diego, and most recently D.K. Kodama’s Sansei Seafood Restaurant in Kihei.

While he works with the staff to maintain and improve high service standards and food excellence, Chef Paul assures loyal customers that their longstanding Kama‘āina, Early Bird and Late Night specials will not change.  Specializing in New Wave Sushi and Contemporary Japanese Specialties, Sansei has won recognition from Honolulu Magazine, the Honolulu Advertiser, Wine Spectator magazine and the Gayot website. For more information, please visit www.sanseihawaii.com or call 886-6286.

Since it opened in 2007, Queens’ MarketPlace in Waikoloa Beach Resort has earned a reputation among visitors and kama’āina as “the gathering place of the Kohala Coast,” full of shopping opportunities, services and great food, along with entertainment and arts programs, movies under the stars and large-scale concerts in Waikoloa Bowl at Queens’ Gardens.  For more information, visit www.QueensMarketPlace.net or call 886-8822.

For more information visit www.WaikoloaBeachResort.com.

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