Kuoha Culinary

Aiea, HI

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About this pro

How does your service stand out?

I specialize in small upscale catering events and private chef services. I like to get into the mindset and expectations of the client for the event so I can create and customize a menu that exceeds their standards, but stays within price points. Kuoha Culinary prides itself in being one of the only catering companies that has one chef handle all facets of food production from start to finish and is on-site at all events handling food personally to ensure quality food, service, and guest satisfaction. At the end of the day the client needs to be happy with the service I provide, if not I cannot accept pay for a job that isn't done well. I am all about getting the "Wow" from my clients.

What do you enjoy about the work you do?

After dedicating over 20 years into his profession of cooking and guest servicing for other businesses and employers, Chef Ed Kuoha decided it was finally time to carve out his own niche. Chef Ed wanted to have something to show for all his hard work and have an opportunity to use his skill set to continue to create memories and enjoyment for many people through his vision of food, thus Kuoha Culinary was born. Chef Ed is a strong believer in putting positive energy and love into everything he creates. He feels that it aids in the end result of his work which often leads to great responses from clients who use his catering and Private Chef services. Born and raised in Hawaii, Chef Ed has felt fortunate to call this his home and doesn't foresee ever leaving paradise. Family is still the most important thing to him, and when he is not working, he is spending time with his wife and 2 children which bring him the most enjoyment.
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Location

Aiea, HI 96701

Background check

Complete

Years in business

2

Number of employees

6

Times hired on Thumbtack

41

Reviews

33 Reviews
  • Kristina K. Jul 21, 2017
    We contacted Chef Ed about catering our military event and got an immediate response. He listened to what we wanted, created a menu within our budget, and then adjusted both as the number increased. He was on time, professional, and his staff was very attentive. The food was delicious and exactly what we wanted. We would highly recommend Chef Ed for any special event. You won't be disappointed!
  • Chisa N. May 6, 2017
    Wedding Catering
    Verified Review
    We could have a wonderful Hawaiian meal in a private space. We really enjoyed the meal.
  • Larry K. Mar 21, 2017
    Event Catering (Drop-off)
    Verified Review
    Terrific food and service from this Company. Consider this firm first!
    Chef arrived on time, did the complete set up, and was smiling the entire time. We had a very last minute change in where the party was set up, and he handled it with grace. Me, I kept praying. The food was absolutely delicious' presented beautifully; hot items were hot when service began';cold items cold. I could not have chosen a better caterer. Ed was a great help with the menu planning--it would have been a very boring "mainland" meal, but thanks to him, it had a terrific Island style. Can't thank you enough, Chef. Highly recommend his services. 5 ***** quality & service. Larry. Nuuanu
  • Stephanie L. Mar 16, 2017
    Wedding Catering
    Verified Review
    Amazing food! One of the highlights of our wedding
    Chef Ed was a delight to work with, providing my partner and I with a menu that met our specifications and tastes for our small family wedding. He made everything easy and allowed us to sit back and enjoy our evening while taking care of every aspect of meal prep, lay out, and clean up. He even sliced up our wedding cake after we had done the first cut together. All of our family loved the food and had nothing but positive things to say. Thank you so much for your immaculate and professional service, and helping to make our wedding end on a delicious and relaxing note!
  • Anela V. Dec 25, 2016
    Event Catering (Drop-off)
    Verified Review
    Kuoha Culinary is the bomb!
    Ed was great and very professional. The food was very DELICIOUS! Very satisfied with everything!
  • Jiwon N. Oct 21, 2016
    Wedding Catering
    Verified Review
    AMAZING, AMAZING, and AMAZING!
    Chef Ed cooked for us at our wedding reception for 34 guests. First and most of all, the food was AMAZING! He made every single menu we'd requested not just as we wanted but in the way we had never imagined to be possible. They were super delicious, looked beautiful and were more than enough than we needed, which was perfect. Everyone at the reception loved the food and still talk about it after a week. The service was great too. He is easy to work with, very flexible, has many great ideas in mind so if you don't know what to do with something you can just ask him and trust him. His team members were kind, easy to work with as well, and willing to go above and beyond their duty. They helped my coordinator to move the cake and clean the stuff at the venue. I would love to work with him again for our anniversary or other special occasions, and I would definitely recommend him to anyone who wants great food and pleasant experience for their special day. (I don't have photos yet)
  • Stephanie D. Oct 4, 2016
    Event Catering (Drop-off)
    Verified Review
    Baptism Continental Breakfast
    Chef Ed was responsive, politely informative and easy to work with. I was late in placing an order with Zippy's ACE and they wouldn't help me. ChefEd was good to go and we did. He managed to present an elegant look in a basic and battered cafeteria setting. He made sure we had a delicious cake. I look to working with him again.
  • Natasha A. Sep 30, 2016
    Event Catering (Drop-off)
    Verified Review
    Hawaii vacation
    Excellent service, great food and awesome price.
  • Isaac M. Sep 20, 2016
    Event Catering (Drop-off)
    Verified Review
    Outstanding service and food
    Chef Ed was extremely flexible with our meeting point, payment and menu. The food was delicious and everyone at our event loved it. I would recommend Chef Ed to anyone looking for outstanding food and top quality service.
  • Elissa M. Aug 25, 2016
    Event Catering (Drop-off)
    Verified Review
    Event was amazing and the food made it even better! Everyone had such positive comments and loved the food! Definitely use chef Ed next time I am here and need delicious food and presentation
  • Jenna B. Aug 6, 2016
    Event Catering (Buffet)
    Verified Review
    Ed and Kuoha Culinary catered our wedding and the food was phenomenal! Ed was patient with us and communicated very well. He worked with us to get our menu just the way we wanted and our guests were raving about the food all night. We couldn't have chosen a better catering service! Thank you!!
  • Urvi S. Aug 5, 2016
    Personal Chef
    Verified Review
    Ed was so responsive and accommodating. His food was excellent - our party loved it and his great attitude. We had an amazing event with so many personalized touches. Would highly recommend him if in Honolulu!
  • Gina L. Jul 12, 2016
    Event Catering (Buffet)
    Verified Review
    The food was amazing! All my guests raved about how delicious everything was. We're more than happy with the service. Everything leading up to it couldn't have been easier. Thank you so much!
  • Lorraine T. Jun 30, 2016
    Event Catering (Drop-off)
    Verified Review
  • Ann H. Jun 2, 2016
    Event Catering (Drop-off)
    Verified Review
    Chef Ed did an excellent job with our catered dinner! Everyone enjoyed his food (his Opah dish was amazing). He was extremely accomodating as we had to change the date of our event. He wale the above and beyond! I will definitely hire him for future events.
  • Jian S. May 23, 2016
    Event Catering (Buffet)
    Verified Review
  • Ivie K. May 17, 2016
    Event Catering (Drop-off)
    Verified Review
    Simply amazing! Best catering experience. Great menu, he put together proposed menu. You are able to recommend changes to fit your crowd's taste. I would go by his suggestions! Chef Ed is so professional, accommodating, creative, and anticipates every possible need. He is very responsive, exactly on time, able to deliver, set-up so food was all buffet-ready to serve at right temperature. I was impressed with his formal culinary training and restaurant experience. Cost is all up front. Thumbs up! Thank you, Chef Ed. All dishes were complimented, on, each guest had their favorite.
  • Shannon H. May 2, 2016
    Event Catering (Drop-off)
    Verified Review
    We asked Chef Ed for pupus to pair with beer and feed a group of professionals moving from open house to open house. He nailed it. I have multiple people ask where/how I found him and for his contact info. In addition to his on-site professionalism and clean presentation, leading up to the event he was easy to communicate with, attentive and had great suggestions. A true collaborator. Thank you again Chef Ed. I look forward to working with you again.
  • Jeff W. May 2, 2016
    Event Catering (Drop-off)
    Verified Review
    Good communication, on time, nice set up , great food and quantity
  • Skye N. Apr 5, 2016
    Personal Chef
    Verified Review
    Wonderful meal thank you , highly recommend
  • Ann L. Mar 23, 2016
    Event Catering (Drop-off)
    Verified Review
    Chef Ed prepared a wedding dinner for a party of 7, delivered and provided set up. The meal was more than we had hoped and plenty of island flavor to make this wedding experience complete.
    Ed K. Mar 23, 2016

    Glad you enjoyed everything, thank you for the review.

  • Chrissy H. Mar 22, 2016
    Personal Chef
    Verified Review
    Ed was amazing! Food was outstanding and he was super informative about the food and island. Our family had a wonderful evening!!!
    Ed K. Mar 23, 2016

    Thank you, it was a pleasure to serve you and your family

  • Ana A. Mar 22, 2016
    Event Catering (Drop-off)
    Verified Review
    Ed Kuoha and his team did a FANTASTIC job at our event. I will definitely hire him again as give him high recommendations. I highly recommend Kuoha Culinary.
    Ed K. Mar 23, 2016

    Thank you Ana, I loved serving your party in your beautiful home.

  • Linda C. Mar 6, 2016
    Event Catering (Drop-off)
    Verified Review
    Chef Ed was professional and easy to work with. He listened to our preferences and came up with a great menu. Chef Ed set up all the food and it looked amazing! Most important, was that all our guests were raving about the delicious food. Thank you, Chef Ed for making my husband's 70th birthday celebration so memorable! Kuoha Culinary is outstanding!
    Ed K. Mar 23, 2016

    Thank you for the awesome review, I am glad I was able to help create a memorable occasion.

  • Frederick P. Feb 27, 2016
    Event Catering (Drop-off)
    Verified Review
    Amounts were spot on. Many complements on the food. Delivery was convenient and on time.
  • Jo A. Feb 25, 2016
    Wedding Catering
    Verified Review
    Just spoke with Chef Kuoha and so happy to have connected with him for my venues. I am confident we will work well together and have many referrals too. I will post me review of the actual event when completed. Mahalo Jo
  • Laela E. Feb 22, 2016
    Event Catering (Buffet)
    Verified Review
    Chef Ed and the team were great! Chef Ed helped me create a custom order, was flexible with payment options, did a professional set up job and the food was delicious. Highly recommend working with Kuoha Culinary!
  • Char T. Jan 31, 2016
    Event Catering (Drop-off)
    Verified Review
    I needed a gluten free ("GF") post game meal for the UH Men's Volleyball team. Chef Ed was contacted via a Thumbtack posting for a chef who would be able to cater such a menu. It was so easy working with Chef Ed. He created the GF menu with 3 entrees, 2 starches and a salad with 3 different salad dressings. The food was absolutely delicious (players feedback), more than enough to accommodate the team and they totally enjoyed the meal. Chef Ed's attention to detail and researching the different ingredients that may affect people with gluten allergies was greatly appreciated. I would highly recommend Kuoha Culinary and plan to utilize Chef Ed's services again.
  • Nancy B. Jan 28, 2016
    Wedding Catering
    Verified Review
    Ed was enthusiastic and ready with great ideas for our big day!
    Ed K. Jan 28, 2016

    Thank you for leaving a review, I can't wait to exceed your expectations!

  • Joel G. Jan 4, 2016
    Personal Chef
    Verified Review
    We hired Chef Ed Kuoha for a private catering event in Kapolei on 12/30. The menu included assorted sushi/nigiri (Ed brought along a sushi chef), maui french onion soup, salmon, ribeye steak, awesome side dishes and a delicious dessert (fondue - the kids loved it). He brings it all - including way nicer dishes vs what the condo had as well as serving pieces. If you're looking to do a special event/in home catering - Kuoha Culinary should be checked out. We tweaked the menu until everyone was satisfied and then Ed exceeded expectations on all counts. It was a great time. And the place was spot clean when they left (actually cleaner than when they arrived). Thanks Ed.
  • Frank M. Dec 6, 2015
    Personal Chef
    Verified Review
    I couldn't be happier with Kuoha Culinary and Chef Ed. The dinner party was a huge success. The menu was incredilble and the food was delicious. This was the first time I used a personnel chef and it was hands down one of the most enjoyable experiences I've ever had. What a great way to celebrate a special event. Thanks chef, for your professionalism, creativity and passion.
  • Katchia G. Nov 22, 2015
    Personal Chef
    Verified Review
    The chef was a joy to work with and the food was delicious.
  • Molly K. Oct 22, 2015
    Personal Chef
    Verified Review
    Quick to respond, a great communicator with excellent follow-through, Chef Ed was a pleasure to work with. The night of the event he went over and above in his availability, flexibility, food prep, presentation and quality. Chef Ed created a delicious, local, fresh, flavorful meal that delighted our guests. I hope to have the chance to work with Kuoha Culinary again.

Q&A

What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?
My basic starting point is $30/hr., it will vary depending upon budget of client and complexity of the request. I do not charge for travel time or shopping time, I am truly interested in giving the client the best experience I can and am very flexible to their needs. I truly love what I do and enjoy making people happy with my culinary abilities.
What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
I like to get into their mindset and expectations for the upcoming event so I can create and customize a menu that meets their standards and price points. At the end of the day the client needs to be happy with the service I provide, if not I cannot accept pay for a job not well done. I am all about getting the "Wow" from my clients.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I have been in the industry for over 20 years. I attended Kapiolani Community College as a double major in Culinary Arts and Patisserie. I have been exposed to all the various fields of the industry in my years of training such as hotel work, fine dining, casual dining, private chef, catering, kitchen consulting, banquets, & etc.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
I had decided in high school that the Chef life was for me. I wanted a job that provided a daily adrenaline rush and a work environment that was different from day to day. You truly need to enjoy the demands of this job to do it, it involves a lot of sacrifice in personal and family time with minimal rewards, but for the few such as myself I couldn't see doing anything else.
What types of customers have you worked with?
Wide ranges of clientele in my years. During my time at Morimoto Waikiki I was involved in cooking for high profile diplomats such as the Russian President, President Obama, 2 Governors, & Japanese Ambassadors who were very strict with their needs. Have worked with down to earth Hawaii residents who were open about what they wanted to do and easy to work with. I have planned menus for Wedding couples from my time in banquets at Koolau Ballrooms and Halekulani Hotel. I am very versatile in my skill set and can adapt to different clients.
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
I recently did a wine dinner for 60 people, family style. It was an intense 6 course wine pairing meal that I created that was really high end. I used a lot of locally sourced products, such as Kualoa Oysters, Big Island Kampachi, Ho Farms Produce, and pork from Shinsato Farms. I did need the help of 2 cooks and my 2 children that day to help plate, but the end result was worth the hard work. I spent about 16 prep hours on it over the course of 3 days.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
These are at the top of my list. *Budget they are willing to spend towards the food end with a little wiggle room for unexpected costs. *Number of people serving *What will be available to the Chef in the kitchen if it is done at their residence or off site *Likes and Dislikes with food items prior to planning menu *Have a theme or concept in regards to food that you are envisioning *Time frame of event for service
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
*Do they have most of the details for event finalized *How much are they willing to spend *How great do you want your experience to be, this will relate to the type of Chef they are looking for in regards to their event. *Is this event too big for an individual to do?