Sam Choy

Sam Choy
Did you know?

Sam’s father owned a restaurant, and on weekends the whole family helped to prepare traditional Hawaiian luaus for up to 800 tourists.

Sam Choy
Sam's Featured Recipe
Classic Chili Pepper Water

Click here for recipe

Sam Choy is an award-winning restaurateur, best-selling cookbook author, and TV host who lives on the tropical islands of Hawaii. He feels strongly about educating others about the diverse cultures and flavors concentrated in his home state.


Son of a Hawaiian restaurateur, Sam graduated from the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program and then went to New York to work as a chef at The Waldorf-Astoria . Upon returning to Hawaii, he worked in the kitchens of several major hotels and, in 1981, he opened his first stand-alone restaurant on the Big Island of Hawaii.


In 1995, Sam opened the Diamond Head Restaurant, serving renditions of his Hawaii regional cuisine. His TV cooking show is filmed here. Sam has another restaurant in Hawaii and one on Guam.


In 1992, Sam founded the famous Poke Festival and Recipe Contest. In 2004, he was awarded a James Beard American Classic Award for his restaurant Sam Choy's Kaloko.


Sam is the author or co-author of several books including Sam Choy's Island Flavors, Aloha Cuisine, Sam Choy's Little Hawaiian Poke Cookbook, Sam Choys Sampler: Hawaii’s Favorite Recipes, and Sam Choy's Cooking With Kids.


"Very few places on earth are as beautiful as Hawaii, and nowhere do you find such an abundance of great food, fresh fish from our reefs and open ocean, fruits and crisp vegetables from mineral-rich volcanic soils, beef and poultry from upcountry ranches and seaweed and crustaceans from our aquafarms, " says Sam.


"What we, in Hawaii, do with this food and how we cook it is unique, distinct, and becoming increasingly popular regionally and internationally."



Sam's website is




Latest Recipes

Macadamia Nut Chicken Breasts with Tropical Marmalade

Macadamia nuts are not indigenous to Hawaii. Mr. E. W. Purvis introduced macadamia trees to the Islands from Australia in 1885. Macadam...

(1 Votes)

Shrimp-Spinach Salad with a Citrus Vinaigrette

I appreciate the simple style of Marquesan cooking. What they can’t grow for themselves they have to purchase off the cargo ships that f...

(1 Votes)

Classic Chili Pepper Water

I take a bottle of my Classic Chili Pepper Water with me when I travel. I know it sounds a little strange, but Im often called upon to ...

(1 Votes)

Citrus Vinaigrette

The Sweet – Sour flavor of Asian sauces is captured in this dressing: the sour from the red wine vinegar, and the sweet from the orange ...

(1 Votes)

Coconut Lemongrass Baby Back Ribs

Baby back ribs are imported to Samoa from New Zealand and Australia. The normal starch accompaniment for a dish like this is breadfruit ...

(1 Votes)

Banana Fritters

Bananas are a common ingredient in South Pacific and East Asian cuisine. These batter-fried treats are served in fine restaurants and hu...

(1 Votes)

Spicy Braised Chicken with Ginger

Star anise is reddish brown and shaped like an irregular, eight-pointed star. In fact, its Chinese name means eight points. This spice’s...

(1 Votes)

Chicken Hekka

Chicken Hekka is one of those dishes that show up at every lu’au or party in the Islands. It’s kind of Chinese, kind of Japanese, kind o...

(1 Votes)

Sesame-Ginger Snap Peas

When I hear “snap peas” I think of this recipe—sweet, crispy, tender sugar snap peas speckled with black goma (sesame) seeds, with a hin...

(1 Votes)
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