On Valentine’s Day, 2020, attendees of Ocean and You will be the first to try Waikiki’s newest island cuisine experience.
Out at sea, they will enjoy sampling courses that will guide them through all Hawaii’s best flavors, enhanced with a flare that only a seasoned chef can provide. The brain behind the unique Ocean and You menu is local Chef Elmer Guzman.
“One of the goals that when we created this menu is, ‘where can you get this in Waikiki?’” Chef Guzman said. He defines cooking style as Hawaii regional cuisine with a New Orleans twist. Guzman explained that he wants tour guests to feel a “wow factor” from the Ocean and You dishes, from the fresh-caught ahi poke to the Kiawe smoked mushroom arancini.
But who is Chef Elmer Guzman? We sat down to talk story with him about his background, his biggest influences and what makes his cuisine so special.
Growing up in Hawaii
Guzman was born and raised in Kahului, Maui. Although cooking wasn’t something he initially wanted to do as a career, it always came naturally to him.
“All my life we cooked for our family,” Chef Elmer said. “We got basically the hang of cooking everything. It was second nature for me.”