In Partnership with the Southern Weekend

Local junior chef shares Hawaiian culture on Top Chef Family Style

After launching a successful online farmers market, Kamahao Ocean Kanekoa caught the attention of Top Chef Family Style, and now competes on the cooking series streaming on Peacock TV!

Sponsored by Pa’ina By Ocean

Pa’ina by Ocean is an online farmers market designed to help struggling farmers through the pandemic. The two-month plan was extended throughout the year due to its large success. Now that local farmers are in better standing, Kamahao is working with foundations to give out free care boxes to the community. He says the reason behind the success of Pa’ina by Ocean is because of the large community support.

Kamahao comes from a family of chefs. His father and grandmother were chefs, and his sister teaches as a culinary instructor. “I’ve always been around food, but then more recently I really got into cooking, truly started to see it as my passion and it’s something that I wanted to pursue in the future,” says Kamahao. He was recommended by a couple of chefs and was able to get on the show!

Top Chef Family Style is a spinoff of Top Chef Junior, where they take a junior chef and pair them with a family member. Kamahao’s sister and partner, Jaydene Kanekoa, says the show has a different dynamic for a Top Chef series because its more about teamwork than individual skill. Both Kamahao and Jaydene are proud to share Hawaiian culture and local culture through their time on the show.

Kamahao has started creating cooking videos and plans to do pop up events in the future! If you want to follow their journey, please visit painabyocean.com or on Facebook and Instagram @painabyocean!