Cooking with Executive Chef Hiroyuki Mimura
Sponsored by Hawaii Gas
Sicilian cuisine is unique from the rest of Italy, and Taormina at the Waikiki Beach Walk is serving up a taste of the region’s authentic flavors. HI Now host Kanoe Gibson is in the kitchen with general manager Kazu Kato and executive chef Hiroyuki Mimura cooking up some delicious Sicilian dishes, including the Sarde e Finochetti (sardine pasta) and Grilled Lamb Chop Luca Pecorini.
Taormina serves the timeless cuisine of Southern Sicily with contemporary style and flair. Sicily has a multi-cultural background historically, and this defines its cuisine. The restaurant uses minimal ingredients, emphasizing the freshness of the produce itself rather than masking dishes with heavy seasonings.
Executive Chef Hiroyuki Mimura pairs fresh pastas with the highest quality seafoods and meats unspoiled by heavy sauces. The restaurant’s Sicilian style pastas are dressed in pure, extra virgin olive oil. Options like fresh vegetables, lightly grilled fish, and lamb seasoned with herbs offer diners a healthy range of options.
Chef Mimura has been cooking Italian food since age 21. He started in Tokyo and later moved to Florence for four years. During his first time in Italy, he didn’t speak any Italian. “I picked up some basics and went around top restaurants asking if I could work there for no pay,” he says. That’s how Chef Mimura got his start in the business and was eventually mentored by Master Chef Luca Pecorini.
For the past 11 years, Chef Mimura has been at Taormina. “Now we have our sister restaurant Appetito Craft pizza and Wine bistro,” explained Chef Mimura.
The village of Taormina, the restaurant’s namesake, shares many similarities with Waikiki. This Sicilian tourist destination overlooks sun-drenched beaches, just 45 minutes from Europe’s largest active volcano, Mount Etna.
Taormina is open seven days a week. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. (Sun-Thurs) and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. (Fri/Sat). You can also get free validated parking during lunch hours at the Valet parking at the Embassy Suites and Wyndham Hotel.