Maui Brewing Company welcomes award-winning chef Jojo Vasquez to its Kihei brewery to share his passion for cuisine and powerful flavors with sophisticated presentation, all while utilizing the finest local produce.
Voted Maui No Ka ʻOi Magazine’s 2017 Chef of the Year by his peers, Vasquez has been a standout in the Hawaiʻi food scene for over a decade and shows no signs of arresting his momentum. His reputation as a purveyor of sustainable, artisanal cuisine caught the eye of Maui Brewing Company, and the newfound partnership offers him an exciting opportunity to bring that sensibility to Maui’s blossoming bar scene.
Vasquez, a Chicago native, heard his culinary calling early in life, assisting his father with a family catering business serving Chinese, Filipino, and American cuisine. He studied culinary arts at Kendall College’s Culinary Institute in Illinois, then continued developing his craft with acclaimed chef Troy Thompson. Vasquez then refined his skill with Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto. Vasquez served as sous chef on the hit show “Iron Chef” for two seasons. Vasquez moved to Maui in 2004, where he thrived as chef de Cuisine at the Banyan Tree Restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua. Next he opened Morimoto Waikiki on Oahu as executive chef of the Morimoto team before returning to Maui to lead The Plantation House restaurant staff as executive chef.
“I do everything based on the integrity of the ingredients and an eclectic method that uses as much fiercely local, sustainable avenues as I have,” says Vasquez. Along with sustainability and locally sourced ingredients, the company’s dedication to artisan craftsmanship also goes hand-in-hand with his personal philosophy as a chef. “I want to make sure there’s craftsmanship in the touches and elegance in the plating,” he says. “I want to make sure people say ʻdamn, I need to come back because I didnʻt try the whole menu.”