Everyone loves Sheldon Simeon. The Hawaiian-born chef appeared on two seasons of "Top Chef," making it to the finals each time, and winning Fan Favorite both times. His stints on the show helped to bring wider attention to local Hawaiian food beyond gentrified poke bowls and stereotypical loco moco brunches, except in Hawaii it's not "Hawaiian food" – it's just food.
In a way, it's like Simeon is the unofficial ambassador for Hawaiian food on the mainland. Fittingly, Simeon was featured on Gordon Ramsay's show "Uncharted," in an episode on Hawaii's Hana Coast. When he isn't cooking on television, Simeon is heading his restaurant Tin Roof Maui, a homestyle eatery that specializes in the dishes that Simeon loved to eat such as saimin, a noodle soup, and mochiko chicken.
The chef's next venture is a cookbook "Cook Real Hawai'i" ($32), out on March 30. The book is as much of a cookbook as it is a history of Hawaii, delving into the influences that make Hawaiian food what it is, from Japanese influences to Portuguese flavors.
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