Dan Gordon and Dean Biersch, co-owners of Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants, are pleased that Hawaiian native Kelly Degala has been named Executive Chef of their newest location in the Aloha Tower Marketplace in downtown Honolulu. Degala, in collaboration with Gordon Biersch Brewing Company Executive Chef Jeffrey Anderson, has designed a menu that draws on an array of American and international influences including Southwestern, Mediterranean and, of course, Degala's specialty, contemporary Pacific Rim Cuisine.
Kelly Degala joins Gordon Biersch after directing restaurant operations at the Alana Waikiki Hotel, where he developed, opened and operated the elegant Harlequin dining room, and the popular Cafe Picasso. Degala's unique, Asian-influenced cooking style met with great praise from critics and patrons alike, receiving a four-star rating from Honolulu Magazine. Prior to serving as executive chef at Harlequin, Degala was the executive chef and general manager at the renowned Cafe Sport in Seattle, where his managerial finesse and innovative cuisine were credited with "vigorously guiding Cafe Sport into the nineties!" (Taste of the Nation). Degala's impressive credentials also include The Five Spot and Fullers, the four-star dinning room in the Seattle Sheraton Hotel, where he worked alongside celebrated chef Caprial Pence.
The Oahu-born Degala credits his heritage for his passion for the healthful ingredients and exotic flavors of traditional Asian-Pacific cooking. He uses only the freshest products from local growers and purveyors and has a particular flair for artful presentation in his cooking. One of Degala's areas of expertise, seafood, is apparent on the Gordon Biersch Honolulu menu which features pan-fried ahi cakes, sansho crusted ahi, seared scallops and a daily grilled fish special.
"It's particularly exciting to be a part of Hawaii's first on-site brewery restaurant," said Degala. "Having worked in restaurants with menus ranging from Italian and French to Asian cuisine, I welcome the opportunity to be creative—to complement the great beers and work with Gordon Biersch's signature culinary style allows me to dabble in every genre."
Kelly Degala received his formal culinary training at the Kapiolani and Manoa Campuses of the University of Hawaii, where he received Certificates of Achievement in the Culinary Arts and Food Service Management. Chef Degala and his wife Kristy currently reside in Honolulu with their daughter Ariel and son Keenan.
"Kelly Degala is a very capable and highly respected chef," said Biersch. 'We are delighted to have him directing the kitchen in our new Honolulu location."
The Honolulu brewery restaurant marks the first out of state expansion for Gordon Biersch, which as has resounding success with its establishments in San Francisco, Palo Alto, San Jose and Pasadena California.
Gordon Biersch has received national recognition for its award-winning formula of meticulously-crafted German-style beer, which is brewed on the premises, and an eclectic international menu that perfectly complements the beer. Gordon Biersch produces three distinct beers—Export, Marzen and Dunkies—all brewed under the supervision of brewmaster Dan Gordon, the first American in over thirty years to graduate from the prestigious brewing engineering program at the technical University of Munich.
Gordon Biersch Honolulu is located at 101 Ala Moana Blvd. #1123 in the Aloha Tower Marketplace. The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. The spacious brewery restaurant can accommodate private groups of 15 to 300 and brewery tours can be arranged.
Don't be shy to use your hands here. They are finger-licking good.
Combine peppercorns and salt in a heavy skillet; toast over medium heat. Stir until salt takes on an off-white color (about 3-5 minutes), you will also notice the fragrance coming from the Szechwan peppercorn. Do not burn peppercorn, however, smoking will occur during this process. Remove mixture to a food processor and process for 1 minute. Your finish product will look like powder. Cool to room temperature, then add sugar. Store in a dry bottle until needed.
Heat peanut oil in a deep pot or wok. Temperature should be about 325-350 degrees F. If you do not have a thermometer, it should take about 5 minutes to heat oil to a proper temperature.
Carefully place prawns in oil. Beware of exploding Roel. Stir in oil for about a minute or until prawns turn orange. Remove to side.
Reheat wok or pan with 1 T peanut oil until slightly smoking. Stir-fry garlic quickly and then add back pre-cooked prawns. Continue to stir. Add salt and pepper mix and parsley, stir to coat prawns. Remove from heat, and serve immediately.
This dish is great with stir-fried baby bok-choy as well.
Heat wok till lightly smoking. Add peanut oil and heat again till lightly smoking. Add garlic and immediately begin stirring (to avoid burning garlic), cook about 15 seconds, then add rice, breaking into smaller pieces. Continually turn over coating with oil and garlic for about 2 minutes. Finish with salt and pepper mix and green onion. Remove from heat, set aside.
I like to finish with a couple drops of Thai chili sauce for 'heat'.
Provided by Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant
This page originally published as a FoodDay article in 1997.
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