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1998 America's Best New Chefs | Oliver Altherr

Hoku's, Honolulu

Age: 32

Background: Born in Backnang, Germany. Cooked forthe German Minister of Defense; Michel Guérard, Eugénie-les-Bains, France; Plume at The Regent, Hong Kong.

How he got into cooking: "My grandfather, who had a butcher shop and a restaurant, made me want to be a chef."

First food memory: "My mother's lentils with spaetzle, which I had for the first time when I was five."

Menu bomb: Tongue ravioli.

Ingredient pick: Organic greens from Oahu. "They cut them in the morning and I have them by lunch."

Favorite place to eat: Lowen, in Backnang. "I go for the sausage salad; it's a German thing, I guess."

Most tired trend: s: Small portions and piling food too high on the plate.

Secret of his success: Simplicity.

What he'd do if he weren't a chef: "Try to make it as a tennis player."

Favorite 1 A.M. meal: Poke, a Hawaiian marinated raw tuna dish.

Food vice: Blue cheese.

Recipe tips: When you want to serve something hot from the oven and baking time is short (as it is for this naan), be sure to have the other components of the dish assembled in advance. Undercook the food slightly if you know you'll have to reheat it.

Info: The Kahala Mandarin Oriental, Hawaii, 5000 Kahala Ave.; 808-739-8780.

Published July 1998
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