Few might remember Food Network Star contestant Philip Aiona outside of Hawaiian residents who follow it, but for a chef who’s roots are dug deep in the islands, that’s ok by us. Even though he didn’t make it through to win the show, he did go on to win an Iron Chef Tournament using his Hawaiian comfort food inspired cuisine. Since that point Ippy, as he’s referred to has come back to the Islands and the home of his former restaurant Three Fat Pigs, to open a newly renovated and modernized Koa Table.
The road that Ippy has taken from childhood until now is very reminiscent of many stories across the islands, with family inspired beginnings taken to a new level when combined with the modernity of today. Starting out by working in his family’s restaurants, and learning to make the Hawaiian staples that formulate our favorite dishes, he then went on to culinary school and perfected the art of Italian cooking. Now bringing his combination of upscale fine dining with the family gathering meals that we’re all familiar with has put a different and truly unique spin on a night out for dinner.
Once finishing his jaunt on the television circuit, Philip knew that he wanted to get back to his roots, and the homeland that he loved, and by repurposing his old restaurant it serves as a demonstration to the type of culture he comes from. Hawaiians don’t believe in wasting what they get, and when working hard to accomplish something, we don’t just eventually walk away from it, we take a step back, look at it from a different angle, and tackle it all over again with the improvements that we can make. A uniquely Hawaiian story, for a proud Hawaiian native.
The atmosphere at Koa Table is much akin to sitting around the family table and enjoying a dinner together. Of course there are the modern additions such as chandeliers and fancy staircases that you won’t find in your average Hawaiian home, but it doesn’t serve to detract from the feeling of togetherness that he has strove for in this restaurant setting. Sitting down to a meal with all your close friends and family feels like it does at any home across the area, and the food is second to none, with a Hawaiian comfort twist on fine Italian dining.
If you’re looking for an evening out that is truly a Hawaiian inspiration, then we fully suggest making a stop by the Waikoloa Resorts and taking the time to take in the Koa Table. Whether heading there with your family, or enjoying a meal to yourself, we can all but guarantee that you will be reminded of home, no matter what you order. We fully support the Koa Table and hope that Philip has a long lasting stay in the area, so we can bring our own young ones there for inspiration as the years go on.