Keith Endo began a love affair with all things Italian more than a decade ago and has taken time to travel to Italy whenever the muse inspires. This summer his travels took him ( and his boss, D K Kodama) on a gourmet journey to Rome and Naples, discovering restaurants both great and small and furthering his understanding of what makes Italian food so special.
Minimalist ingredients and light, effortless 'sauces' have also resulted in new wine pairings courtesy of Master Sommelier Chuck Furuya.
Not the structured food trips he usually takes with the Kodama restaurant team, where they can eat in up to 6 restaurants a day, this trip left time to absorb... "This time we didn't make reservations, we just went where we felt like eating and enjoyed the culture, " says Endo, who is already planning his next trip to Italy .
"Our dishes are not traditional," he explains of the new menu "we're in Hawaii, not Italy, so we don't have access to the same ingredients or culture, but this is our interpretation of Italian food and the people we meet on our travels."
There are 8 new menu dishes - one of chef's favorite is a pesto dish, from Liguria. "You can taste the soul in the pesto in Liguria," he says, "It changed how we make the dish."
All new Italian inspired dishes are now on the menu at Vino : Check them out here https://vinohawaii.com/