Sheldon Simeon of Star Noodle and Leoda's Kitchen and Pie Shop makes Top Chef

Photo courtesy of Bravo
Sheldon Simeon

A Hawaii chef has finally made it to Top Chef–Sheldon Simeon of Star Noodle and Leoda's Kitchen and Pie Shop in Maui will be competing on the 10th season of the show. While there have been other Hawaii-born cheftestants, Simeon is the first that still chooses to live and cook here. Simeon is a Hilo native, Maui Culinary Academy graduate and James Beard semi-finalist.

In opening Star Noodle and Leoda's Kitchen, he was sent to New York and San Francisco, respectively, so while in the beginning his restaurants seemed largely derivative of popular restaurants in those cities (i.e. Momofuku), his most impressive dishes are those that incorporate Hawaii. Not in a macnut-crusted fish way, but in a pohole salad with shredded ika, kombu and tomatoes way. But then, I've also found bliss in a very classic reuben at Leoda's, every component perfect.

Here's hoping he can find his own style on the show, while backing it up with strong technique. Also, extra props to him for wearing a Kuhao Zane shirt in his bio photo. Good luck!

Top Chef: Seattle airs November 7

Want to know what Sheldon Simeon likes to eat? See his picks in Chef Recommends.
Read what we loved at Leoda's Kitchen and Pie Shop.