Marianas Variety

Last updateFri, 18 Jan 2019 12am







    Thursday, January 17, 2019-5:43:31P.M.






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Chef Inas Hocog brings 14 years of culinary experience to Saipan

INAS Hocog is chef de cuisine at Kevin’s, Aqua Resort Club’s Prime Rib and Seafood Restaurant where he is now practicing the culinary skills he has acquired over the past 14 years.

Hocog said he has been exposed to different cuisines, including Californian, classic French and classic American.

Chef Inas Hocog’s goal is to incorporate local produce at Kevin’s The Prime Rib and Seafood.  Photo by Lori Lyn C. LirioChef Inas Hocog’s goal is to incorporate local produce at Kevin’s The Prime Rib and Seafood. Photo by Lori Lyn C. Lirio

He has been working in kitchens since he was 20 years old. He received formal training at Grossmont College in San Diego, California.

“I spent most of my culinary career in San Diego. But I can cook everywhere,” he added.

“I have been away from home for more than 10 years. I think I gave enough to the U.S. mainland, and it was time for me to come home.”

When Kevin’s opened on Dec. 1, he said, its primary commitment is to serve the best prime rib to local diners.

“It is what we are going for here. It’s a prime rib place, so you can’t stray too much from that. We will definitely give you the best prime rib on island — that’s the goal,” he said.

Most of their ingredients are imported, but Hocog said they are incorporatingas much local produce as possible.

For example, he said he uses local papaya for his papaya chili sauce which he recommends for salmon. “My personal goal is to use local produce.”

He added, “Our prime rib is imported. We use Black Mountain brand. We don’t have a slaughterhouse here. That is one thing over which we don’t have control. I hope that in the future we’ll have local cattle.”

At Kevin’s there are 20 items on the menu which can be modified for new flavors, Hocog said.

“For those who are not familiar with running a restaurant, it is very difficult to maintain a huge inventory. In this industry, it is very important to keep everything consistent.”

According to Hocog, Kevin’s opened less than a month ago but “we see a lot of interest already — it looks promising.”

Two more chefs will soon join Hocog at Kevin’s.

Hocog will also resume teaching at the Northern Marianas Trades Institute where he was an instructor from 2014 to 2016.