Employee Spotlight: Executive Chef Curtis Horka

 

We would like to introduce you to Curtis Horka, Honolulu Coffee's Executive Chef!

Curtis was born and raised on the island of Kauai. His love for food started at a young age, working in family restaurants, before joining the Culinary Art Program at Kauai Community College. After graduating from KCC, he moved to West Virginia to join the 5-star Greenbrier Resort, which helped shape his craft and depth of culinary knowledge. He then moved back toward the Pacific ocean, stopping in Chicago, IL where he worked at two luxury hotels, the Peninsula & the Park Hyatt Hotel.

We are very happy to have Chef Curtis return home to Hawaii, and we are thrilled to see the pastries and baked delights he's crafting for us. Known for his ability to pair food with drinks, Chef Curtis delivers unexpected textures and complexities.

His culinary philosophy ties together with his love for coffee and craft for cuisine. By working with farmers to seek out the finest in regional and local ingredients, he produces a marriage between our coffee and his fine pastries. "Having a connection with the environment is just as important as knowing the ingredient being utilized. I want to see where it grows, I want to shake the hands of those who grow it, and I want to taste the quality of the ingredient. That is why I feel so honored to be a part of the Honolulu Coffee ohana. We get to grow our coffee right here in Hawaii, and it’s such an amazing farm-to-cup story. It inspires me to further improve our food creations to complement that amazing cup.”

In addition to cooking, Chef Curtis works to develop younger chefs by allowing them to discover their talents in the same way he was mentored. “A young chef cannot grow if he or she is not challenged and if you’re not willing to push yourself, then you are missing out. At Honolulu Coffee, we are producing our goods from scratch and I want young chefs who desire that kind of experience. I want my chefs to take a trip to our coffee farms to learn more about our specialty Kona Coffee and how it is grown as much as I want them to see how to make perfect layers of butter and dough in our croissant."

Now that Curtis has moved back home, he's been catching up with a lot of his favorite hobbies, including spearfishing, shore fishing, surfing, and brewing beer at home.