Owner/Executive Chef Erin Keller and Owner/General Manager Jose Cortez head up The Local Kauai and have brought together an extraordinary team. The team at The Local Kauai looks forward to meeting you and guiding you through an experience you are sure to look back on fondly.
Chef Erin grew up on 40 acres near the Lost Coast of Northern California, where living off the grid, growing organic vegetables and tending orchards with her parents bloomed her passion for fresh ingredients and a rustic, from scratch approach to cooking.
Keller enrolled at the California Culinary Academy Le Cordon Bleu in 2005 and carried out her externship in Portland, Oregon.
In 2007, Kellers desire to learn something new encouraged her to take a job at the famed James Beard Award winning thai restaurant, PokPok, in Portland. Learning from Chef Andy Ricker, whom was elected James Beards Best Chef Northwest in 2011, inspired her continued interest in SE Asian cooking and to travel abroad.
Following PokPok, Keller was lucky enough to go on and work for Greg and Gabrielle Denton as their opening Sous Chef at their new spot, Metrovino, located in the Pearl District or Portland, Oregon. Greg and Gabi are now proud holders of James Beard awards for their current restaurant, Ox.
Moving on from Metrovino, Keller moved back to Northern California for several years to pursue her plan of owning and running her first business, a mobile wood fired pizza catering company. This was a very rural agricultural area, where she worked closely with farmers and lived off the grid. Her passion for pizza fell into play and after several years, Keller moved the business up to Portland, her old stomping grounds, and continued to serve wood fired pizza at the Portland Farmers Market, Oregon wine country events, weddings and private parties.
In 2014, Keller began to miss and crave the restaurant scene, putting forth an effort to fulfill the desire to cook and work in a restaurant environment again. Following a vacation in Kauai, Keller could see the opportunity for true year round farm to table opportunity, and the need for a restaurant of sorts here on the island.
With Erin's strong passion about the importance of a true "Farm to Table" concept, we now are fortunate to have her talents here on Kauai for the local community and tourists alike.
She strives to support local farmers, producers and small businesses, and we hope to share that all with you!