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.
Erin Keller 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, Keller continued her interest in SE Asian cooking, and helped to open Andy's New concept, Ping, located in the China Town district of downtown Portland.
Following Ping and 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. 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, which she named Secret Slice. Keller's deep 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.
Simultaneously running Secret Slice and EK's Creme Brulee, a wholesale creme brulee venture that Keller created 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.
Now we are fortunate to have Keller's talents here on Kauai for the local community and tourists alike.