From STRIPSTEAK Waikiki
James Beard Award winner and Michelin-starred Chef Michael Mina has appointed one of his all-stars, executive chef Benjamin Jenkins, to head his newest venture STRIPSTEAK Waikiki. Opening August 25, 2016, on International Market Place's spectacular third-level Grand Lanai, the 8,600 square-foot modern American steakhouse will offer contemporary fare with a focus on all-natural certified beef cooked over mesquite wood. Ideally located in the urban center of Waikiki, STRIPSTEAK Waikiki marks Mina's debut in Hawaii.
"It's been really exciting to see Hawaii as the vibrant culinary destination it is today—pulling influences from the many cultures represented on the islands," said Mina. "We are excited to open STRIPSTEAK Waikiki and blend a premium restaurant concept with Hawaii's bounty and culinary influences."
As a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute in 1998, Jenkins first joined Mina's team more than 15 years ago as a cook at Aqua in San Francisco and then swiftly ascended to sous chef at The Mansion in Las Vegas. In 2003, Mina offered Jenkins a position at Nobhill Tavern and ultimately at SeaBlue. After opening SeaBlue as executive sous chef in October 2003, Jenkins was promoted to executive chef in January 2005, later making the move to STRIPSTEAK at Mandalay Bay before accepting his position as executive chef of MICHAEL MINA restaurant at the Bellagio.
Now at the helm of STRIPSTEAK Waikiki, Jenkins is eager to pursue his sophisticated focus on steak, allowing him to unravel Mina's philosophy of high-quality ingredients and inventive cooking techniques utilizing local ingredients. "Working in the high-caliber cuisine of Las Vegas and San Francisco has given me a solid grounding in the trademark creativity of Mina's restaurants," said Jenkins. "I'm excited to build on that creativity at STRIPSTEAK Waikiki by sourcing ingredients and combining new flavors that are unique to the Hawaiian Islands and the Pacific."
Precision at its finest, STRIPSTEAK Waikiki will feature a menu with all natural certified Angus beef, American Wagyu beef and Japanese A5 Wagyu beef. Other specialty entrées and small plates will include Citrus Steamed Fish served with xo yardlong beans, ginger, scallions, soy sauce; "Instant Bacon," a five spice pork belly, tempura oyster, black pepper soy glaze; the Luau Feast Seafood Tower, with king crab, a whole lobster, oysters, clams, shrimp, sashimi, nigiri and poke for four to six people; the Robata Skewer Plate with gyu, tomorokoshi, butabara, asupara, tsukune; and Michael's Lobster Pot Pie with brandied lobster cream, market vegetables, and black truffle.
To help celebrate the grand opening of International Market Place, Mina and Jenkins are teaming up with the center for a food truck tour of Oahu on July 20 and 21. The event will introduce visitors and kama'aina to Mina's distinct cuisine that incorporates hand-selected, local ingredients. Participants are welcome to "share a meal and share a story" as they can also create a video with memories of International Market Place.