Chef Shawn Aoki has a deep appreciation for fresh ingredients thanks to his California upbringing.
“I grew up in sort of a farm setting,” he said. “We butchered our own cattle and we always had a garden.”
Aoki’s job growing up? Tending to the chickens.
His formative years helped prepare Aoki for life in the kitchen.
“My understanding of the farm-to-table concept really sprouted from there,” he said. “When you take care of something and see it on the table at the end of the day, it really gives you a sense of appreciation”
“It gave me an understanding of good ingredients and what they should really taste like.”
Since moving from the West Coast to Pinehurst, Aoki has gotten the chance to continue his agricultural exploration thanks to Executive Chef Thierry Debailleul’s focus on providing resort guests with meals prepared with local ingredients.
I think there’s a correct cooking process for the right ingredient and I don’t like to alter my flavors too much.