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ABOUT US

MEET THE ALOHA CULINARY TEAM

Looking for the perfect catering for your event? Look no further! From vintage luaus to high-end celebrity events, Aloha Culinary Group offers a wide range of wedding & event services. We are committed to making sure your private event is one-of-a-kind and can customize anything to your specific needs. Please let us know how we can be of service to you.

Owner / Executive Chef

Sean Congdon

Chef Sean Congdon came to Hawaii to pursue a degree in marine biology... eventually discovering he would rather learn how to prepare the fish he caught instead of memorizing their scientific names. Sean has traveled and worked in restaurants in Tokyo (La Rochelle), Mendoza (Azafran), Toronto (Lee), Honolulu (Town, Du Vin), and Nashville (B1281, The Hart) before returning to Oahu to found the Aloha Culinary Group in 2010.

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Head Chef

Vincent Rodriguez

From the inception of the Aloha Culinary Group, Chef Vince has been an integral part of the team, bringing a wealth of experience and a passion for the culinary arts.

 

Hailing from Dallas, Texas, Chef Vince initially honed his skills in the front of the house, showcasing his dedication and work ethic. His talents did not go unnoticed, and he steadily climbed the ranks to management at The Joule, a prestigious establishment in Dallas.

Upon his arrival in Hawaii, Chef Vince took the helm at Salt Restaurant and Shaloha, where he continued to demonstrate his prowess in restaurant management. However, driven by an insatiable passion for the kitchen, Chef Vince made a pivotal decision to transition to the back of the house.

This shift proved to be a transformative experience as Chef Vince embraced roles as a lead cook at Encore, Brick Fire Tavern, and Bevy. His dual expertise in both front and back-of-house operations set him apart, making him a versatile and invaluable asset to the culinary world.

 

Chef Vince's dedication to service and culinary excellence shines through in his role at Aloha Culinary Group. His culinary journey has evolved into a focus on private dining experiences, particularly excelling in crafting unforgettable meals for intimate gatherings on boats or in the comfort of homes.

Head Chef

Benson Springer

Chef Benson came over to Aloha Culinary Group in 2021. After working at Mugen and running the kitchen at Bevy, Benson decided he wanted to switch his focus to the private catering field. He pulls his inspiration from the remarkable culinary journey he has been on. Previously, he worked on Kauai as the Lead Cook at the two Michelin Star St. Regis Princeville Resort with Jean-George and before that as the Head Chef at Tiki Iniki.

 

Before making his mark in Hawaii, Chef Benson honed his skills in top Northern California restaurants, shaping his unique culinary approach. Armed with a Culinary Arts degree from Santa Rosa Junior College, he embarked on a career marked by innovation, excellence, and an unwavering commitment to the art of gastronomy. Chef Benson continues to redefine the culinary landscape, captivating palates with his distinctive flavors and passion for the craft.

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Special Events Manager

Vanessa Knapp

Vanessa T. Knapp, a Kailua native, is a seasoned event management professional known for her meticulous approach and proven success. As the former Special Events Service Manager at Ko'olau Ballrooms and Conference Center in Kaneohe (2012-2019), Vanessa excelled in coordinating personalized event details, engaging with departments and vendors, and fostering client relationships that resulted in over 50% repeat bookings.

 

In her prior role as Event Manager at Current Affairs in Honolulu, Vanessa showcased her talent for managing decor, catering, and entertainment for diverse off-site events. Her versatility extends to roles such as Event and Conference Coordinator at YWCA Laniakea, where she oversaw administrative and sales aspects, developed vendor relationships, and managed banquet staff.

 

Vanessa's expertise further includes serving as Special Events Operation Manager in Naples, Florida, managing decor, transportation, and team-building activities for corporate groups. Her travel and sales coordination experience at Whitney Education Group involved training and leading teams, booking seminars, and fostering international hotel relationships.

 

With a reputation for dependability, efficiency, and critical thinking, Vanessa brings punctuality, attention to detail, and a collaborative spirit to any occasion. She continues to make significant contributions to the world of event management and hospitality.

 

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