Chef Kevin Keovanpheng
Kevin was born in Chicago and grew up in San Diego. He has a deep love for farming and music, whether a good beat or an amazing voice. In the near future he hopes to have a large garden where he can play music for his plant babies. Currently he is laser focused on his professional passion, cooking food which speaks to his soul through his Laotian upbringing and present journey.
If Kevin did not take the path of a Chef he feels his career would have led him to a desk job working in Human Resources, he loves people and counseling people. If he's not at the restaurant you will likely find him hiking urban or nature, snowboarding, practicing yoga, which helps him keep focused in the kitchen. He is also an avid boulderer. For him, there's an ease of mind that leads to happiness when he's clinging to a rock. "It's just you and the rock and nothing else on your mind" Random things he is shockingly good at, badminton and The Yoyo, challenge him anytime!
A proud accomplishment for Kevin was being hired for his first ever cooking job at Liholiho. This allowed him to bring his passion, creativity and unique flavors to an established kitchen and begin the process of learning restaurants. Chef Ravi remembers the day he hired Kevin. The inspiration to do so was the recognition of the emotional intelligence Kevin exuded. He very clearly had a guiding force on why he wanted to share his heritage through his food. Ravi knew it was a fit meant to happen, not only for the Liholiho team but Ravi could see the potential waiting to be unlocked and knew Kevin would thrive once it was released. It's because of this platform that Kevin names Chef Ravi as one of his most admired in the field of cooking "Ravi has been a rock for me. He's been a great and patient mentor. I really admire him professionally for all his accomplishments and creativity. However, his heart and dedication for those around him are equally or even more admirable."
One of Kevin's joys in life is to see others happy, it lifts him up to see joy on people's faces. The biggest joy in Kevin's life is family. If he could have dinner with anyone past or present he would choose his own Grandpa. He passed when Kevin was 7 so he never really got to know him. What he does know, he lived through the Vietnam war in Laos, went to a refugee camp post war, and then immigrated to the US with 11 kids. Although he feels connected to his Grandfather's story. He'd love the opportunity to learn more details and hear about how he stayed so strong. He has always wished for the chance to share gratitude for being a patriarch to his family.
If Kevin were not living in SF and work money and family were not a factor he envisions himself living on The Big Island of Hawaii. There is something kindred for him there as if the island speaks to his soul. As a natural explorer and wanderer he enjoys the changing landscape and climates as he moves throughout the island. There are so many parts of the island which seem untouched and natural which seems so hard to find these days. The natural beauty really brings out his inner peace. Kevin' next travel destination would be France. He loves French food and French technique. He is drawn to Paris but knows he'd also find himself hiking, climbing and biking through the beautiful countryside.
Kevin is empathetic, playful and very creative. He envisions himself becoming an advocate for LGBTQ youth, he would like to see them more supported and their voices amplified. He lives by The Golden Rule, the principle of treating others as you want to be treated.