After spending a couple of years with what San Francisco chef Ravi Kapur calls “a gypsy roving circuit” of cooks throwing pop-up dinners around town, Kapur is now looking toward a December 2014 launch of his new brick-and-mortar restaurant on the border of the Tenderloin/Nob Hill neighborhoods.
The Oahu, Hawaii, native began his cooking life with ten years at San Francisco’s Boulevard (with chefs Nancy Oakes and Pam Mazzola) and as Executive Chef at the duo’s Prospect, both restaurants recognized for their flavor-driven American cuisine. But when Kapur and his wife started a family, the chef knew he had to shake things up in his professional life, to, as he says, “do what you can to keep doing what you love.”
Participating in events such as Outstanding in the Field (farm dinners featuring local produce and held in locations ranging from corn fields to ocean beach) was a natural fit for Kapur, who Vice.com once called “a back-to-the-basics kind of dude who believes in good ingredients and careful cooking, who gives some serious love to San Francisco’s holy trinity of grower-farmer-chef networks.”
Family-style dinners featuring dishes like pulehu (beef tongue), smoked tako (octopus), and Korean fried quail were the backbone of Kapur’s Liholiho Yacht Club pop-up, which has been held at Bay Area restaurants like Citizen’s Band and State Bird Provisions (itself named after California’s quail). And the Liholiho name? It’s part Honolulu street name and part salute to an uncle who years back had held parties on Maui to help support Kapur’s love for catamaran sailing.
Wherever Kapur is behind the stove, he always brings the sense of ohana (Hawaiian for “family”) to the experience.