Kenny & Hana Udiffa
Bar Acuda’s Co-Chefs
Simple. Delicious. Local.
Bar Acuda’s Co-Chefs Hana and Kenny Udiffa on Coming Home to Cook in Paradise
Sometimes it takes leaving a place to appreciate what you have. Bar Acuda co-chefs Hana and Kenny Udiffa, were the lucky ones. They got to come back.
“When we first came to Kaua’i from the Big Island and Maui, Kenny and I were working at the St. Regis, and Bar Acuda was our favorite restaurant,” said Hana Udiffa. “I love Spanish food, and small plates. Pretty soon, I found myself working here.
“It was such a fun gig, I fell in love with the restaurant,” added Hana. “Nowhere compared to Bar Acuda. We have everything we could want in a restaurant – a great team, a beautiful environment – and fantastic locally sourced ingredients. I didn’t want to work anywhere else.”
Growing up in the islands gives the Udiffa’s a deep sense of place – and a profound appreciation for the local farmers, fishermen, and purveyors who produce and catch the food they serve. Both gravitated towards cooking with the encouragement of mentors, including Bar Acuda owner Jim Moffat, who recognized their passion and potential.
The Udiffas, who left Bar Acuda for a stint on the mainland, have returned to take over kitchen duties from Moffat, whose success at renowned San Francisco restaurants – Slow Club and 42 degrees – earned him national recognition as one of Food and Wine Magazine’s “Top 10 New American Chefs” in 1996.
“Hana and I were inspired by our time spent living and cooking in San Francisco. We gained a broader understanding of traditional techniques, and how to use ingredients creatively. Now, we adapt those recipes to what’s seasonally available here in the islands,” said Kenny. “It’s so satisfying to present our take on tapas using Hawai’ian sourced ingredients.”
Bar Acuda is considered Hanalei’s hippest eatery, with an enviable, Mediterranean wine list perfectly paired to the menu. With their ever-evolving seasonal menu, the Udiffas continue Moffat’s vision of “locally sourced food, traditionally prepared, and rooted in simplicity”
E’ komo mai means ‘come inside.’ Join us.