Local boy makes it big in food industry


Chef de cuisine Inas Hocog, a local island boy from Rota, beams as he talks about the upcoming Brazilian barbecue night— Churrasco—at the Hyatt Regency Saipan.
(Joan L. Taitano)

Hyatt Regency Saipan executive chef de cuisine Inas Hocog was just a simple Rota boy who had big dreams.

When asked how his passion for cooking developed, Hocog said he got it from watching his mother. “It started simply from hanging around my mom as a young boy. I was always asking what she was doing and why?”

When Hocog was a senior at Rota High School his interest in food did not subside. “I went on to seek higher education in San Diego. It was there where I took my schooling full steam ahead and at the same time began my first cook job as a line/short order cook at a Hawaiian L&L.”

After working in six kitchens in a span of a decade, he is now an executive chef de cuisine at one of the premier hotels on island.

Hocog attributes his success as a chef by learning from other chefs that he has worked with through the years—the first and most important one being his mother.

“Other chefs who have greatly influenced me are chef Joe Orate, my mentor from culinary school; chef Keoni Simmons, who gave me my first line cook job; chef John Zamurra and chef Cesar Avila, who saw a sous chef in me and put me through the rigors and reward of creating a restaurant from scratch; and lastly chef Allan Rast, who exposed me to the finesse and finer things in this career choice.”

Hocog’s passion for cooking stems from the fact that it simply comes naturally to him. “I find it gratifying when patrons are satisfied with a meal that I have prepared. There are no words to describe the joy that I find in my chosen career.”

Joan L. Taitano | Reporter

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