Meet Our Culinary Team Leaders
Executive Chef Matthew Naula
Executive Chef Matthew Naula was born and raised in the Palolo neighborhood on Oahu. In high school, Naula began his professional culinary career working as a breakfast cook at Zippy’s restaurant, a ubiquitous Oahu eatery where he was later promoted to dining room cook. After high school, Naula pursued a formal culinary education at the Gros Bonnett Culinary Academy and Kapiolani Community College where he received his diploma. His career continued its rapid ascension leading to the executive chef position at Oahu’s Mr. Ojisan restaurant. Prior to joining Sheraton Kona, he was banquet executive chef at Sheraton Waikiki.
This local boy now brings a new element of culinary expertise and unique flavors to Sheraton Kona. He thrives on taking the expected, adding a twist, and creating the unexpected. Without hesitation, Naula pronounces his favorite ingredient - lavender. His goal at Sheraton Kona is that people will stay at the resort as much for the location and beauty of the resort as for the delicious and fun food they discover at every turn. By focusing on the fundamentals, challenging and mentoring his staff, and tapping into Hawaii Island’s incredible array of fresh products, Naula knows that the resort will become a “culinary-driven destination” with a clear sense of identity to his local roots.
Executive Sous Chef Clement Kaimiola
Executive Sous Chef Clement Kaimiola was part of the resort’s pre-opening team in 2004. During his culinary career, he worked his way through the ranks beginning in an island resort kitchen as dishwasher. He once worked as Executive Sous Chef at the former Kona Surf Hotel (which is now Sheraton Kona) and as Chef at Paradise Gourmet in Kona, catering some of the most prestigious events and private affairs on the island. Born and raised on the island of Oahu, he has called Hawaii Island his home for more than twenty years. Among his many responsibilities,
Chef Clem takes particular pride in ensuring an authentic cultural dining experience for guests at the resort’s weekly luau dinner and show, Haleo, the Voice of Life.
Rays on the Bay Chef de Cuisine Jayson Malla
Born and raised on Oahu, Malla holds a degree from the Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon.
He began his culinary career at the esteemed Kahala Resort in Honolulu before expanding his horizons, and his skills, all the way to the famed Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia and the Rosewood Hotel and Spa in Menlo Park, California. Malla returned to Oahu in 2010 and has worked at the Trump International Hotel Waikiki and most recently at Aulani Disney Resort and Spa before his promotion to Chef de Cuisine at Rays on the Bay.
Among his peers, Malla is known as a chef who is able to reinvent the classics into delectable new culinary creations. With garlic as one of his favorite ingredients, he builds palate-pleasing flavor profiles that are imaginative and memorable.
At Rays on the Bay, Malla strives to have the food match the restaurant’s amazing views so that one complements the other. Menu items reflect his local upbringing. But with Chef Robert Blesh of Greenbrier Resort as his mentor and inspiration, everything Malla prepares is elevated to new levels so that each appetizer, each dinner, every morsel, is a flavorful journey of discovery.
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