Skip to main content

Alan Wong may not be a Food Network star, but he’s one of the richest celebrity chefs in the world. Here’s a look at Wong’s career and his substantial net worth

Alan Wong is known for highlighting Hawaiian foods and cuisine

Alan Wong
Alan Wong |

As he revealed in an appearance on Beyond the Lines, Wong was born in Tokyo, Japan, and moved to Hawaii at age five. He developed a passion for cooking while working on a pineapple plantation as a teen. And he then went on to study culinary arts at Kapi’olani Community College. 

According to his website, Wong started his career with an apprenticeship at The Greenbrier Hotel and then moved to New York, where he began working under his mentor, Chef Andre Soltner, in Manhattan’s famous French restaurant, Lutece. Wong then moved back to Hawaii, where he opened his first restaurant, The Canoe, at Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows. 

In 1991, Wong and a group of fellow Hawaiian chefs founded Hawaiian Regional Cuisine — an organization dedicated to promoting Hawaiian flavors, products, and cuisine. His next restaurant, Alan Wong’s, opened in 1995 and was recognized as one of the best in the country by the James Beard Foundation, Gourmet Magazine, Nation’s Restaurant News Magazine, Food and Wine, and the Ilima Awards. 

Along with his restaurant, Wong has received several accolades over the years, including the James Beard Award for Best Chef, Pacific Northwest in 1996, and a Wedgewood Awards nomination for World Master of Culinary Arts in 2001. In 2013, Wong was inducted into the American Academy of Chef’s Hall of Fame. 

Wong also authored two award-winning cookbooks. His first, Alan Wong’s New Wave Luau was published in 1999. And the second, The Blue Tomato – The Inspirations Behind the Cuisine of Alan Wong, was released in 2010.

He is one of President Barack Obama’s favorite chefs and was invited to cook for the annual White House Congressional picnic in 2009. Wong also appeared on episodes of Top Chef, No Reservations, and The Best Thing I Ever Ate. 

Alan Wong amassed a substantial net worth in the last 30 years

Wong’s culinary excellence and business acumen earned him a spot as the richest celebrity chef in the world. According to Celebrity Net Worth, his net worth in 2022 is nearly $1.5 billion. 

Much of Wong’s wealth comes from his restaurants — which have closed in recent years due to the pandemic — and his stake in Hawaiian Regional Cuisine. 

Alan Wong’s signature dish is quick and easy to make

Wong has created dozens of mouthwatering recipes over the years. But his signature dish, Minute Poke, is surprisingly simple and easy to make. 

The recipe for Minute Poke is featured in Wong’s 2010 cookbook, The Blue Tomato. It is made with sashimi-grade ahi tuna, layered with round onions and green onions, and served with a poke sauce made of sambal oelek, oyster sauce, soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil, and ground kukui nuts (inamona). 


Bobby Flay Has an Insane Net Worth — How He Makes His Millions Outside of His New Food Network Contract

After chopping the dry ingredients and mixing the sauce, Wong suggests layering the fish and onions on a plate in a rectangular musubi mold. After pressing the layers down and removing the mold, he garnishes the plate with seaweed — which is to be mixed in just before eating. He suggests spooning the sauce around the poke or serving it on the side.