Eric von Platen Luder -President
Taking over the day-today operations of the family’s flagship, fine dining restaurant Huggo’s – just next door – from his parents Shirley and Hugo von Platen Luder in 1982, Eric opened the casual, toes-in-the-sand On the Rocks (then Huggo’s on the Rocks) in 1998. He is president of Olu Kai, Ltd., which does business as Huggo’s Restaurant, Huggo’s on the Rocks , Paradise Gourmet Catering & Grass Shack Party Rentals.
Eric is a graduate of the local Hawaii Preparatory Academy in Waimea and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in 1979 from Southern Methodist University. A fourth-generation Chinese-Hawaiian, Eric has worked in every capacity at Huggo’s. He began as an aspiring 11-year-old bus boy, joining his brother and sister who also pitched in during summer vacations.
Ken Schloss – Huggo’s & On the Rocks Executive Chef
Long-time culinary star Ken Schloss is Executive Chef at Huggo’s and in that capacity he also is responsible for oversight of the On the Rocks culinary team and menu. Originally from the San Francisco Bay area, Chef Ken brings nearly 20 years of experience to huggo’s family of restaurants. Born and raised in California’s wine country, Chef Ken worked in Napa Valley for most of his career. He also took five years and explored the cuisine of the Caribbean, Indonesia and India, gathering new culinary inspiration from parallel tropical latitude cultures. As a multi-talented chef, his culinary achievements bring an added dimension to our family-owned award-winning landmark restaurants in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
Greg Peterson – Huggo’s & On the Rocks General Manager
With more than 35 years in the hospitality business, Greg Peterson started his career at age 11 working at his family’s hamburger stand – The Surf Rite Inn — in Manhattan Beach, California. His first “tour” of the Kailua-Kona restaurant scene was in 1979 when he was part of the opening team for the Kona Inn Restaurant. Through the years Greg has worked in fine dining establishments stretching from Hawaii to Sun Valley, Idaho and Southern California to Salt Lake City, Utah. In 2006, Hawaii was calling him back and he accepted a management position with Tommy Bahamas Restaurant at Mauna Lani Resort here on Hawaii Island. With his passion, hospitality and commitment to excellence, it wasn’t long after that Huggo’s named him General Manager for both Huggo’s and On the Rocks restaurants.
Star Shortt, On the Rocks Manager
In just 7 months, Star worked his way up from food runner and bartender at both Huggo’s and On the Rocks to manager. Not surprising, as Star says he was born into the hospitality/restaurant business with a father (a restaurant executive in Kailua-Kona) who had him bussing tables at one of his establishments when he was just 14 years old. Born on Oahu and raised here on Hawaii Island, Star admits he’s definitely a people person and loves welcoming guests and ensuring they have a great time and enjoys meeting new people and extending warm aloha to them. Prior to joining the team at On the Rocks, Star was the general manager at Oceans Sports Bar in Kailua-Kona and bar manager at Kenichi Pacific in nearby Keauhou. We’re delighted to welcome him to the Huggo’s ohana!
Tim Criswell, On the Rocks Manager
Tim re-located to Hawaii in 2010 from Whidbey Island, Washington, but he’s no stranger to the Big Island. His parents moved the family here when he was just five years old and Tim called Kona home until he left to study at University of Montana. With a degree in business with a focus on hospitality, Tim owned and operated two restaurants (The Edgecliff and Beachfire Grill) on Whidbey Island in the Northwest’s Puget Sound for eight years following his graduation. He returned to Kona two years ago to assist with the re-opening of Bianelli’s at their Keauhoulocation. Tim brings years of restaurant experience to On the Rocks and we’re delighted he’s chosen to return to his island home! “This is a great family-owned group of restaurants and when I saw they had a management opening, I just knew this was the right fit for me,” Tim says
Troy Postma – Huggo’s Sous Chef
A native of Kailua-Kona, Troy started at Huggo’s right out of high school (in 1997) as a dishwasher and fell in love with the restaurant business. Huggo’s chef at the time recognized passion when he saw it and gave Troy the opportunity to learn some culinary skills working at various stations in the kitchen and he moved up the ranks quickly. From that beginning, Troy worked at a number of Big Island and Oahu restaurants, including Sunset Grille in Honolulu’s Restaurant Row, before returning to Kailua-Kona to accept the post as Huggo’s sous chef. We’re very happy to have him back…Huggo’s would not be the same without Troy!
Carlos Nava – On the Rocks Sous Chef
A native of the Hawaiian Islands, Carlos Nava works closely with Executive Chef Ken Schloss to ensure excellent quality, while continually introducing new menu items and specials for diners at On the Rocks. His uncompromising commitment to sourcing only the very best ingredients and preparing them with care was carefully honed at luxury resort properties including Hualalai Resort here on Hawaii Island and the Grand Wailea Resort on Maui. When it’s pau hana time, you’ll most likely find Carlos practicing martial arts.
Lisa Parker – Huggo’s Supervisor
Lisa (von Platen Luder) literally grew up in the restaurant business, starting as a dishwasher in her parents (Shirley and Hugo) kitchen at Huggo’s during summer vacations when she was just 8-years-old! “It was a labor of love, really good times,” she says. And speaking of love, Lisa said some of her best memories – and a big part of her education was horse riding with her Dad on local ranches herding cattle in North Hawaii. “It was one of the best learning experiences I ever had, seeing so much of the Big Island and listening to the old time paniolos (cowboys) tell their stories. A realtor in Kona for nearly 15 years, Lisa returned to Huggo’s part-time in 2009 where she assists with numerous administrative and management duties. A mother of two, daughter Claire is a supervisor at On the Rocks and son Keahi is a lifeguard for the City and County of Honolulu.
One of the newest members of our management team, Frankie Atkinson has been with On the Rocks for just about a year and in his off-hours is attending culinary school and pursuing a degree in restaurant management. Over achiever? Understatement! Frankie has worked at numerous restaurants and resorts along the Kona-Kohala Coast for many years and brings vast experience to his role here. A talented musician (drummer and singer), you’ll occasionally find him sitting in with the various groups featured nighty at On the Rocks.