Our Team

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.

 

Our Leadership Team

Jose Fuentes, Director of Operations

Jose Fuentes was born in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and grew up just outside Boston, MA. His father owned several restaurants starting his passion for hospitality at an early age. He received a business degree from the University of Massachusetts and began his career in New York City. Jose has opened restaurants all over the country including Los Angeles, Atlanta and Boston just to name a few. He has worked for restaurant companies including Rosa Mexicano, BRGuest, Legal Seafoods and proudly opened CBS Scene with the Kraft’s of the New England Patriots.

Recently married, his wife’s career brought them to Kauai and they fell in love with the island, knowing pretty quickly this is their new permanent home. On his days off Jose enjoys body surfing, riding motorcycles and just enjoying all that the Garden Island has to offer.


Ken Schloss, Director of Culinary and Corporate Chef

Originally from the San Francisco Bay area, Chef Ken brings nearly twenty years of experience to Lava Lava Beach Club.  Born and raised in 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, gathering new ideas of parallel tropical latitude culinary inspirations.

Chef Ken works directly with the sous chefs to create our menu items as well as work with our vendors to ensure our family of restaurants get the best possible products from local farmers and fishermen.