Chef & Owners Thomas & Alicia Fuquay
This is a love story; a love story between a dream and reality. Long before he considered himself a chef, Thomas had a dream to share his love for food with the rest of the world. Rather than learning in culinary school, he opted to work his way through the back of the house trenches. This period of working in all positions in a restaurant was the greatest education for Thomas. His skill set and knowledge of food flourished with time. However, during this stage his passion is what grew the most. After nearly a decade, Thomas had a shift in life. With the help of his supporting partner, now wife, Alicia, he began conceptualizing his foodie dreams.
In 2014, pen went to paper consistently. Thomas began drafting a menu and created a brand which he knew would add to the artesian cuisine of Kauai. Thomas and Alicia quickly realized one major detail was missing from making NOM Kauai a reality…money. Starting up a food business with no funds seemed like a daunting task, but Thomas knew he could find a way. With the magic of the internet, Thomas was connected with a married mid-western cooperate couple. The lovely couple was looking to move to the Garden Isle and invest in a new business. After an initial meeting, the trio knew NOM Kauai could become a reality! The big red truck was driven half way across the country and shipped thousands of miles to the little island of Kauai.
Nervously, in September of 2015, NOM Kauai opened in the big red truck on the east side of Kauai in Kapa’a Town. After years of dreaming and years of research and development, his dream was realized. NOM Kauai was instantly a thriving hit as people love the local ingredients and southern fusion style of food. A year of working hard and learning to run a business flew by and Thomas was presented with a big proposition. His business partners were ready to simply soak up Kauai’s sunshine and enjoy her beautiful beaches. Thomas and Alicia eagerly bought out the business partners only three months before their wedding. After a year of success, the newly married couple shared the great desire to continue the growth of the NOM Kauai brand.
As of 2017, NOM Kauai updated its menu, pushing it to the forefront of Kauai’s food scene! They continue to embrace southern style cuisine through daily specials such as Chef Thomas’s scratch-made Biscuits and Sausage Gravy. Through hard work, love, and passion, Chef Thomas won ‘Tasting Kauai’s 2016 Coconut Cup’ cooking competition in which he beat out several seasoned chefs from various renowned local restaurants. The success of NOM Kauai continued into this year as Hawaii Magazine awarded the big red truck one of Kauai’s best burgers. An enormous honor followed as Yelp placed NOM Kauai on the 2017 ‘Top 100 Places to Eat’ in the country. While Thomas and Alicia love the large-scale recognition, it’s the returning smiling faces that make them proud to be doing this type of work. When they hear someone say, “That was the best burger I’ve ever had!” it immediately solidifies Thomas’s original dream. He dreamt of sharing his love of food with the world and he is doing just that. NOM Kauai is Chef Thomas’s first love letter of food to the world. Stay tuned for his second and the third…
We are happy to say that 2018 started out with a BANG! NOM Kauai is now a full-service breakfast and lunch eatery in Kapaa town. After spotting an open space that used to house a Thai restaurant, Thomas and Alicia knew this was the perfect spot to make NOM Kauai an actual restaurant. As of the beginning of March, the restaurant has been open nearly six weeks and is thriving! We are honored to be a new standout brunch spot in little Kapaa Town. In late spring we will also be launching a creative brunch cocktail menu, beer, and wine. We are excited to further push the boundaries of local Kauai ingredients inspired by our southern roots. We look forward to continuing to give Kauai a unique place to eat, drink, and gather.