Beloved local chef, TV star Kawasaki dies while ill with COVID-19

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — A local family is mourning the loss of 45-year-old local star chef Grant Kawasaki.

The former Hawaiian Grown Kitchen host passed away while ill with COVID-19 in his residence July 25.

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Kawasaki was known as a jovial personality that loved to crack jokes and have a good time. He’s described as kind, thoughtful, and generous.

His show aired on OC16 until 2017, focusing on local food, chefs, and recipes.

“To be able to showcase local farmers, local chefs and how we took these local products and turned them into world-class dishes,” Grant’s brother Scott Kawasaki said.

His personality jumped off of the TV screen.

“He did it so effortlessly,” Scott said. “I know a lot of work goes into scriptwriting and things behind the scenes but it was just so well done.”

Grant was a practitioner of karate, and a connoisseur of whiskey, cigars, and of course local cuisine.

He fell ill with COVID-19 in July, spending his 45th birthday in quarantine at home.

“All indications were that he was getting better, and next thing you know he passes,” Scott said.

Grant was found unconscious on July 25. He was still positive for the virus.

“I know that he did not get any shots,” Scott said. “It was kind of a source of argument within the family. But that’s his body, his decision. I respected that, and it’s unfortunate that it ended that way how it did,

Hopes are that Grant’s passing can be a message to others.

“I got my shot,” Scott said. “It makes me realize that this could have been avoided. Everyone has their choice and I respect that but from my side. I would encourage everyone to at least go get that one shot, Johnson & Johnson, just to be safe. We don’t want this to happen to anyone else out there.”

Scott is hoping to set up an annual event in Grant’s honor. He is still kicking around ideas, but one he has is to use funds to send a culinary student to school for free.

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