• 2017 top won top 10 finalist in World food championships Featured on the news and sponsored teams from Hawaii For the World Food Championships including Make a Wish Adrian Avelar that we Placed top 10 worldwide Seafood being featured on Food Network 2018 Best in seafood
  • 2017 Won top 10 finalists for Barilla national cook off competition with Chefs Roll 2017
  • 2016 1st Place Seafood for World Food Championships 2016 1st Place winning Seafood 2016 worldwide out of 2,000 chefs . 1st runner up of entire competition  including 10 food categories   
  • 2012-2017 Ran The Hilton Waikiki Beach Hotel for 5 years from 2012-2017 home to Mac 24/7, we got the open table award, trip advisor excellent award, CNN 2014 top 10 extreme eating, Won top write in vote award 5 years in a row with the Honolulu Magazine prestigious awards Hale Aina awards in Hawaii for Best Gourmet Comfort Food 2014, 2015, 2016 2017.
  • 2015 Finalist for best local chef 2015 in the Honolulu pulse awards (James Aptakin-Mac 24/7, Chai Chaowasaree, -Chai’s, Ed Kinney-Town, Mark Noguchi-Mission, and Alan Wong-Alna Wong’s.
  • 2015-2017  -2015 1st place winner of the People choice Mangos Award at the Moana 7th annual event against top chefs of Hawaii, 2016 1st runner up award and 2017 as well 1st runner up award -2017 I was the Judge in 2018 for event Mangoes at the Moana Surfrider Westin Resort Honolulu
  • 2015-2017 The Hawaii Food Manufacturers Association recently recognized James’s commitment to local products when he was awarded two prestigious awards at their annual banquet and Battle of the Chef’s 2014, and 2015. Won 1st place taste and presentation for the HFMA Taste Awards 2014 and second year in a row 2015 & 2016 & 2017 presentation against top chefs such as MW restaurant, Hawaiian Food Manufactures Association (won 2014 2 1st place  awards, and 1st place  award in both 2015, and 2016)
  • 2008 Won 1st place on the Food Network challenge 2008 “Big Bash Caterers”
  • 2007 Won a local iron chef competition event for the tomato festival in Fairfield CA, then featured on the Travel Channel taste of America for the tomato festival cooking up good eats.
  • 1999 Won 1st place a Jambalaya cook off competition in Oakland California for celebrity charity event.


  • Mustard Festival in Napa participating as a local chef, as well as in Muscular Dystrophy, featured Chef Spam Jam, Hawaii Foods Manufacturers Association- Taste Awards, Yelpalooza, Hawaii Food & Wine, Lemonade Alley, Mangoes at the Moana Surfrider, Made in Hawaii, Hale Aina Awards , Elton Johns Aids Foundation Oscar parties , Hawaii Food Bank-Great Chefs fight Hunger, Chefs of Aloha , World food championships , Hawaii Book & Music festival, Hawaii on the hill, chefs Private Club , Hawaii Chocolate Festival , made in Hawaii festival cooking demos