Ronnie Nasuti was born outside of Boston, Massachusetts to Italian-American parents. At age 14, he started his first restaurant job as a dishwasher at a classical Italian restaurant. By 17, he became a kitchen manager, assisting the chef/owner on a daily basis. He finished four years of culinary arts at the high school level and by age 18, became an apprentice at Les Dames d’Escoffier Society at Boston’s Copley Plaza Hotel.
He moved to Hawaii to work at what is now Kincaid’s, where he held various positions in a very regimented and high volume kitchen. In 1992 he started at Roy’s Park Bistro in the Double Tree Alana, working every station, including 24-hour room service and pastry. In 1993, he trained further under Great Chef/Founder, Roy Yamaguchi and Great Chefs Gordon Hopkins and Jacqueline Lau.
In 1994, Roy opened Roy’s Poipu Bar & Grill on Kauai, where Chef Ronnie was promoted to sous chef. Later that year, in November 1994, the Great Chefs showed up to tape him for their Great Chefs of Hawaii television series for the Discovery Channel.
In the late 1990s he returned to Honolulu to be executive chef of the French-Asian restaurant, Michel’s at the Colony, an opportunity he always wanted. After a few years, Great Chef Jacqueline Lau, who worked with Chef Ronnie at Roy’s Poipu, was now Roy’s corporate chef for Hawaii, and in 2003 she appointed Chef Ronnie as executive chef for Roy’s flagship restaurant, Roy’s Hawaii Kai. In 2013, he decided to hang his hat at Tiki’s Grill & Bar on Waikiki, where he remains today, in 2016.
His advice to aspiring chefs, “Be sure you love it whole-heartedly! If you don’t, you won’t make it. If you do, it will be a more than gratifying experience and career choice. “