After graduating from school in Hawaii in 1979, Tom Wong joined the U.S. Air Force. Upon his discharge in 1983, he worked as a baker at the Napoleon Bakery, and Dot’s Inn in 1984, while obtaining his Culinary Arts Certificate from Kapiolani Community College in Honolulu. In 1985, he attended the CIA and in 1987, he apprenticed at the Greenbriar Hotel in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. In 1988 he started working the kitchen ladder, first at the Ice House Café, then as chef tournant at La Chaumière Restaurant in Los Angeles, and then worked the kitchens of United Airlines as sous chef, and then the executive chef positions at Dulles in Washington D.C., JFK in New York, and Portland International in Oregon.
In 1993, Chef Wong was appointed executive chef of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Honolulu. A year later in November of 1994, the Great Chefs television crew showed up to tape Chef Tom Wong for the Discovery Channel’s Great Chefs of Hawaii television series as well as their Great Chefs of the World series.
In 2000, he joined the Waialae Country Club as executive chef for three years, moving over to the Hotel Hana Maui in 2004, and then as executive sous chef for the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows until 2006. In 2006, he moved back to the U.S. Mainland as chef instructor for the CIA at the Greystone, site of the old Christian Brothers facility in Napa Valley, California, where he remains today in 2016