Noble Chef Series

Introducing Chef Roy Hendrickson of Kona Kai Resort & Spa.

Chef at Noble House Hotel

Chef Hendrickson

Roy Hendrickson is a seasoned, self-taught chef with over fifteen years of experience in the hospitality and restaurant industry. His expertise lies in leading a well-organized, and creative kitchen, with a focus on the guest experience. He has a natural passion for cooking combined with the desire for continual growth. Chef Hendrickson began his career abroad at Seasons Restaurant in Coventry, England, where he studied business during the years prior. At Kona Kai’s Vessel Restaurant, Chef Hendrickson’s cooking style is simple and classic with a focus on California comfort fare. His signature dishes include Pork Chops (mustard parsley spaetzle, upland cress, caramelized cipollini, sour cherry glace), Sea Bass (porcini dusted, confit peewee potatoes, avocado, wild mushroom, smoked bacon Dijon sauce) and Heirloom Apple Salad (butter lettuce, goat cheese, micro celery, granola, lemon olive oil, white balsamic).

Vessel Terrace

Vessel Restaurant + Bar

Vessel Restaurant + Bar features a modern spin on classic California cuisine. Contemporary décor is complemented by a 360 degree bar at its center and a spectacular view of the pool and the Kona Kai Resort & Spa Marina. The restaurant features local live entertainment Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday brunch and exciting daily specials including wine, beer and cheese pairings, bottomless mimosas and a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar for brunch. Vessel’s coastal fare created by executive chef Roy Hendrickson incorporates local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients, taking traditional delicacies and giving them a modern and flavorful twist. Vessel Restaurant + Bar is open for breakfast and lunch daily from 6:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and for dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. On Friday and Saturdays, Vessel remains open until 10:00 p.m. The bar is open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and remains open until 11:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings.

For reservations, call 800-566-2524.

Gourmet Dinner

Cider Brined Pork Chops With Spaetzle and Sour Cherry Sauce

Recreate Chef Hendrickson’s very own recipe.


Ingredients for cider brine:

  • 4 13oz to 16oz double cut pork chops
  • 1 quart apple cider
  • 1 quart water
  • ½ cup kosher salt
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise

To brine the chops:
Mix the apple cider, water, cinnamon stick, salt, and star anise together in a sealable container and place the chops in the brine. Let chops rest in brine for 24 hours.

Ingredients for spaetzle:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 tsp kosher salt
  • 2¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 1.5 cups whole milk
  • ¼ cup whole grain mustard
  • 4 tbs Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbs minced parsely

To make the spaetzle dough:
Place the all-purpose flour, baking powder, kosher salt into a large mixing bowl and mix by hand until even. Then add remaining ingredients and mix using a bowl scraper pulling the dough up with your hand until about chest height and slamming it down to incorporate air into the dough (about ten minutes). The dough should be elastic and hold shape in the bowl with minimal tackiness when ready

To cook the spaetzle dough, you will need:

  • 1 bench scraper, dough scraper or knife
  • Cooking spray
  • Wire skimmer or slotted spoon
  • Colander with medium size holes (not mesh)
  • Parchment lined sheet tray

To cook the spaetzle
Fill medium pot with ½ way full with water, place on stove and bring to a boil. Once the water is at a rolling boil, spray the inside of the colander with cooking spray and place the colander on top of the pot.

With the bench scraper, place a portion of the dough in the colander and press the dough through the holes using a spackling motion. The dough will rise in the water when done. Skim the spaetzle with the wire skimmer and place on the parchment lined sheet tray. Continue with the remaining dough until all dough is cooked.

Ingredients for sour cherry pork glace:

  • ¾ cup drived tart red cherries
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1¾ cups water
  • 3 tbs light corn syrup
  • ½ cup sherry or cider vinegar
  • 3 cups reduced pork stock
  • Ice

To make the glace:
Combine sugar and 1 cup of water with corn syrup in stainless steel pot. Stir gently with a spoon until just combined. Bring to boil and cook until medium golden brown. Turn off heat and slowly add the vinegar, then the cherries and remaining water. Cool the cherry sauce in the pot in an ice bath. Once the sauce is room temperature, mix it with reduced pork stock and season with salt and pepper to taste. Put pot back on stove on lowest heat until ready to serve.

Ingredients for final dish preparation:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour and semolina flour mixture (or just all-purpose flour if no semolina is available)
  • 3 tbs grape seed oil or canola oil
  • ½ pound bacon lardons (or thick cut bacon cut into ½ inch pieces)
  • 4 tbs butter

To prepare entire dish:
Heat a heavy bottomed cast iron pan (or other oven safe heavy pan) on medium high heat. Preheat oven to 400°.

While the pan is heating, season the brined chop on both sides with salt and pepper. Dredge the chops in the flour mix.

Once the pan is at hot, add oil and sear the chops until golden brown, about 2 minutes each side. Once the chops are golden brown on both sides, place the pan with chops into oven and continue to cook until medium (about ten minutes for and internal temp of 135°).

While the pork is cooking in the oven, move on to the spaetzle. Heat a large heavy bottomed sauté pan on medium high heat. When pan is hot, add the bacon lardons, cooking until they are about 75% crisp. Add the spaetzli and butter to the pan. Cook the speatzle until crisp and golden brown; don’t move the pan while cooking and stir only once. When the spaetzle is cooked to desired doneness, drain on a paper towel to remove excess cooking fat.

Place spaetzle on 4 plates, then top each plate with a pork chop and sour cherry sauce.