President Eric von Platen Luder
In 1982, Eric took over the day-to-day operation of Huggo’s from his parents and restaurant founders, Shirley and Hugo von Platen Luder. He is president of Olu Kai, Ltd., which does business as Huggo’s Restaurant, Huggo’s on the Rocks and Paradise Gourmet Catering.
Eric is a graduate of the local Hawaii Preparatory Academy in Waimea and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in 1979 from Southern Methodist University. A fourth-generation Chinese-Hawaiian, Eric has worked in every capacity at Huggo’s. He began as an aspiring 11-year-old bus boy, joining his brother and sister who also pitched in during summer vacations.
As General Manager, Matthew Dykes represents the best we could ask for – his roots are local and his experience is world-wide.
Bringing a wealth of experience back to the place he has always loved, Matt returned to the Big Island and was the very first person hired at our restaurant in Waikoloa. Along with owners Eric von Platen Luder and Scott Dodd, and Director of Operations, Nick Roschi, Matt helped create the foundation of what is now the very successful Lava Lava Beach Club. Matt said, “We hired and trained the opening staff, created and designed food and drink menus, and took staying in those amazing Hales (cottages) to a whole new level!”
After seeing Lava Lava Beach Club successfully open, Matt returned to Oregon, but didn¹t stay away long. Matt joined the Huggo¹s team as a manager in April and was promoted to General Manager in June, 2014.
Mattʻs connection to Huggo¹s dates back to his Dad and Eric von Platen Luder¹s Dad attending school together. When asked what is his favorite thing about working at Huggo¹s, Matt said, being a part of Huggo¹s Ohana.
Our Leadership Team
Nick hails from Erie, Pennsylvania and has been a lifer in the hospitality industry. He started his career at Jr’s On The Bay in Erie, then bounced around the Great Lakes region with the popular steakhouse concept, Texas Roadhouse.
Nick moved to Hawaii in 2006 and managed the popular Waikiki restaurants Tikis Grill and Bar and The Cheesecake Factory. Nick moved to the Big Island in 2010 and fell in love! He enjoys time with his wife Venus and his kids in his off time and finds the waters of the big island as a necessary balance to a stressful week.
After successfully opening Lava Lava Beach Club, Nick now oversees the operations of not only Lava Lava Beach Club but also Huggo’s, On The Rocks, Paradise Gourmet Catering and Grass Shack Parties.
Originally from the San Francisco Bay area, Chef Ken brings nearly twenty years of experience to Lava Lava Beach Club. Born and raised in wine country, Chef Ken worked in Napa Valley for most of his career. He also took five years and explored the cuisine of the Caribbean, gathering new ideas of parallel tropical latitude culinary inspirations.
Chef Ken works directly with the sous chefs to create our menu items as well as work with our vendors to ensure our family of restaurants get the best possible products from local farmers and fishermen