Daniel Skurnick

Jo McGarry
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Friday - October 27, 2010 Share | Del.icio.us | podcast Podcast | WineAndDineHawaii.com

Occupation: Executive Pastry Chef, Morimoto Waikiki

Where were you born and raised? New York, outside the city on a farm near the Hudson River. But I spent a lot of my youth in Hawaii.

What sparked your interest in the culinary arts? I started cooking at about 16. Honestly, it was before the TV Food Network and people thinking it was hip to be a chef. It was just one of those jobs. I had no idea that it would become glamorous.

You’ve worked in some very famous, cutting-edge restaurants. Will you name a few? Gramercy Tavern, Boulud, The River Café in New York and Buddakon. And, of course, Morimoto.

Do you cook at home? I might go home and grill a steak or cook, but you won’t find me baking cookies or making dessert. My idea of a great gift is a pound of bacon, not a box of cookies!

What’s always in your fridge? Vanilla beans, young coconut water, Crystal Louisiana hot sauce, sesame oil, bean paste ... you crave salty things when you eat sugar all day long.

For whom would you most like to make dessert? Antoine Careme, who was really one of the first “rock star” chefs. He was born in the 18th century. It would be interesting to chat with him about his philosophy and his insane desserts.

Anything that would surprise people about you? I lived in Thailand with a migratory hunter-gatherer tribe for a year. And I know how to work in a foundry. I know how to melt.

Where do you like to eat when you’re not at Morimoto? I miss KC Drive Inn and the waffle dog! Liliha Bakery is delicious - a real classic. And Ono Seafood over on Kapahulu for their poke bowls and tako.


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