Food & Beverage Focus is a short profile on a person in the food & Beverage industry in Hawaii in a question and answer format. Jo McGarry has been writing about food and wine for more than a decade in Hawaii. Former editor of Gusto Magazine she began working as restaurant specialist for the Honolulu Star Bulletin in 2001 and writing a food column for MidWeek the same year. She is the host of a long running lifestyle radio program, Table Talk, that airs Saturday mornings on KHVH 830 AM from 10 – 11AM. She is the author of The Hawaii Tailgate Cookbook and the 'voice' of tailgating on radio. Visit her website:

Below are the last 10 Food & Beverage Focus columns

Keri Endo

Friday - January 25, 2012

Keri Endo
Catering Director,  The Willows

Where were you born and raised? Born and raised here in Honolulu, Aiea High School grad.

What made you want to pursue a career in the food industry? You know, I really just fell into it in the beginning.


Nicola (Nic) Sayada

Friday - January 18, 2012

Title: Executive Chef, Il Lupino

You’ve had a lifelong, passionate relationship with food. What started it? When I was a little kid we had a hotel in Iran. My mother would take me everywhere and teach me everything. She would bake and cook and show me how to look at vegetables to see if they were fresh ...


Louis Silva

Friday - January 11, 2012

Occupation: Chef-owner, Luibueno Mexican Seafood and Fish Market.

When did you start cooking? I was brought into the food culture really young. Going down to Tijuana exposed me to the foods there and my mom taught me how to make everything!

What’s a good dish to try for first-timers? Puerto Vallarta-style sashimi is really popular.


John Hightower

Friday - January 04, 2012

Occupation: Executive Sous Chef, Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Hotel

Where do you like to eat when you’re not working? For casual food, I think Teddy’s has a great burger. My wife and I like to go to Fook Yuen. On our anniversary we always go to Alan Wong’s. Alan and I became friends when we both worked on the Big Island.


Chai Chaowaseree

Friday - December 28, 2011

Occupation: Chef/owner Singha Thai and Chai’s Island Bistro.

When you eat at Chai’s, what do you have? Oh, the staff and I have been eating here for so long that we all want to eat different food (laughs). Sometimes I tell them, oh, just order a pizza, please!



Matt Alleshouse

Friday - December 21, 2011

Occupation: Chef de Cuisine, Bali Steak and Seafood at Hilton Hawaiian Village

Was it family influences that started your passion for cooking? Definitely. It was the big kitchen thing with Mom and Dad from an early age. We’re an Italian family, and my grandma was a huge influence. She passed things down to Dad, and he passed them on to me.


Jill Gilboy

Friday - December 14, 2011

Occupation: Sales and Marketing Manager, Hard Rock Café, Honolulu

Do you remember thinking that the bar industry might be fun? Yes, it was always fun! They had a huge banquet hall attached to the bar, and they always held big parties and events.


Jeanne Vana

Friday - December 07, 2011

Occupation: Owner, Big Wave Farms

Where were you born and raised? Upstate New York, then we moved to Indiana. My father worked for Eli Lilly, so we ended up traveling a lot; we lived in Australia, Hong Kong and the Philippines.


Michelle Yamaguchi

Friday - November 30, 2011

Profession: Co-owner Umeke Market, Kahala and Downtown.

What started your interest in food and cooking? My grandparents were farmers, and they grew cabbage, tomatoes, onions, potatoes ... and they would truck it down to Cincinnati where they would sell to Campbell Soup.


Victoria Sayno

Friday - November 23, 2011

Occupation: Restaurant Manager, Asahi Grill, Ward Avenue

Were you always involved with food and restaurants? Yes, my grandparents owned a restaurant in the Philippines. When I was a little girl, I was always there watching, learning and eventually helping. And they had a catering business, too.


For other past Food & Beverage Focus columns, view: Archive

Times Supermarket


Wine And Dine Hawaii



Tiare Asia and Alex Bing
were spotted at the Sugar Ray's Bar Lounge