Alice Yeung

Jo McGarry
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Friday - July 06, 2011 Share | | podcast Podcast |

Jo McGarry photo

Occupation: Co-owner Panya Bakery and Bistro.

Where were you born and raised?

Hong Kong. I came to Hawaii to go to UH.

What started your interest in cooking?

When my sister moved back to Hong Kong for a few years I was here by myself and guess what? Nothing to eat unless I cooked for myself. I found that I loved it, and I also discovered that I was able to recreate many different kinds of dishes after tasting them only once or twice.

Do you still cook at home? Sometimes. I’ll make Thai curry or Chinesestyle soups or fish. Since my son was born, though, I don’t really have time.

What’s always in your fridge? Not too much nowadays! We’re so busy. And it really depends on the meal I’m cooking. Mostly I buy everything fresh.

Favorite restaurants? For Korean, my husband Charles and I like to go to Choy’s Garden. The food is good and the restaurant is clean. For Japanese food it’s Gaku, for Thai food Chiang Mai, for Italian we go to Paesano and for Indian we like Maharani.

With whom would you like to have lunch or dinner at Panya? Oh, I think just friends and family. When anyone else is around I would just be worrying that everything was OK. When you own a restaurant it’s hard to relax when people come over for dinner!

Anything about you that would surprise people? I suppose that many people don’t know that I actually cook. Also I speak Japanese, Thai, Mandarin and Cantonese.

What would you recommend from the menu at Panya’s Ala Moana Bistro location? A lot (laughs). Laksa, ahi poke, spicy wonton, steak salad, clam chowder, oxtail soup I think these dishes all represent a taste of Panya.

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