Bernie Caalim

Jo McGarry
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Friday - June 09, 2010 Share | | podcast Podcast |

Job Title: Senior Vice President, Travel and Tourism-McNeil Wilson Communications, Anthology Marketing Group

Where were you born and raised? I was born at Tripler Hospital and raised in Aiea.

Where did you go to school? I graduated from the University of California at Berkeley. I went to prep school at Saint Francis in Manoa Valley.

What was your first job in the industry? My first job was at Orange Julius blending drinks and preparing hot dogs during high school summer break. It was fun.

You’ve been on many amazing “food destination” trips. Want to share a favorite one or two? Currently, I oversee the Marriott International account, and for the past few years David McNeil has given me the opportunity to attend Marriott conferences held in different countries. The business trips have exposed me to not only different cultures and people, but also to their cuisines. In Dubai, the bold spices from that region bring out depth of flavor in Arabian dishes. The aromatic spice souks are absolutely intoxicating. I remember conferences in Thailand and Sydney where I participated in cooking classes. Most recently, I went on a three-day getaway to Manila simply eating classic Filipino regional dishes in restaurants.

Your most memorable meal? On vacation in Italy at the three-Michelin-star La Pergola - a movable feast on a terrace overlooking Rome and Vatican City. The seafood, beef, pasta, salads, variety of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, bread, cheeses, desserts, wine choices, jasmine and roses clipped at tableside to make tea, and service made for the most exquisite dining adventure.

Where do you like to eat when you’re not working? It’s either Zippy’s or Rainbow’s for a bowl of chili and rice, or plain cheese pizza and mac and cheese at California Pizza Kitchen with my son. Or my mother’s comfort foods: pot roast, mashed potatoes, Filipino vegetable dishes and pancit noodles.

Do you cook at home? Yes, I have an assortment of different-shaped macaroni pasta to make mac and cheese. I also grill or barbecue prawns with the Iranian saffron I bought from the spice souk, roast a turkey and make all the trimmings for Thanksgiving Day, and bake and decorate my son’s birthday cake every July.


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