Ivy Nagayama

Jo McGarry
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Friday - February 06, 2009 Share | Del.icio.us | podcast Podcast | WineAndDineHawaii.com

Title: General manager/partner, d.k Steak House, Waikiki

Age: 44

Where did you go to school?

I graduated from the University of Hawaii TIM School in 1983 with a BBA in hotel and restaurant management.

First professional position?

Assistant restaurant manager at the Halekulani Hotel. I worked in the Orchids dining room for five years, and then was promoted as a relief assistant restaurant manager at La Mer.

Who has influenced you most in your career?

There are three people who have really influenced me in my career:


1) Chef Oliver Altherr, former executive chef at Kahala Mandarin Oriental Hotel. I had the great opportunity to work with Chef Altherr when I opened Hoku’s in 1996. His new ideas on food and his creativity brought a new level of cuisine to Hawaii. His teaching, training and influence put Hoku’s on the map as a worldwide culinary destination.

2) Chuck Furuya always has been a mentor for a good number of restaurant managers. He always has been encouraging all of us to excel and to always keep ourselves abreast of what’s happening in the industry, to stay fresh and to think of ways to better ourselves at our jobs.

3) My husband, Terry Shishido - if it was not for his wonderful patience, understanding and encouragement, I do not think I would have excelled at my career!

There aren’t a lot of women in your profession at your level. Why do you think that is?

I am not sure ... I think there are a lot of women who are finding out how restaurant management can be a rewarding career.

Favorite dish at d.k’s ?

30-day dry-aged rib eye steak - very juicy and very tasty!

Favorite dish at other Hawaii restaurants?

Chicken pho from Hale Vietnam.

What’s always in your fridge?

Beer for my husband and lots of ice cream for me.

Favorite late-night snack?

Pizza and saimin.

With whom would you most like to have a glass of wine in the restaurant?

My husband, Terry. I like to spend quality time with him.

What’s a good, romantic Valentine’s wine for this weekend?

Henri Billiot Brut Rose Grand Cru Champagne. It’s sleek, intricate and a Grand Cru Rose! It’s on our wine list for $98.


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