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HFWF17 - Jennifer Ackrill of SKY Waikiki & Top of Waikiki

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On Media Day on Maui for the Hawai'i Food and Wine Festival, I was hoping to meet some women chefs. I believe Chef Niki Nakayama of n/naka in Los Angeles was scheduled to be in attendance but I didn't get to interview her. With "Michelin 'Can't Do Anything' to Change Lack of Female Representation, Says Director" (Eater NY Oct. 31, 2017), I really wish I had. Representing Oahu, I was lucky to meet the Director of Mixology of SKY Waikiki and Top of Waikiki, Jennifer Ackrill. You San Francisco Bay Area readers may recognize her from her time at Rye. After being convinced by her husband, Jennifer is now on Oahu living it up.



The Pennsylvania native knew a few of my colleagues. During a trip to check out the opening operations of a brewery in Waikiki that I was invited to while in Maui, my business partner suggested we go to the Top of Waikiki and see his friend, Jennifer. We enjoyed an amazing view and tasty cocktails on the deck of SKY Waikiki, then headed …

Curry & BBQ

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The Bay Area is crazy about the Warriors, Stephan Curry, his daughter, Riley, that would steal the show during his interviews and his beautiful wife, Ayesha. Mrs. Curry is out with a cookbook and a restaurant partnered with Chef Michael Mina. After being in the south and enjoying BBQ in Charleston, South Carolina at Poogan's Smokehouse, I had to come back home to see how we compete. Actually, my reservation at International Smoke was made at least a month in advance as it's a popular spot.

I made a reservation for four not knowing who would be able to make it but I know a lot of foodies and folks in the industry. I could fill my reservation no problem, and I did! I invited my roommate, my Team inTraining team made, Nelly, and our friend, Sandra, who was diagnosed with Hodgekin's lymphoma. Nelly is also a BBQ fan and does catering for friends and Raider games on the side.
The four of us were coming from all directions - I was coming from work at the Argonaut Hotel at Fisher…

Fueled With Fried Chicken

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It’s been six months since I took some real time off and I was ready! A few days in Barcelona went by too quickly and I was about to hit a different Southern city everyday for four days with my 12-year-old nephew. But first, chicken.
I meet my sister and my sprouting nephew at their machine shop in Raleigh, North Carolina after a red eye from Oakland. Our first stop: Bojangles. “It’s Bo time” as my nephew said was their tagline. My friend who also lives in Raleigh also said it. Their advertising hasn’t reached the West Coast. We got an assortment of meals to go and they were pretty cheap! Six bucks for two pieces of chicken and two sides. They’re chicken had this thick, crispy skin. I like that. My sister said they were known for their biscuits. It was ok. They forgot to pack my dessert like biscuit. Would it also just be ok? Then they’re mashed potatoes and gravy. I like KFC’s and Bojangles were a bit on the the thicker side. It was a good first meal in North Carolina.




I took my nephew…

(Mini)Golf Addict

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With my experience at the driving range and meeting Tiger Woods via the Madame Tussads. I am no Michelle Wie, nor a Hawaii native (sadly). But I'm not bad on the greens. The mini golf greens, that is...against a 12-year-old. On our recent trip out to the South with my nephew, I think I got him hooked on a sport! 
Thank goodness!
His parents aren't into sports but Auntie is! I remember teaching him to throw a ball when I would babysit him as a kid and it never stuck at home. He preferred video games and helping their machining business. Do you, Kid, but I can't help but be happy that he's into a sport now. 
After an amazing meal at the Michelin star Sea Captain'sHouse in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, we walked over to Captain Hook MiniGolf. It was a Captain kind of evening. They were open late and it was warm out so we enjoyed the evening.


The course had a waterfall, skeletons, boats to climb, a cave and even surprise bursts of water from the lake. We had a really …

Highway 1 Road Trip to Paso Robles

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Now that Highway 1 is completely open after the landslide, travelers can go from San Francisco to Los Angeles all along the coast if they wish. Pack snacks for the road, the dog if you have one like I do and prepare for oohs and aww moments at every turn.

The plan was for my roommate and I to have our Roommate Day with my dog, Bevo. I planned it out and we were going to go to a dog beach, come back up to Carmel Valley for a hike -  and either dine in Carmel by the Sea or Monterey. Well, none of that didn't happen.
Listening to oldies, the moon roof open on a gorgeous day and spotty cell coverage, we missed the dog park by an hour or so. Oops! However, on the way, we stopped at what we thought was the Bixby Bridge and took photos. Little did we know, it just a bit further down. I did think it was smaller than I remembered.




Instead of turning around, we just kept on going. We ended up stopping at the Hearst Castle. Unfortunately, with Bevo, we couldn't take the tour but we mana…