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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Local chef named best among U.S retirement community chefs

Advertiser Staff

Darrell Aoki, executive chef of Holiday Retirement Hawai'i Kai bested 25 invited competitors to be named best chef in the 2010 Annual Food Service Culinary Conclave in Hyde Park, NY.

Holiday Retirements hosts this annual meeting each year and 25 of 315 chefs were invited to compete in April.

In nine years at the Hawaii Kai outlet, Aoki has worked to lift the stigma of "instituional" food while keeping health and wellness in mind according to Lyle Takeuchi, Hawai'i regional director of Holiday Retirement, which operates more than 300 locations throughout the U.S.

Aoki, 26, of Waimanalo, said his interest in cooking began when he was just 4 years old. His advice to young chefs includes going to school, getting a degree, taking scrupulous care with cleanliness and always tasting the food they cook. He is an avid fisherman.