By staff October 20, 2008

I travel from Sarasota to Hawaii to hang out with chef Roy of Hawaiian fusion fame.


By Judi Gallagher

Sitting on the beach, eating pineapple, thinking of Don Ho.

 A lifelong dream, since I had a crush on Don Ho back in the ‘60s, just came true. I am just back from an exquisite trip to Hawaii for Chef Roy Yamaguchi’s 20th anniversary celebrations and you will not believe who I ran into in Honolulu. Yes, as in an 11-hour plane ride away, six hours of time difference, I hear voices calling, “Hi, Judi--we knew we would run into you here!”

Malika and Kim from Admiral Travel, me and Stephanie Amberg and Lee Healy, my Hawaiian travel buddies.

 It was none other than Malika and Kim from Admiral Travel. See, ya just never know where you might share a Hawaiian martini with some good friends!

Top photo: Celebrating at Diamond Head with Chef Roy; bottom photo: My birthday celebration at Roy's in Maui was a dream come true.

 It was deliciously exciting to sample amazing flavors with chef Roy and friends like Boston’s chef Ming Si of Blue Ginger fame while chatting with Culinary Institute of American’s President, Dr. Tim Ryan, also in Hawaii for Roy’s celebrations. Do not fret if a plane ticket to the South Pacific is not in your future, however--Roy’s throughout the country will be celebrating their 20th anniversary with a very special wine dinner and video from the Hawaiian events on Nov. 11. Go to for more information.

Blue Ginger chef Ming Si in Waikiki.

I did manage to fit in a few dinners before I left, and a nice new find is Jimmy Dimitris over on Clark Road (former Big Kitchen Restaurant). While I miss the eclectic décor of the Big Kitchen (and their hot pastrami), Jimmy Dimitris was a delight with super-friendly service, wonderful Greek pizza and a Greek salad that screams fresh, crisp and “I’ll be back for another!” The menu offer plenty of authentic specialties, but we loved the pizza and spicy dips with pita bread the best, not to mention the homemade Greek pastries. With all the new equipment set up in the front, it looks like Dimitri is getting ready to offer Greek cuisine to go along with rotisserie chicken and hopefully their delish homemade soups.


When we visited, they were still waiting for their liquor license but suggested we BYOB, and with the new Magnum Wine (formerly Flanagan’s) and Total Wine over on University, you will save a few bucks bringing your own wine for now.
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