When I first tried to schedule an interview with Elmer Guzman, chef/owner of the popular Poke Stop (@pokestop) for a story in a local travel magazine, his public relations person told me he would be available — in two weeks.
“He’s really busy.”
And after meeting him, I can see why.
This Baldwin High grad manages two locations — one in Waipahu, another in Mililani Mauka. He spends his weekends catering events — once he catered six weddings on a single Saturday — and is working on franchising his casual-eats concept that focuses on innovative poke, quality seafood and hefty plate lunches.
He carved out some time between a photo shoot to answer a few quick questions for my blog:
1. What’s your favorite poke?
Creamy ‘ahi. I came up with the recipe myself.
2. Why not open a Poke Stop in town or on a different island?
Eventually, the leeward side will be pumping. And the communities out there already have their (poke) places. I want to grow old with this community.
3. I hear you’re into beer now. What’s your favorite brew?
Right now, Blue Moon. I like the citrus tones in there. Because I deal with seafood, I’m always drawn to citrus to cleanse my palette.
4. If you weren’t a chef, what would you be doing?
I wanted to be a sportscaster. But this just fell into my lap.
5. OK, so what are your favorite teams?
For football, it’s Dallas; basketball, the Lakers; and baseball, Dodgers. But I’ve liked them for a long time.
Meaning, he’s no frontrunner. But we’d never think that anyway.
Scenes from my visit to Poke Stop in Mililani Mauka
Poke Stop Mililani Mauka, 95-1840 Meheula Parkway. Hours: 8 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday. Phone: (808) 626-3400. Also, there’s a location in Waipahu.