Robert & Minaka Urquidi
Ethelʻs Grill - Honolulu, HI
Minaka Urquidi was raised in the kitchen of Ethel’s Grill, the unassuming Kalihi institution owned by her parents—and chefs’ go-to spot for local food. There was no question she would pursue a culinary career and she attended the Western Culinary Institute and later the Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Portland.
Urquidi started work at Sam Choy’s flagship Honolulu restaurant and moved on to positions at places such as the Four Season Seattle and Roy’s Rancho Mirage, where she became pastry chef. Roy’s then tapped her to be opening pastry chef for Roy’s Los Angeles in 2005.
In 2007, she and husband, Robert Urquidi, returned to Honolulu (they met working at Sam Choy’s) to take the helm of Ethel’s. Under their leadership the place is as popular as ever.