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In 1988 Chuck Furuya became only the tenth person in the United States to pass the rigorous Master Sommelier examination. Furuya first began working in restaurants while attending college as a way to earn extra income. But wine and food became his passion and he ended up working for some of Hawaii's most highly regarded establishments including Bagwell's 2424 in the Hyatt Regency Waikiki, La Mer at the Halekulani, and serving as cellarmaster at the former Kahala Hilton.
Sharing a mutual passion for wine and food and a desire to create exceptional, quality dining at reasonable prices, restaurateur D.K. Kodama and Chuck Furuya began collaborating in 2003. Their first joint venture, Vino Italian Tapas and Wine Bar at the Kapalua Resorts on Maui, was an immediate success. And in 2004 they opened a second Vino and a Hiroshi Eurasion Tapas at Restaurant Row in Honolulu.
A noted expert on pairing wines with Pacific Rim cuisine, Furuya created the pairings and wrote the wine introduction for the first Hawaii regional cuisine cookbook, The New Cuisine of Hawaii. He has worked at special events with virtually every celebrity chef in America.
Educating people about wine and discovering new talent is what brings him the most satisfaction. Furuya is a partner and the wine director for D.K. Restaurants.
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