Elmer Guzman was born and raised on the island of Maui. He grew up fishing from the reefs surrounding the island and thus began his life long love of fish. His love of cooking started early too. While in high school he worked at the local Sizzler’s as a dishwasher and it was the actions of a bored line cook who let him take over the cooking duties one day that got him hooked.
A graduate of Kapi‘olani Community College Culinary Arts Program, Chef Elmer Guzman trained in the early 1990s under renowned chef Alan Wong, at the Mauna Lani Bay Resort & Bungalow on the Big Island of Hawaii. Chef Elmer apprenticed at the prestigious Greenbriar Hotel & White Sulpher Springs, West Virginia, where he graduated with honors, then served as a sous chef under television personality and award winning chef, Emeril Lagasse, in Emeril’s Restaurant, in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Upon returning to Hawaii, Chef Elmer served as Executive Chef of Sam Choy Diamond Head Restaurant, creating wonderful, innovative seafood dishes that grew from his love and knowledge of island fish.
The author of Hawaii’s first cookbook on local reef fishes, The Shoreline Chef, Chef Elmer, along with his wife, Samantha, opened up Poke Stop Waipahu in 2005 which gave him the opportunity to share the “creative cuisine for Hawaiian reef fish” with the masses. In December 2009, they followed up with a second location in Mililani Mauka.
While Chef has been doing catering since he opened his first Poke Stop, he launched “Chef Elmer Guzman’s Island Cuisine” a full-service catering division in 2012. The catering division gives Chef the opportunity to utilize his diverse culinary background to branch our and create delectable and innovative cuisine.
In September 2014, Poke Stop became one of the companies to be featured at Hawaii’s Favorite Kitchens in Kapahulu.