DORIS HOSHIKO MURAKAMI / 1917-2007
Governors’ chef served aloha
Doris Hoshiko Murakami met Gov. John A. Burns while she ran a catering business at the Mid-Pacific Country Club, and soon she became the chef to governors and to a tobacco heiress.
Murakami was hired to work as Burns' chef during his last term and then remained as chef for the first half of the 12 years George Ariyoshi served as governor.
"She was a very good chef and a really fine person," Ariyoshi said. Murakami was talented and able to prepare all types of cuisine, he said.
"We all adored her."
Murakami died Sunday at the Aloha Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. She was 90.
Murakami was born in Honokaa, Hawaii.
During the 1960s she had an establishment called Doris' Fountain in Kailua. Murakami also owned and operated her own catering business, as well as concessions at Liberty House and Mid-Pacific Country Club, where she served breakfast and lunch.
She enjoyed cooking, said Murakami's oldest daughter, Miriam Fujioka.
Jean Ariyoshi said, "She was not only our chef at Washington Place, she was family to us. My kids were always joking with her."
Ariyoshi noted how Murakami always had a pleasant demeanor. "I never saw a pout on her face, always joking and smiling," she said. "She really cooked for us with a caring heart."
Murakami resided at a cottage behind Washington Place while she worked as a chef.
Fujioka and Jean Ariyoshi raved about Murakami's red velvet cake.
"It was really a 'broke da mout' recipe," the former first lady said.
"She was really an extraordinary woman," she added.
After she worked for Ariyoshi, Murakami worked as a chef for tobacco heiress Doris Duke at the recommendation of a Duke housekeeper who had worked with Murakami at Washington Place. She traveled extensively with Duke to the East Coast, Fujioka said.
During her career with Duke, Ariyoshi and Burns, Murakami met a multitude of people that included dignitaries, astronauts and actors.
"She had such a fantastic life," Fujioka said.
Friends and family described Murakami as an exceptional woman who had a sparkle and embodied the aloha spirit. Fujioka described her as a caring woman who had a good work ethic and sense of humor. "People just loved her," she said.
Murakami is also survived by daughters Carolyn Yokooji and Quadra Kim, sons Gary and Derrick, sister Miyuki Takehara, 16 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren and a great-great grandchild.
Services will be held at the Hosoi Garden Mortuary at 6 p.m. Oct. 3. Visitation begins at 5 p.m. Aloha attire.