Chef & Staff

Picture of Lance KosakaLance Kosaka – Executive Chef

Lance fell in love with food well before he pursued it as a profession. He was lured to the culinary world while growing up in Honolulu attending social gatherings where food brought his friends and family closer together.

Those fond memories shaped him into the Executive Chef he is today. Chef Lance enjoys sharing his award-winning Hawaii Regional Cuisine (HRC) with the world. He is committed to working with farmers throughout the 50th state to seek out the freshest ingredients and to give guests a truly unique dining experience in the heart of Waikiki. He infuses as much locally-grown produce and livestock as possible to create dishes just as memorable as the glittering views from the Top of Waikiki and SKY Waikiki.

For more than two decades, Chef Lance steadily worked his way through the culinary ranks starting out as a dishwasher and now oversees a culinary team at the Top of Waikiki – Hawaii’s only revolving restaurant. He spent 17 years at one of the most recognizable names in HRC – Alan Wong’s Restaurants. Chef Lance previously served as Executive Chef at the Pineapple Room at Ala Moana Center and Café Julia in Downtown Honolulu.

Photo of Heather BryanHeather Bryan – Executive Pastry Chef

Heather Bryan moved to Hawaii from San Diego in 1989. She started baking professionally while working as a manager for a local bar and grill. Once she decided to run her own dessert menu, she gained experience through increased personal orders, special events, and customer feedback. She was then hired and mentored by Rachel Murai at Nobu Waikiki. Two years later, they went on to join the opening team for the Vintage Cave Honolulu. It was there that she met Executive Chef Lance Kosaka, who had come to dine. A year and a half later, Lance invited her to join him at Top of Waikiki.

 

Photo of Jennifer AckrillJennifer Ackrill – Director of Mixology

With a career in mixology spanning more than 17 years, Jennifer Ackrill honed her craft with tenures at the helm of some of San Francisco’s premier watering holes including Blowfish Sushi, Fuse, and Rye—one of San Francisco’s original craft cocktail bars. Fervent about her art, she traveled extensively throughout Europe to further expand her knowledge and skill set, finally relocating to Honolulu in August 2014 to spearhead and redevelop the beverage program for the Top of Waikiki. In a time when the popularity of cocktail culture is growing in Honolulu, Jennifer has the ingredients—the education, expertise, and enthusiasm—to create a signature cocktail experience for the iconic Waikiki restaurant while incorporating the elements that make Waikiki so unique.

Waikiki is truly an international melting pot of ethnicities, cultures and cuisine; the ideal mecca for Jennifer to redefine Honolulu’s cocktail culture by creating handcrafted cocktails for the Top of Waikiki imbued with the history of the islands, a return to the fundamentals, and the utilization of the freshest hand selected ingredients, mixers, and premium liquors. An elevated beverage program that will introduce agreeable cocktails to the Top of Waikiki guest, while incorporating familiar ingredients they crave with interesting selections that they may not even know they want. Shaken and muddled to perfection her craft cocktails will be a reflection of the time and effort the Top of Waikiki guest deserves.