Archive for April, 2016

Kau Kau Grill food truck finds a home

By
April 29th, 2016



A Kau Kau Grill Sampler Plate: shrimp, ribs, poke and Krazy Rice.

A Kau Kau Grill Samplers Plate: shrimp, ribs, poke and Krazy Rice.

 

The Kau Kau Grill food truck has a new brick-and-mortar restaurant opening Saturday in Mapunapuna.

The grand opening takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the site, 825 Mapunapuna St.

Miles Oyasato and Tai Takishita took their truck on the road in April 2013 and became known for their uber-tender ribs.

At the permanent location the menu will include some new dishes including fried saimin noodles. A Kau Kau Samplers Plate will be featured at the grand opening, with garlic shrimp, poke and ribs, plus Kau Kau's signature Krazy Rice, for $12.

The restaurant's permanent hours  will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays. Call 476-5888. The Kau Kau food truck, at 1011 Ala Moana Blvd., is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays; call 284-8293.

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Kenney opens first Waikiki eatery

By
April 29th, 2016



Caption pending email/call from Ed Kenney.

The Mahina & Sun's version of Portuguese Bean Soup, created by chef-owner Ed Kenney. Rather than canned kidney beans, Mahina & Sun's uses borlotti beans, and the soup is topped with a crispy, soft-boiled egg breaded in parmesan cheese, as well as fresh local watercress, and, according to Kenney, "a few glugs of extra virgin olive oil." Photo courtesy Mahina & Sun's.

Chef and restaurateur Ed Kenney has opened his first restaurant in Waikiki, adding a fourth restaurant to his ventures.

Mahina & Sun’s opened Thursday at Surfjack Hotel & Swim, where it is open for grab-and-go breakfast service from 6:30 to 11:30 a.m., and dinner service from 5:30 to 10 p.m., seven days a week. Its hours eventually will expand.

"At Mahina & Sun’s we strive to provide locals and visitors alike with food and a dining experience that is fresh and new but also very comforting and rooted in nostalgia," chef-owner Ed Kenney told the Star-Advertiser.

The pictured Portuguese Bean Soup was recently ordered by visitors from Los Angeles and New York.

"Both licked the bowl clean, stating that it was reminiscent of something their moms would have made -- only better," Kenney said.

Signature dishes include Town’s Aku Tartare with risotto, named for one of Kenney’s Kaimuki restaurants, for $13, as well as a Kuahiwi Ranch burger for $18.

A family dining option includes a whole two- to three-pound opakapaka served with three sauces and several side dishes and dessert.

The restaurant also offers room service options to guests of the hotel, located at 412 Lewers St.

Kenney, a four-time James Beard Award semifinalist, also owns Mud Hen Water, Kaimuki Superette and Town, in Kaimuki.

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A little wine, a little cheese

By
April 28th, 2016



The wines of Fiddlehead Cellars were served Thursday night with cheeses and other wine-friendly tidbits at Mariposa.

The wines of Fiddlehead Cellars were served Thursday night with cheeses and other wine-friendly tidbits at Mariposa.

Well, that was fun.

On Thursday night, Kathy Joseph, winemaker, proprietor and general force behind Fiddlehead Cellars, poured her wines at a tasting at Neiman Marcus' Mariposa restaurant. She was an enthusiastic hostess, visiting with every guest to share the details of her winemaking.

As things were winding down we spent a very enjoyable half hour or so tasting everything she brought with everything chef Marc Anthony Freiberg had put on the table.

Which means she took an educated guess at which tasty bit would go best with which wine and I basically ate whatever she pointed me toward, with a sip of whatever she poured in my glass. Then we'd discuss whether she was right. For the most part, yes.

It was a rather one-sided endeavor, but a great deal for me.

Among the highlights:

A moist, light smoked salmon with two pinots — the feminine Lollapalooza, 2010, and more masculine Burtie Baby, 2011 (the name comes from her mom's nickname for her dad). A nutty aged cheddar also played well.

A creamy but assertive Boursin cheese, with Happy Canyon sauvignon blanc, 2013, a light, silky wine, low on fruitiness, that paired well with the herbal notes in the cheese.

Blue cheese and a slice of strawberry with Sweetie, a late-harvest sauvignon blanc, 2013, sweetness and saltiness making a great match.

Kathy Joseph is winemaker and owner of Fiddlehead Cellars.

Kathy Joseph is winemaker and owner of Fiddlehead Cellars.

The backstory: Joseph, a Chicago native, was imagining a career in medicine when she began her college studies in microbiology and biochemistry. But it was daunting to consider the years it would take to earn a degree, so she cast about for something else to match her interests and came up with winemaking.

Fermentation, well that's microbiology; the aging of wines — biochemistry.

Joseph took on graduate studies in enology and viticulture at the University of California-Davis, coupled with hands-on study with great winemakers in nearby Napa Valley and beyond. She made, she says, "everything under the sun."

In 1989 she started Fiddlehead Cellars, based in the Santa Rita Hills of Santa Barbara County, Calif. "I knew that I had to find a niche," she says. That turned out to be elegantly styled pinot noirs and sauvignon blancs with a focus on vineyards in Santa Barbara and Oregon's Willamette Valley. She's now on her 28th vintage.

In 1996 she bought 100 acres for her Fiddlestix Vineyard. Her grapes are sourced there and from other vineyards where she buys by the acre, allowing her to specify how the grapes are grown and when they are picked.

Her ideal, Joseph says, is wines that are delicious, with complexity "but not precious." Not aggressive, not acidic, but rich and expressive.

"People come to the table with an impression of what pinot noir and sauvignon blanc should be," she says, "and I think I break all the rules."

 

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Wine pairings at 12th Ave

By
April 28th, 2016



 

12th Ave Grill's Fried Avocado.

12th Ave Grill's beer-battered fried avocado.

Rick Lilley, wine director at 12th Ave Grill, just back from a buying trip through France and Italy, has put together a wine dinner featuring some of his discoveries, plus California wines from Bruce Neyers, in a tasting, "Adventures on the Wine Route," May 2 at the restaurant.
Lilley has matched up several 12th Ave classic dishes with these wines:
>> Crispy Beer Battered Local Avocado, with Sommariva, Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Superiore Brut, Veneto, Italy
>> Grilled South Shore Tako Bruschetta, with Yves Leccia, I.G.P. Île de Beauté Rosé, Corsica, France 2013
>> Grilled Free Range Jidori Chicken Breast, with Neyers, "304" Chardonnay, Sonoma County, California 2014
>> Chermoula-Steamed Hawaiian Kampachi, with Selon Frédéric and Daniel Brunier, "Le Pigeoulet en Provence", Vaucluse, Southern Rhône, France 2013

Rancher's roast rib-eye.

Ribeye is served over pappardelle pasta, balsamic-roasted radicchio and crimini mushrooms with a marsala jus.

>> Pan­-Roasted Hawaii Ranchers Ribeye, with Neyers Ranch, Conn Valley, Napa Valley, California 2012
The wine and pupu event begins at 6:30 p.m. in the 12th Ave private dining room. Cost is $65; call 732-9469.

 

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Top manufacturers up for awards

By
April 26th, 2016



Aloha Tofu is one of five businesses nominated for the Governor's Lifetime Achievement Award in the 2016 TASTE Awards. Photo by Krystle Marcellus.

Aloha Tofu is one of five businesses nominated for the Governor's Lifetime Achievement Award in the 2016 TASTE Awards. Photo by Krystle Marcellus.

What a chef does is often referred to as the "culinary arts," while what a food manufacturer does is rarely considered as sexy. The annual TASTE Awards aim to insert some glamour into the work done by members of the Hawaii Food Manufacturers Association.

The awards, issued at a dinner May 21 at the Hilton Waikiki Beach Hotel, recognize quality and innovation among individuals and companies that package the tasty treats on our store shelves.
Proceeds from the event show go to the Culinary Institute of the Pacific. Tickets are $125, with sponsorships available for $1,500 to $15,000. Information: foodsofhawaii.com or call 422-4362.
Awards are presented in 10 categories:
Governor's Lifetime Achievement Award: Aloha Shoyu, Aloha Tofu, Diamond Bakery, Hawaii Candy, Maui Wine
Advocate of the Year: Douglas Trade Shows (Ken Kanter), Foodland (Sullivan Cos.), SBDC of Oahu (Joseph Burns), Pacific Allied Products (Bernie Coleman), Simple Co.
Manufacturer of the Year - large company: Aloha Shoyu, Diamond Bakery, Hawaiian Host, Kauai Coffee, The Patisserie
Manufacturer of the Year - small company: For J's Hawaii, Hawaiian Chip Co., Hawaiian Hurricane Co., Koloa Rum, Mulvadi Corp.
Supplier of the Year: Inovi Technologies, Matson Navigation, Nelson Packaging, Rengo Packaging, Suzuki Industries
Community Service Award: Big Island Candies, Inovi Technologies, Kualoa Ranch, Mana Ai,  Ulupono Initiative
Start-up Manufacturer of the Year: Hawaiian Nougat, Island Distillers, Ko Hana Rum, Maui Fruit Jewels, Ono Giant Shrimp Co.
Innovative Marketing Award: Hawaiian Airlines, HPC Foods, Made in Hawaii Festival, Noh Foods
Product of the Year: Kauai Kookie, Ko Hana Rum, Maui Fruit Jewels, Maui Wine Lokelani Sparkling Wine, Oils of Aloha Macadamia Nut Oil
Hawaiian Agriculture Award: Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co., Hawaiian Ola Sparkling Beverages, Manulele Distillers LLC, Pacifikool, Wailea Ag Group
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Be nice; get a free pretzel

By
April 25th, 2016



Original and unsalted pretzels will be given away on National Pretzel Day Tuesday.

Original and unsalted soft pretzels will be given away on National Pretzel Day, Tuesday.

Share a kind thought on Tuesday and Pretzelmaker will give you a pretzel. Free. Just for being nice.

To mark National Pretzel Day, Pretzelmaker invites the world to post a message of kindness on social media using the hashtag #warmthoughts. Bring proof of posting (hold up your phone) at the Pretzelmaker location in Kahala Mall or Kahului, Maui, and you'll be rewarded with a soft pretzel, original  or unsalted. One per customer.

This is the eighth year that the chain has celebrated National Pretzel Day.

 

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TV series to feature Maui chef

By
April 23rd, 2016



Maui chef Sheldon Simeon appears in an episode of Lifestyle Network’s "Spice to Life" food and travel series on Sunday, talking about the island food scene and cooking traditions.

Simeon, chef at MiGRANT at the Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa and the newly opened Tin Roof, is known for his contemporary take on traditional Filipino foods — plantation dining with a twist. 

Simeon was a finalist and fan favorite in the 10th season of Bravo Network’s "Top Chef: Seattle." In 2011, he was a James Beard Foundation Award semifinalist for rising star and best new restaurant. In 2014, Food & Wine magazine named him best new chef for the Pacific & Northwest.

“There is an undeniable authenticity to chef Sheldon Simeon’s food and ethic,” Lifestyle Network channel head Aileen Paredes said in a statement. “He shows audiences that you can be the best in the world without sacrificing the truth that is spoken through food.”

"Spice to Life" airs at 7:30 p.m. Sunday on LSNET, available on Oceanic Time Warner, channel 683. Lifestyle Network produces programming targeted at Filipinos worldwide.

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A sweet take on turnips

By
April 21st, 2016



Chunks of daikon doused in lemon juice and olive oil.

Chunks of daikon doused in lemon juice and olive oil.

Today's word is macerate, which means to soften a food by soaking it in a liquid. Not to be confused with masticate, which means to chew. You can also macerate yourself, which has to do with wasting away due to fasting.

So, macerate, good; masticate, OK; macerating yourself, bad.

What was the point? Oh yeah, last week I visited Mission Social Hall & Cafe, where the menu included macerated whole baby turnips, with their greens attached. They were beautiful and delicious.

Whole macerated turnips from Mission Social Hall & Cafe, with other antipasti choices.

Whole macerated turnips from Mission Social Hall & Cafe, with other antipasti choices.

It happened that chef Mark Noguchi was there, and he gave me the recipe: Macerate the turnips in olive oil and lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.

It also happened that I had the remains of a very large daikon in my fridge.

So, after making sure that I understood what macerate meant, I set about doing that to my daikon (which is a big daddy turnip, compared to those tiny ones at Mission).

And, hey, mine were great.

So this is how it's done: Put about 1-1/2 cups of daikon chunks (peeled and cut into bite-sized wedges) in a dish. Whisk together 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 tablespoon olive oil; pour over daikon and mix well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Let sit 30 minutes.

The process removes all the bitterness and bite from the turnip, turning them slightly sweet. Try it. It's one of the simplest and tastiest things you'll ever do.

For more on the Mission menu, see this week's Crave section in the Honolulu
Star-Advertiser.

 

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Chicken returns in fabulous fashion to the Chef Mavro menu

By
April 20th, 2016



Photo courtesy Donna Jung Now on the Chef Mavro Spring menu is the most delicious chicken you'll ever eat. It's fresh and local to start, then brined and roasted with decadent Perigord truffles under its skin.

Photo courtesy Donna Jung
Now on the Chef Mavro Spring menu is the most delicious chicken you'll ever eat. It's fresh and local to start, then brined and roasted with truffles under its skin. The chicken is plated on bearnaise jus alongside asparagus, fork-crushed Yukon potato and a fancy potato crisp.

There's little that makes me appreciate my job more than a visit to Chef Mavro, where chef-owner George Mavrothalassitis discusses food and cooking with earnest exuberance. It's great to talk with someone who has neverending passion for his work.

During a visit last week, the good chef and his chef de cuisine Jonathan Mizukami showed me how they execute a most decadent dish on their Spring menu: brined local chicken roasted with Perigord truffles under the skin. Those truffles, the finest to be had, run $700-$2,000 a pound!

As to local chicken, we haven't seen that in eons, but a North Shore farm is now raising them on a small scale, which freed Mavrothalassitis to put chicken back on his menu — it had long been absent  since the chef's high standard does not allow for frozen product.

The chefs present the heavenly truffle-chicken dish over bearnaise jus with green asparagus, fork-crushed Yukon potato and topped with a crisp potato disc.

Photo by Dennis Oda / doda@staradvertiser.com Chefs George Mavrothalassitis, left, and Jonathan Mizukami demonstrate how to make chicken flavorful by placing delicious items (such as truffles and herbs) under the skin. They also show how to break down and cook a whole chicken. This is a chicken broken down into its pieces.

Photo by Dennis Oda / doda@staradvertiser.com
Chefs George Mavrothalassitis, left, and Jonathan Mizukami demonstrate how to make chicken flavorful by placing delicious items (such as the penultimate Perigord truffles, shown in its whole form beside Mavrothalassitis) under its skin. It all starts by breaking down the chicken while leaving its skin intact.

But back to the preparation: To properly secure the truffles — or anything else tasty placed under the skin, and there are many options — the chicken must be broken down, as in neck, legs and wings removed, WITHOUT removing the skin. It's quite a technique.

The chefs demonstrated the task for me, and I'll explain it step by step, in the June installment of my column, If I Can, You Can. See you there.

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Poke Pau Hana pairs seafood and suds

By
April 19th, 2016



This card, printed on two sides, illustrates which craft beers pair best with Foodland poke varieties. It will be available in stores and on the Foodland website.

This card, printed on two sides, illustrates which craft beers pair best with Foodland poke varieties. It will be available in stores and on the Foodland website.

Starting bright and early Wednesday morning, Foodland Super Market will up its already-go-to poke-purveyor status with a craft beer pairing program called Poke Pau Hana.

In a partnership with Southern Wine & Spirits, Foodland and Sack N Save locations will show customers the craft beers that pair best with 10 of its 20 different poke choices.

It will be "a whole new tasting experience … a whole new way of enjoying poke," said Sheryl Toda, Foodland senior director of marketing and corporate communications, at a Tuesday evening "sneak peak" tasting event at which nary a green bottle was in sight.

Starting Wednesday customers will see a variety of the beers displayed at the seafood counters where the poke is sold. Two-sided tasting cards, like the one pictured here, will be available to customers looking to make pairing choices and to make their own notations about what they liked about each pairing — or didn't. Cards and information touting the program also will be available near the beer displays.

This card, printed on two sides, illustrates which craft beers pair best with Foodland poke varieties. It will be available in stores and on the Foodland website.

This card, printed on two sides, illustrates which craft beers pair best with Foodland poke varieties. It will be available in stores and on the Foodland website.

Sampling will be offered at select stores, Toda said, and each week a discounted price will be offered on the featured craft beer. Information about which stores will offer samplings will be shared via Foodland's social media channels.

The pairings were achieved by Foodland and Southern Wine & Spirits culinary staff; cicerones, or certified beer professionals; and executives, during meetings that included some "robust discussions," said Foodland Corporate Chef Keoni Chang. Working their way through as many as 50 craft beers, the choices were made. The hope is that the suggested pairings won't be an end-all for customers, but rather the beginning of "a journey," and further "conversation," Chang said.

He and Southern Wine & Spirits officials on hand encouraged tasters to linger over the flavors in both the poke and the beer, to let their palates discern how the flavors in each poke sample balanced or complemented — or even contrasted with — the notes in each beer's taste profile.

For the tasting event, seafood managers from different Foodland locations prepared poke freshly, on-site, for sampling by guests, along with a small pouring of the selected brew. Each tasting station offered water and so-called dump buckets to rinse out the provided glasses so as to keep the flavor of each new sampled beer, true.

One highly popular choice for the night was the local favorite spicy ahi poke, paired with New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale, which some enthusiasts said has recently become available in Hawaii.

This post eventually will be updated with some photos of the pairings, but this writer wanted you to be informed of the new Poke Pau Hana program at Foodland as soon as possible because, as they say, 'it's five o'clock somewhere.'

 

 

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