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Hawaii chef trio cooks at James Beard House

September 9th, 2016

For chefs, going to the James Beard House is akin to a pilgrimage to Mecca. If they are going there to cook for some 80 guests, a bit more pressure and stress is involved, as one's reputation is at stake in front of a very important audience.

Chefs Shaymus Alwin, Jeremy Shigekane and Carolyn Portuondo of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, A Luxury Collection Resort are in the Big Apple for just such an event, and have been busy preparing for tonight's opportunity to display their culinary mettle.

Chefs Shaymus Alwin, Jeremy Shigekane and Carolyn Portuondo at the Beard House. The giant sunflower pineapple was created by Hawaii event designer Steven Boyle. Photo courtesy the Royal Hawaiian.

Chefs Shaymus Alwin, Jeremy Shigekane and Carolyn Portuondo at the Beard House. The giant sunflower pineapple was created by Hawaii event designer Steven Boyle. Photo courtesy the Royal Hawaiian.

Luckily, the home crowd can watch the cooking unfold beginning at 1 p.m. today (Friday) as the James Beard Foundation's kitchen-cam will live-stream their work in the home-sized kitchen. (See link below.)

Jeremy Shigekane, Shaymus Alwin and Carolyn Portuondo, chefs and pastry chef at the Royal Hawaiian, at a New York City farmers market picking up fresh ingredients. Photo courtesy Royal Hawaiian.

Jeremy Shigekane, Shaymus Alwin and Carolyn Portuondo, chefs and pastry chef at the Royal Hawaiian, at a New York City farmers market picking up fresh ingredients. Photo courtesy Royal Hawaiian.

 

The nine-dish menu features flavors from delicate to bold and playful, with wine pairings prepared in cooperation with Southern Wine & Spirits in Hawaii. One particularly bold choice sure to have the New York food media buzzing, is the serving of a white wine with beef. Alwin is confident in the pairing, which met with positive reviews at a preview dinner last week. He knows it will attract attention, discussion, and debate.

Passed appetizers include heart of palm chawanmushi with Peaky Toe crab, Maine uni and nasturtium, an edible flower; "Abalomi" made with Kona abalone, lomi heirloom tomato and chili water, and Kona Kampachi with caviar served atop a shrimp chip. Dinner comprises Alwin's elegantly plated take on a lobster roll, a nod to his upbringing on the East Coast and his father, who was a lobsterman, as well as dishes highlighting Kauai shrimp, crispy-skinned onaga from Hawaiian waters; and Hawaii Ranchers Ribeye of Beef. Portuondo's dessert is a compressed pineapple butter rum cake with Volcano honey yogurt gelato.

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The trio, as well as one of Chef Shaymus' childhood friends who also is a chef, started going about their work in the Beard kitchen early this morning, Hawaii time.

Royal Hawaiian Executive Pastry Chef Carolyn Portuondo slices rum cake in the kitchen at the James Beard House. Photo courtesy Royal Hawaiian.

Royal Hawaiian Executive Pastry Chef Carolyn Portuondo slices rum cake in the kitchen at the James Beard House. Photo courtesy Royal Hawaiian.

Royal Hawaiian Executive Sous Chef Jeremy Shigekane prepares crispy-skinned onaga in the James Beard Foundation kitchen. Photo courtesy Royal Hawaiian.

Royal Hawaiian Executive Sous Chef Jeremy Shigekane prepares crispy-skinned onaga in the James Beard Foundation kitchen. Photo courtesy Royal Hawaiian.

Portuondo, Alwin and Shigekane, at the James Beard House preview dinner Sept. 1, around servings of the dish highlighting Kauai shrimp. Photo courtesy the Royal Hawaiian.

Portuondo, Alwin and Shigekane at the James Beard House preview dinner Sept. 1, around servings of the dish highlighting Kauai shrimp. Photo courtesy the Royal Hawaiian.

The action will unfold about 1 p.m. Hawaii time as the chefs prepare the menu dubbed "The Royal Treatment." Guests arriving at the Beard House will be greeted by life-sized "pineapples" and other floral creations by Hawaii event designer Steven Boyle, and hula performed by expat dancers and musicians living in the New York area. Then, the culinary adventure begins.

Watch:

https://www.jamesbeard.org/kitchen-cam

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