Man finds brunch battle at MW Restaurant
Travel Channel host Adam Richman makes a point during a mock brunch battle Wednesday morning. Photo by Erika Engle
The Travel Channel's "Man Finds Food" host Adam Richman is in town briefly for preliminary work for next month’s Hawaii Food and Wine Festival, and participated in a mock Brunch Battle this morning.
The combatants and host gathered at MW Restaurant, owned and operated by husband and wife culinarians Wade Ueoka and Michelle Karr-Ueoka. Chef Lee Anne Wong, of Koko Head Cafe, was paired with "Sunrise" anchor Grace Lee for the mock battle.
Richman and his room-filling, funny personality had the chefs and Lee cracking up as they prepared their respective dishes during a broadcast shoot for Hawaii News Now’s “Sunrise” morning show.
No winner was named after this morning's demonstration, but at the real Brunch Battle during the festival, diners who taste six dishes prepared by three competing teams will decide the victor.
It was impossible to get close-ups of both dishes as they were plated, because the TV shoot was underway.
Wong’s cornflake-crusted French Toast, or what was left of it, was delicious and sweet but balanced, and notably, was not made with a mere slice of bread, but rather a large cuboid, or rectangular prism. The sauce was creamy and not overly sweet. You can see that bacon also was involved.
The base of Ueoka’s French Toast was a thick slice of brioche, crust removed, made by his wife and MW Restaurant pastry chef Michelle. It incorporated savory ingredients such as onions and Hamakua mushrooms, served with a jus made from pork bones and pork belly from Dave Wong’s pig farm, which is run according to traditional Korean practices. Ueoka plated up a new dish for pictures and for tasting.
Both dishes were amazing, though Ueoka said the one prepared this morning might not be the dish that goes into battle the morning of October 30 at the Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort. He and his wife will brunch-battle against a team comprising Celina Tio, a Kansas City chef and restaurateur and "Top Chef Masters" contestant, and Colin Hazama, executive chef at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel & Resort; and against two-time champions Wong and her teammate, Sven Ullrich, executive chef at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort.
The Hawaii Food and Wine Festival runs from October 14 through 30.