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Brug Bakery, a beginning

By
June 24th, 2016



Brug butter rolls.

Brug crescent-shaped butter rolls.

Brug Bakery Hawaii hosted a preview of its new shop at Ala Moana Center Friday, showcasing a sampling of its distinctive pastries for a carb-hungry crowd of invited guests. The bakery opens to the public Saturday at 8 a.m.

Brug owner Miho choi with a tray of Sozai Pan.

Miho Choi with a tray of Sozai Pan, topped with lotus leaf slices and filled with nishime-like vegetables.

President Miho Choi opened the bakery inside Shirokiya in 2013, but has her own place now (Shirokiya, meanwhile, is opening Japan Village Walk in the Ewa Wing of the shopping center).

Like many Japanese bake shops, Brug has a self-serve set up. Customers pick up trays and tongs, then fill up from bins lining the shop.
A crowd of guests sampled the pastries in Friday's preview.

A crowd of guests sampled the pastries in Friday's preview.

 The sweet and savory pastries come in intriguing flavor combinations (okra and garlic) and shapes (garlic, cheese and tomato, baked into a cube). They include my new favorite thing, a cheesey-mochi puff inside a pastry dough.

A selection of Brug pastries.

A selection of Brug pastries, clockwise from top left: chocolate roll, garlic-tomato cube, corned beef slider, cheese mochi pan and an okra-garlic mini loaf.

If only I had a little more room in my daily carb allowance I would have tried the most tempting sweet pastry, a lemon-cream cheese cupcake.
What's inside the pastries.

What's inside the pastries.

Lemon-cream cheese cakes, topped with slices of roasted lemon.

Lemon-cream cheese cakes, topped with slices of roasted lemon.

Brug Bakery Hawaii is in a former Pretzelmaker location, near the Lupica tea shop, on mauka side, street level of the center. Hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays.

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Pitmaster champ shares techniques

By
June 17th, 2016



Myron Mixon sprinkles a rack of ribs with his signature rub. He advises a "medium" coating of rub, which was really quite thick.

Myron Mixon sprinkles a rack of ribs with his signature rub. He advises a "medium" coating of rub, which was really quite thick.

I'm not sure there are metrics for barbecue championships, but Myron Mixon is known as "the winningest man in BBQ" and you're not likely to find anyone to contest that.

Certainly not in the crowd at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Friday, where Mixon beguiled a sellout crowd of 120 — most of them his fans, but all of them fans of the art of the smoker.

Mixon is a television BBQ celebrity, featured in Discovery's Destination America shows "Smoked," "BBQ Pittmaster," "BBQ Rules" and "BBQ Pit Wars." He has his own line of gear, including a $4,000 smoker. He's got cookbooks, a cooking school and this summer opens restaurants in Washington, D.C., and Chicago.

He's gruff and tough and does nothing small. "Go big or go home," he said, " 'cause nobody ain't gonna care 100 years from now."

If you've never heard of him you're just moving in the wrong crowd.

Mixon has won more than 200 grand championships in competitions that can involve more than 100 grilling teams. "He's always the top dog," said Norris Sherfield, an attendee who follows Mixon on TV.

Press your rub firmly into the meat, on both sides, Mixon advises.

Press your rub firmly into the meat, on both sides, Mixon advises.

In Friday's session, Mixon gave out proportions for his brine and his injection recipe, measured by gallons, and his tips for how to prep a rack of ribs and a whole chicken for the smoker.

Class participants followed Mixon's demonstration with a hands-on application of his techniques. They took it very seriously.

Class participants followed Mixon's demonstration with a hands-on application of his techniques. They took it very seriously.

For example, never oil a chicken. It makes the skin rubbery, and don't put your spice rub under the skin or it will taste over-seasoned and possibly chalky. On the other hand, always oil your ribs. It helps the rub adhere. Press down firmly to set the rub (don't actually rub it in).  And always use St. Louis spareribs, taking the time to remove the membrane and the excess fat, but not to the point where you puncture the meat.

"I'd rather you take less of it off than make a hot mess."

Racks of ribs prepared in the class were sent to the smoker to be served at Saturday night's BBQ and Blues Festival at the Hilton.

Racks of ribs prepared in class were sent to the smoker to be served at Saturday's BBQ and Blues Festival at the Hilton.

 

A barbecue meal followed the class, with Southern sides of grilled corn on the cob, collard greens, macaroni and cheese, baked beans with peaches, mashed sweet potatoes and coleslaw.

A barbecue meal followed class, with Southern sides of grilled corn on the cob, collard greens, macaroni and cheese, baked beans with peaches, mashed sweet potatoes and coleslaw.

For more of Mixon's tips and his recipe for ribs, see Wednesday's Crave section

 

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Roy Yamaguchi bids America 'good morning'

By
June 15th, 2016



Roy Yamaguchi, left, with Jesse Palmer, a contributor to "Good Morning America," on Tuesday after taping a segment for the show.

Roy Yamaguchi, left, with Jesse Palmer, a contributor to "Good Morning America," on Wednesday after taping a cooking segment for the ABC show.

Hawaii chef Roy Yamaguchi is in New York, promoting National Hawaiian  Foods Week with an appearance that airs Thursday morning on "Good Morning America."

Yamaguchi taped his segment Wednesday, preparing a mango sweetbread pudding, an avocado-bacon breakfast sandwich, Portuguese sausage frittata sliders and pineapple French toast.

His dishes used the products of companies sponsoring Hawaiian Foods Week — King’s Hawaiian, Dole, Mauna Loa, Kona Brewing Co. and Spam.

The special week, which runs through Saturday, was recognized last week in a U.S. Senate resolution and is being marked by promotions involving the sponsoring products at supermarkets nationwide.

Yamaguchi talked up Hawaii and its food culture on "Fox and Friends" Wednesday and continues with an appearance on San Francisco television Friday. "GMA" airs at 7 a.m. on ABC.

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Chocolate shop customers share in win

By
June 13th, 2016



Choco Le‘a produces truffles in flavors such as cookies and cream, sea salt caramel and Guinness beer.

Choco Le‘a produces truffles in flavors such as cookies and cream, sea salt caramel and Guinness beer.

Choco Le‘a, a chocolate shop in Manoa, won some special recognition recently and is sharing the love with gifts of chocolate.

Visit the shop at 2909 Lowrey Ave. Tuesday through Saturday for a free truffle and beverage.

The occasion? In March Choco Le‘a was named a winner in the American Small Business Championship, an award that came with a trip to a regional training event and a $1,000 Sam’s Club gift card. The shop is in the running for a $25,000 top national prize.

To compete the owners had to state what they’d do with the gift card and the training (their response: use the funds to buy supplies to better organize the shop and serve customers, plus give 10 percent to charity; and use the training to grow, then help mentor others).

The award is sponsored by the Score Foundation, which provides mentoring to small businesses. A second Hawaii award went to Coradorables, a children's clothing maker.

Shop hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call 371-2234 or visit chocolea.com.

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Artist captures spirit of Kona Coffee fest

By
June 8th, 2016



Kona artist Carol Tredway's image of a coffee picker at work will be the official image of the Kona Coffee Festival.

Kona artist Carol Tredway's image of a coffee picker at work will be the official image of the Kona Coffee Festival.

Each year the Kona Coffee Festival selects a work of art to represent the theme of the event. The 2016 theme, “Brewed with Tradition,” has been illustrated by Kona artist Carol Tredway with a representation of a coffee picker and Kona farm life. The piece will be featured on commemorative items and in the festival’s 2016 advertising campaign. Look for it in posters, buttons and other retail items.

The festival, in its 46th year, runs Nov. 5 to 13. The key event is a cupping competition that selects the region's top beans for the year. Other highlights:

Nov. 5: Holualoa Village Coffee & Art Stroll and Miss Kona Coffee Scholarship Pageant

Nov. 6: KTA Super Stores Kona Coffee Recipe Contest

Nov. 8: Council farm and mill tour

Nov. 10: Cupping competition 

Nov. 11: Lantern parade
Nov. 12: Ho‘olaule‘a

Nov. 13: Aloha Makahiki Concert with kumu hula Mika Keale-Goto and Halau Keale

For a complete list of events visit konacoffeefest.com

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Mural honors Bethany Hamilton

By
June 7th, 2016



A new mural on the wall at Jamba Juice in Lihue, Kauai, recounts surfer Bethany Hamilton's life story.

A new mural on the wall at Jamba Juice in Lihue, Kauai, recounts surfer Bethany Hamilton's life story.

Jamba Juice at Kukui Grove on Kauai has a new mural dedicated to Bethany Hamilton, and the pro surfer will be in the house 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday to sign autographs and pose for photos.

A Bethany Dreams smoothie sold that day will benefit Friends of Bethany Hamilton.

Born and raised on Kauai, Hamilton has become a worldwide symbol for resilience since losing her left arm in a 2003 tiger shark attack, then fighting back to regain her pro surfing career.

She has a promotional agreement with Jamba Juice that makes her an "ambassador" for the brand.

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Hukilau bounty

By
May 28th, 2016



The Hawaii Food & Wine Festival's Culinary Journey closed Friday night with a Hukilau Beach Cookout at the Kahala Hotel & Resort. The event was considered a preview for the festival, which takes place in October.
A sampling of the night's dishes, photos courtesy Pono Media:
paella
Paella a la Marinera (Fisherman's Paella) by Vikram Garg.
pig
Roast Pig, Grape and Ogo Poke, with Betel Leaves by Andrew Le of Pig and the Lady.
bag
"Da Bag” — lobster, clams, sausage, shrimp, potatoes and corn on the cob by Alan Wong.
pulehu
Pulehu Hawaii Ranchers Rib Eye with Thai Basil Chimichurri and a Side of Crispy Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower by Roy Yamaguchi.
poke
Kapakahi Poke — ahi, hamachi, opihi, chili flakes and inamona by Elmer Guzman of Poke Stop.
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Special bites for Memorial Day

By
May 28th, 2016



Avenue's Memorial Day Malasadas with lemon curd.

Avenue's Memorial Day Malasadas with lemon curd.

Head to Kaimuki this holiday weekend for some memorable meals:

At 12th Ave Grill, a Sunday Supper Memorial Day BBQ Sampler shows off local craft beer pairings with meats and sausage made on site.

The menu: Cherry Wood Smoked Baby Back Ribs, 12-hour Hawaii Ranchers Brisket, House Made Kielbasa and dessert of Buttermilk Pound Cake with Amaretto-Macerated Strawberries. Limited-edition Maui Brewing Co. beers will be served alongside. Cost is $32, served family style on Sunday and Monday. Call 732-9469.

At Avenue's Bar + Eatery, bite-sized malasadas with Meyer lemon curd are a holiday treat, along with a special cocktail, For Love + Honor, made with Buffalo Trace bourbon, egg white, India pale ale, orange liqueur, citrus juices and cherry syrup. Call 744-7567.
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First look: Roy's on the beach

By
May 26th, 2016



The Turtle Bay Trio is one of the dishes developed for the new Roy's Beach House menu: a coffee-crusted rib-eye steak, king crab ceviche and Ichiko sea scallop.

The Turtle Bay Trio is one of the dishes developed for the new Roy's Beach House menu: a coffee-crusted rib-eye steak, king crab ceviche and Ichiko sea scallop.

Roy Yamaguchi's new restaurant at the Turtle Bay resort will be his first on the beach, his first with a takeout window, his first to serve a Cobb salad or a shrimp Louie.

Roy's Beach House opens in August in the former Ola location right on the sand. The original structure has been gutted and is undergoing reconstruction, from the lanai deck to the landscaping lining the parking-lot fence.

Roy Yamaguchi, right, looks over plans for the new restaurant with his contractor, in the area that will be the new bar.

Roy Yamaguchi, right, looks over plans for the new restaurant with his contractor, in the area that will be the new bar.

Yamaguchi gave a tour of the site and a preview of the menu Wednesday as part of events in the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival's spring Culinary Journey.

Despite having dozens of restaurants all over the world, he has no beachside location, Yamaguchi said, so when he was offered this one, "I said, 'Yeah!' I always wanted to be on the beach."

A wooden deck will surround the open-air-under-roof dining room.

A wooden deck will surround the open-air-under-roof dining room.

Beach House will seat 90 under roof — in a dining area with sliding doors that will remain open as long as it's not raining or terribly windy. A wrap-around patio will accommodate 50 to 60 more, and the restaurant will extend to lounge chairs on the sand for those interested in, say, hot dogs.

A takeout window behind the kitchen will serve "our famous Roy's to go," the chef said. "Famous starting in July."

Bowls of steamed New Zealand Cockles in coconut curry sauce were plated in a makeshift serving area at the unfinished restaurant for a preview dinner Wednesday. The dish is  planned for the new Roy's Beach House menu.

Bowls of steamed New Zealand Cockles in coconut curry sauce were plated in a makeshift serving area at the unfinished restaurant for a preview dinner Wednesday. The dish is planned for the new Roy's Beach House menu.

Much of the menu is still in the thinking stage, under development with Beach House's executive chef, Roy's veteran Gordon Hopkins. Yamaguchi said it will combine some of Roy's classic dishes with new items suited to a "beachy environment."

He describes salads, crudos, burgers and hot dogs — "a cross between comfort food and Roy's ... Roy's new modern."

Also on the new menu: onaga with pohole fern, chantrelles and a tableside pour of luau leaf sauce.

Also on the new menu: onaga with pohole fern, chantrelles and a tableside pour of luau leaf sauce.

Certain American classics are in the design stage, among them a Reuben sandwich, shrimp Louie and Cobb salad.

"One of the things I really love is a Cobb salad," he said. "Wherever I go I eat a Cobb salad." He's working on a version of the classic chopped salad made with slow-roasted turkey.

After Beach House, Yamaguchi will open three more Hawaii restaurants this year, at the International Marketplace, in Kapolei and on Maui.

Dinner ended with strawberry-cognac macarons, served with dots of lilikoi curd and haupia and a chocolate crunch.

Dinner ended with strawberry-cognac macarons, served with dots of lilikoi curd and haupia and a chocolate crunch.

 

 

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BBQ champion on the way

By
May 23rd, 2016



Grillmaster Myron Mixon

Master griller Myron Mixon

 
If you have a grill at home and aren't afraid to use it, you are a handy home outdoor cook. But when you get really, really good at it, you become a pitmaster.

This is the title worn by Myron Mixon, deemed the "winningest man in barbecue," a barbecue TV celebrity from the shows "Smoked," "BBQ Rules," "BBQ Pitmasters" and "BBQ Pitwars."

Mixon headlines at the Honolulu BBQ and Blues Festival, June 17 and 18 (Father's Day weekend, if you're looking for ideas) at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort.

On the 17th (Friday) Mixon holds a hands-on cooking class, teaching how to prepare several classic dishes. The next day is the festival on the resort's great lawn, with grilled dishes for sale and entertainment by the swing band Kahulanui, Kalapana and other guest artists.

The cooking class runs from 5 to 8 p.m.; cost is $149, which includes admission to the festival the next day, a full barbecue spread, beer and wine.

Tickets to to the festival are $20 in advance, $30 at the door, military $10, children under 15 free. Food and drink are extra. The menu: smoked southern-style hog, smoked turkey, chicken, dry-rub ribs, brisket, sausage, kalua pig, classic Southern sides and a dessert station. Parking is $8 self-park, $13 valet.
Purchase tickets at hiltonhawaiianvillage.com/bbq call 947-7955.

For those who'd like to make a weekend of it, kamaaina room rates of $179 per night are available, and on Father's Day Tropics Bar & Grill will feature a southern barbecue menu.

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