Category Archives: Food

Food to Write Home About

Posted on March 11, 2017 by admin
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Something to Write Home About  My friend and boss Bill Tobin wrote a book. The title, Food to Write Home About is Bill’s answer to the sort of comment he sometimes comes across in on-line reviews. Anyone who knows Bill and his passion for the Hawaii culinary scene could imagine his reaction when he scrolls down to see: “The food was OK, but nothing to write home about”. When you’ve come to appreciate the quality and variety of Hawaii’s cuisine like Bill has, something like that could get under your skin. It’s a testament to Bill’s character that from his frustration came inspiration and not surprising for Bill, action. Along with his coauthor Brian Berusch, Bill has set out to tell the story of his culinary evolution in Hawaii. Each of his stories comes in the form of a letter home to his mom and he uses many well-known local chefs to illustrate each culinary revelation along the way. Twenty-one of Hawaii’s top chefs are featured along with a recipe from each chef.   I was honored to get a keepsake copy of the book, my reward... Read more

Who Are You Calling a Fruitcake?

Posted on December 11, 2016 by admin
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  Not Your Granny's (Or My Mom's) Fruitcake In mid-October, I appeared on Kitchen Creations to make another Betty Shimabukuro recipe. This time, it was for her popular "spice cake," a.k.a. that most dreaded and ridiculed holiday pastry of all--fruitcake. In her article in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, she jokes how she brought the fruitcake to work, called it a spice cake, and watched it disappear. Since the holidays are right around the corner, I thought it would be fitting to revisit this TV segment, and set the record straight about fruitcake. Now, I don't have the normal aversion to this pastry that some people seem to have, in large part because my mom used to traditionally make it for the holiday season--like I mention in the video, giving out fruitcake was the 70's housewife thing to do. Betty's recipe calls for brandy, and you can substitute whiskey for this, but all the alcohol will cook out. The brandy is to add flavor, but will also help the cake to rise, because alcohol evaporates at a lower temperature, which ma... Read more

KITCHEN COMMANDMENTS! – 10 Tips to Help You Cook Like a Pro

Posted on October 25, 2016 by admin
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            “Of course, everyone knows that.” It was just a good natured tongue-in-cheek jab from Grace Lee, host of the Kitchen Creations segment on Hawaii News Now Sunrise Show. My off handed comment had begged for a little sarcasm. She made a good point. I was mixing up the batter for Banana Andagi and mentioned that the recipe emphasized not to over-mix. When I added “cuz then you can activate the gluten in the flour - right” I made it sound like something so obvious it hardly needed saying. [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75KYqb8odng&feature=youtu.be[/embed]  While it’s something a trained chef would definitely know, someone with a little less kitchen experience might still be wondering why their cakes always come out tough and chewy. It got me thinking about what other basic kitchen know-how has been buried under piles of microwave meals and fast food wrappers. Here are 10 great tips to get started on the right foot. 1. Don’t Over-Mix the Batter - See above if you... Read more

14th Annual Taste of Kick Start

Posted on September 10, 2016 by admin
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Another Year, Another Kick Start On September 4, I was happy to be a part of the Taste of Kick Start for another year in a row. This is a gala put on by Kick Start Karate, a nonprofit founded in 1994 by then Assistant Chief of Police Lee D. Donohue and Mrs. Amy Abe, an Educator from Waipahu High School. The mission statement of the organization is: "To provide alternative activities to combat anti-social youth gang membership in a welcoming environment while encouraging positive changes and enhanced quality of life with all participants through building leadership skills and a sense of empowerment, resulting in more productive citizens, and ultimately, a healthier society." Youth who are enrolled in the program are required to practice karate, as well as maintain an acceptable grade average.  The Taste of Kick Start is a fundraiser with food booths, beverages, and a silent auction. All proceeds go to benefit Kick Start's goal of keeping youth off the streets.  My wife Suni put her name down for some delicious smelling 100% K... Read more

21st Annual Mealani’s A Taste of the Hawaiian Range – A “Meat”-ing of the Minds

Posted on September 06, 2016 by admin
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I'm fortunate enough to again be participating in the Mealani's A Taste of the Hawaiian Range. This is event is held at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on the beautiful island of Hawaii.  Everything really is bigger on Big Island - the hotel is so expansive you can take a tram or boat ride to get from one end to another. Each chef is assigned to prepare a whopping 100 pounds of a specific cut of pasture-raised beef, and in year's past, I've gotten mutton and wild boar. This year I got grass fed beef short ribs. I'm preparing it with a smoky taro pureed mash, with a sea asparagus (or maybe cucumbers as a substitution, as Kahuku Farms is currently out) poke "salad" - probably the closest thing you'll get to a salad at this meat-lover's event - and a luau leaf demi glaze. In addition to enjoying expertly prepared beef sirloin, lamb or Rocky Mountain Oysters (a colorful name for bull’s testicles) attendees can taste samples at local food booths and learn about sustainability and agriculture in Hawaii. There will also be the yearly... Read more

For the Love of Mangoes

Posted on August 27, 2016 by admin
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I had tried several times before but the last time I was determined to make it work. For two and a half years I struggled. I moved my little mango tree around the yard like it was a piece of furniture. My soil is sandy and probably has too much salt being close to the ocean. Mangoes like sandy soil but have a low tolerance for salt. In the end I had to accept I wouldn’t be picking any mangoes from my backyard. I love mangoes. There is a lot you can do with mangoes. Mangoes are great for old favorites like mango bread or as a nice flavor twist for many familiar recipes ranging from salsa to chutney. When I think of mangoes though, what comes to my mind is just the fruit. Nothing beats dicing and scooping out chunks of fresh luscious mango. It’s one of those lucky we live Hawaii moments. Throwing Down at the Mango Festival June through August is peak mango season and recently I had an opportunity to join in on a couple of mango themed events. The Mango Throwdown is part of the annual Mangoes at the Moana Festival. Now in its eighth year, the festiva... Read more

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