Category Archives: Tiki’s

A Taste for Radio

Posted on May 13, 2014 by admin
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For two decades, Jo McGarry has been the voice of Honolulu’s restaurant scene. Actually she’s covered culinary news across the whole state. I’ve known her for 13 years and during that time she’s been really supportive. The first time I remember her writing something about me she said something about me having “Hollywood good looks”. I’m not going to lie and say I wasn’t flattered, I was. You remember stuff like that. She’s also had a lot of good things to say about my approach to cooking and how I run my kitchen. I appreciate that. Jo is very well respected in the industry and I think everyone appreciates what she does. A couple years ago she was cohost of the Hawaii Restaurant Association big hall of fame gala. That was partly out of respect for how hard she works to showcase local restaurants and respect for how well informed she is about the Hawaii industry. Plus she’s really good in front of a microphone. Definitely better than me. The New MoJo Radio Her long running show, Table Talk has recently gone through a huge overhaul. The n... Read more

Give-N-Grind – Hawaiian Style

Posted on April 25, 2014 by admin
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Somebody asked me the other day why we do fundraisers. We do a lot of events and we just finished the Muscular Dystrophy event at the Royal Hawaiian. It was a great night. The organizers put on a first class event with some great restaurants and I was really proud of my team. I thought about that and I thought about the question and it really comes down to three things: my team; the people at the event; and the food. [caption id="attachment_306" align="aligncenter" width="630"] Mahalo to all the Tiki's Grill & Bar Ohana that volunteered to work the event.Photos by Kat Wade / Special to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser Honolulu PulseMore at: http://www.honolulupulse.com/2014/04/pics-mda-spring-soiree-2014[/caption] My Team My staff works really hard at these events and there are a few that sign up to do every single one. They love coming out, being part of the community and representing the restaurant. We get a chance to showcase our people and that’s important. We’re there for exposure too, of course. I want people to know what we have to offer at ... Read more

Make A Wish

Posted on September 21, 2013 by admin
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[imagebrowser id=10] Xhosa Chinn is a really sweet kid from Orlando Florida who has heart problems. He’s 6’4” and was playing basketball. His wish was to come to Hawaii and see what it would be like to be a chef. I was given the honor by the wonderful people at the Make A Wish Foundation to be that chef for Xhosa. So I made a list of proteins, starches, vegetables and finally sauces we could make from scratch. We “Iron Chef-d” it; took a bunch of ingredients without a preconceived idea of what to do and make something cool out of it. I collaborated with Xhosa on his ideas and what he wanted to make. He was really into making egg rolls. I told him we’d make some nice authentic multi-cultural egg rolls. All of the proceeds of Xhosa’s special that would be sold that night would go back to Make A Wish. We decided to make a combo plate for greater value. I took him through the process of putting together a special, why you could use this fish, what makes it great, this is the kind of sauce that you can make to compliment it. I have some great Lao... Read more

Real Beer Fest

Posted on July 17, 2013 by admin
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Real Beer Festival in Honolulu will be a really fun time! I know Chef Troy and Lisa Kim who organizes a lot of these events. It will be a Craft Beer 21 and over festival. It’s named Real after the gastropub that Chef Troy owns. It's the first year, right across the street from Ward Center and it’s getting a lot of hype. Lots of people I know are excited for this. I am going to make Big Island beef cupcakes with truffled foie gras frosting, a mousse and fold it into whipped Yukon gold potatoes, nice and airy, and I’m going to color it with beets, give it an earthy flavor, they all go well together.  We are making yellow tomato ketchup from scratch with golden Hau’ula tomato’s. Maybe add a nice pale ale inside. The tickets are $60 pre-sale and that gets you unlimited food, a commemorative beer mug and eight 4 ounce brew tasting coupons of over 60 craft beers from Hawaii, Mainland and breweries world wide. Of course there will be live entertainment as well. Come check it out, have some delicious craft beers. Don't forget to check us out, sample o... Read more

Writing The Menu

Posted on July 09, 2013 by admin
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  Writing a menu is an art form. I’ve been writing them for over 25 years and poetic license is key. They are meant to invoke vivid imagery and have an edginess, if appropriate, and personality. You want people to be struck by what they’re reading and remember it. Finally, you want it to initiate a conversation with your server to ask questions. Locally grown food is important to us here at Tiki’s and we want to get that message across to our guests. We don’t expect our guests to know what Hau’ula tomatoes are and where they are grown but our servers do. We take them to the farms and they see first hand the products we put into our food and are able to relay these things to our guests. Sparking a conversation with a competent staff is the experience we aim for. In a place where the staff can’t adequately talk up the menu, it would need to be dumbed down. Another common practice in menu descriptions is to steer guests to or away from certain dishes. In one of my previous kitchens our filet mignon prices were skyrocketing through the roof ... Read more

Island Fusion

Posted on June 12, 2013 by admin
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Fusion cuisine is a joining of multiple cultures. There’s schoolable techniques to all of this and you can’t learn every little technique and such but lucky for us we live on this tiny little island that is such a big melting pot. Like Tony Lui said, “What’s fusion cuisine? In Hawaii it happens every time somebody gets married.” It’s a melding of culture and foods and it’s boundless. There are universal truths to cooking that make for easier synergy.  If you cook a premium piece of meat like a steak, you wouldn’t cook it more then 110˚-130˚; You wouldn’t cook it all the way through for hours and hours. Even if you slow cooked it, the inside temp wouldn’t be much more then body temperature (like a great rib roast). This would be the same in Russia or Japan or England. If its a secondary cut of meat, that requires being braised then you would braise it for hours and hours in a small amount of liquid. In France it would be wine, leeks, mirepoix and peppercorns and in China it would be star anise and mushroom or dark soy sauce and stock i... Read more