Posted on August 15, 2013 by admin

Things are rolling right along as the summer winds down. We've got our labels and bottles in for our Passion-Lilikoi Salad Dressing that I'll be whipping up a batch of tonight on our first housemade run. My brothers coming in tomorrow which would have been fun to take some extra time off. Sunday a very special kid from Make A Wish is coming to work side-by-side with me and design a dish to sell for Sunday evening's dinner special. Half of all sales of that dish will go back to Make A Wish so I encourage you to come into Tiki's this coming Sunday. I'll be posting about the experience next week hopefully. Finally this week I'd like to encourage all of you to take a minute and VOTE TIKI'S in the 2014 Hale Aina Awards for 'Best Place to Take a Visitor' and if you would be so kind as to write us in for 'Best Seafood' and 'Best Barfood'. We work very hard all year to bring our A-game and we'd appreciate the recognition. Also, if we win the gold we will through a party. Thanks in advance! That's all I have for now, hope your staying cool, more to come!... Read more

A Busy Chef

Posted on July 26, 2013 by admin

Going non-stop in these hot days of summer. I’ll be at Real Beer Fest this weekend where I’ll be baking up my Big Isle Beef Cakes, come have a drink with me and taste these bad boys. Cooking it up at the Touch of Iolani the following Saturday. On Friday August 16th I’m doing a demo for the Made in Hawaii Festival at the Blaisdale. We should have our newly bottled Lilikoi Salad Dressing launching for sale at this event! All while running a busy kitchen during the craziest time of year. Needless to say I got lot’s going on so I'm going to make this short. Just wanted to check in and give you an update. Follow the links if you want to come and see me at any of these. Aloha... Read more

Real Beer Fest

Posted on July 17, 2013 by admin

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

  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

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

Repairing A Disposable World

Posted on May 30, 2013 by admin

[caption id="attachment_147" align="alignright" width="584"] Repairing a Refrigerator door with a creme brulee torch.[/caption] Tiki’s has been around for over ten years, so things around the restaurant need maintenance.  I’ve fixed blenders, drains, ovens and burners. In the above image I’m repairing a refrigerator door by getting a little unconventional and heating up the tempered metal hinge with a crème brûlée torch. I recently changed the turn buckle and chain operating mechanism on the convection oven and I have the mechanism for the second oven when that one breaks. I could pay someone $85 an hour to do these repairs or I can just do it myself. We fixed our tilt skillet. Ed, my assistant in a lot of these projects and FOH manager at Tiki’s, and I took the whole thing apart. The mechanism was so frozen it actually broke the aluminum plating and the crank. We re-greased and cleaned the whole thing up. Ed took the crank to get welded and we put it all back together. It was a lot of effort, it took a long time but we salvaged an expensive compone... Read more