The Trouble with Tapioca

Posted on March 16, 2013 by admin

You’d think cooking tapioca pearls isn’t rocket science. You buy the non-instant stuff and you have to boil it for a pretty long time until it becomes clear. The cassava root is super dense, it’s got weird molecular properties and an incredible amount of starch which makes for super strong thickening properties. The small ones are pretty easy. Boil until clear and your good. The large pearls however are a different story. You can cook it all day long and it just makes the water thick. Some say what you do is just soak ‘em and if you do this they do become clear but just doesn’t have the desired texture. And here I have eight Laotian cooks and they couldn’t tell me what to do, well they said “boil in water” but they didn’t tell me boil in lots and LOTS of water! The key is that you need 30 or 40 times the water volume then you have in pearls and just boil them for about an hour and a half… Your welcome.... Read more

Molecular Gastronomy

Posted on March 09, 2013 by admin

Molecular gastronomy Is actually evident in the cooking we already do. You can’t escape basic tastes. It’s essentially focusing way, way in on a tip of an iceberg, on a specific aspect of cooking and taking that off on a tangent. It’s the extreme focus is what makes that a trend. In Molecular Gastronomy, all the flavors are basic flavors, it’s about tricking your eyes and your mouth. So you look at something and they look like fish eggs but they taste like bell peppers or a flavored foam of squid ink to add a briny ocean flavor.  Something frozen that isn’t normally gives a flavor and temperature contrast as we usually associate cold with sweet and alcohol flavors.  It can be a wonderful thing. What’s your take, do you have any experiences with this cuisine?... Read more

My Take on the Alexander Valley Vineyards Wine & Dinner Party

Posted on February 22, 2013 by admin

Three days of prep not to mention all the planning, staging and flawlessly timed execution involved to orchestrate a wine dinner party for fifty. We put this together to give you a glimpse of what's involved and how I came up with each course. Next party is March 11. I recommend you come and experience it for yourself. You can get tickets here. ... Read more

Nanakuli Career Day

Posted on February 12, 2013 by admin

Today I went to Nanakuli Intermediate & High school career day with Ed Fabro and Mike Kealoha to meet with students who might be interested in becoming a chef. This is a large school in the most western town of Oahu. Lets see, I saw a chopper, a lady dressed as a nurse; lots of various careers represented yet they said I was the first chef to ever come to this event. So that was surprising to me! There was a good amount of enthusiasm.  We served a tasting of Island Style Bacon & Eggs and explained the details of how it’s made. It was supposed to be two classes of twenty-five but after the first class the kids must have texted their friends that there was food because forty people showed up in the second, which made the energy really fun. I definitely connected with a few students. One of the girls is valedictorian and she’s in their culinary arts class, she really loved it! It’s great for these kids to be exposed to someone who’s been in the industry for a long time – seen the evolution of the industry and be able to ask questions. I explai... Read more

Lots to do for the party…

Posted on February 05, 2013 by admin

Lots happening around Tiki's in preparation for our Alexander Valley Wine Pairing and Dinner Party which will be hosted by Winemaker Harry Wetzel, IV and yours truly. Here's some Big Island lamb we are preparing. Posted from my Instagram page. If your not following me on Instagram yet why not? #chefronnie. Video and behind the scenes of this whole event is to follow in the next few days so check back in.... Read more

The Choices We Make

Posted on January 11, 2013 by admin

It’s funny, maybe terrifying when you think how the choices you make now affect your life in the future. “Long and treacherous is the path of the straight and narrow.” When I was 20 the 1989 economy was going south, especially where I grew up in Massachusetts. Tourism wasn’t that big out there except for pockets like Cape Cod and such. Restaurants were closing left and right. I had developed some really close connections, one being with Kent Bacon.  I had worked with him in Massachusetts at a restaurant on a lake.  He’s a Korean adoptee that reconnected with his biological mother in Hawaii, he was my first experience with Asian culture, the first that would turn out to be many. So my high school buddy, Mark and I decided to take the plunge as the options became less and less for me in MA. We moved to Oahu seeking a grand adventure with Kent and Janice’s (his wife’s) help. We had nothing to lose! Mark and I sold our cars, saved a few grand and left. When I was young planning for the future wasn’t a consideration. Little did I know how th... Read more

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