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

The Slow Season & A Busy New Year

Posted on January 01, 2013 by admin

Sometimes, even though its slow, to keep the cooks busy we’ll cross train them.  This get’s  them their hours and keeps it fun while mixing up their day.  It makes them more valuable to Tiki’s, the more they know, the stronger they get as a team.  It’s hard to send home the line cooks as there stations are live until midnight serving our lanai menu.  And of course there is the perpetual prepping for the next day.  If one particular cook is set up early or I know they were slow yesterday then I’ll give them the nightly special or help them design a special in our style.  There isn’t much down time in a busy restaurant like Tiki’s. Keeping up with daily inventory & ordering requires close attention to usage.  We use daily log sheets, kinda like perpetual sheets.  We count product in and out.  Food deliveries that arrive each day are logged and then subtracted back out as the items are prepped for service.  The opening chef fills out the daily prep sheet paring to the current trend in business.  So if yesterday we used 15 orders o... Read more

Becoming A Chef

Posted on November 11, 2012 by admin

I knew in 8th grade that I was going to become a chef. I love to cook. My Mom taught me and my Dad, who died when I was eight, had taught her. I was the youngest in my Italian family of four siblings making cooking more fun than a responsibility. What I remember about my father was his passion. His passion for cooking, his passion for life! My most vivid memories of him were from four to seven. They took place on Sundays. All day Sunday this 6’4” 230 pound larger then life “spaccone” would be in the kitchen, singing opera, Mario Lanza style, cooking tomato sauce (gallons of it), making meatballs and watching cartoons with us. Those meatballs were wonderful, he would always make one gigantic meatball. I miss those meatballs, I still don’t know how he did them exactly. My mother would say, “put some gawlic in thea”. Since he’d make gallons of this thick bubbling tomato sauce taking hours to neutralize the acids he would sear these meatballs and throw them in the sauce to braise them. It would make for these beautiful, just fall apart meatballs. ... Read more