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

French Toast and Fruit Kebabs in Under 4 Minutes

Posted on July 29, 2016 by admin
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We’re Almost Out of Time Not long ago I had a chance to tackle another recipe from the pages of the Honolulu Star Advertiser live on the Hawaii News Now Sunrise Show. When doing any kind of cooking show or demonstration I always try to show as much of the actual preparation as possible while still keeping it interesting. In front of the cameras there is added pressure because you’re working on a very tight schedule with very little room for even the smallest thing to go wrong. Preparation is a big part of any well executed dish, whether that means demonstrating a recipe in under four minutes, putting out six-hundred plates at a fundraiser or just making a great meal at home. Just Relax Trying to look relaxed while racing to get the dish put together can be challenging. I should admit here I’m not a big morning person. Despite my best intentions I’m usually operating on less than the optimal amount of sleep. Maybe that’s a good thing. Despite the early wake-up calls, these things are still fun. Staying relaxed, either in front of the camera o... Read more

The Palama Settlement 808 Junior Chef Team Visits Tiki’s

Posted on July 14, 2016 by admin
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The Palama Settlement 808 Junior Chef Team Visits Tiki’s July is National Culinary Arts Month. In honor of this, I wanted to share two experiences that are close to my heart - both involve working with local youth who are interested in breaking into the field of culinary arts. It's so important to light a fire under these kids who will become the next generation of pioneers and pirates in the kitchen, and who can keep our Hawaii Regional Cuisine movement alive, while challenging it and making it better. Their First Real Restaurant It was a revelation. The email had come from Larry Sweets, the youth recreation specialist at the Palama Settlement in Kalihi. He wrote to thank us for dinner and offer to have some of the kids from Palama’s fire knife dancing and hula programs perform at Tiki’s. A few days earlier we had hosted three boys from Palama’s 808 Junior Chef Showdown team for dinner. According to Larry the visit to Tiki’s was the “first time any of them have been to a real restaurant”. What struck me was that these kids were already... Read more

Getting a Taste for Cuisine at Pearl City High School

Posted on July 12, 2016 by admin
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July is National Culinary Arts Month. In honor of this, I wanted to share two experiences that are close to my heart - both involve working with local youth who are interested in breaking into the field of culinary arts. It's so important to light a fire under these kids who will become the next generation of pioneers and pirates in the kitchen, and who can keep our Hawaii Regional Cuisine movement alive, while challenging it and making it better. Since 2013 I have been paired with Pearl City High School’s Culinary Arts Academy through the Hawaii Culinary Education Foundation. For those who may not be familiar with the HCEF, it was created by a group of visitor industry leaders, top chefs and culinary education officials in 1998 for the sole purpose of supporting culinary arts education in Hawaii. The high school mentoring program is just one of the ways the HCEF achieves their mission. More than Just a Cooking Class As chef mentors our job is not just to go out and demonstrate how to prepare a specific dish but to also share our experience and kno... Read more

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