Chocolate Lovers Enjoyed the 5th Annual Hawaii Chocolate Festival

Posted on October 22, 2015 by admin
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The 5th annual Hawaii Chocolate Festival just finished and Tiki’s Grill and Bar was there. The festival was part of the Pacific Expos’ Fall Food & New Products show at the Blaisdell Convention Center, on October 16-18. The chocolate festival highlighted the growing local cacao industry with some delicious chocolate creations using locally produced cacao. This year Tiki’s served Crunchy Manoa White and Dark Chocolate Ravioli. Passport to Chocolate Heaven For $20, visitors to the show got a tasting passport that let them sample at least 10 specialty chocolate creations. If all that amazing chocolaty goodness wasn’t enough, a passport also got attendees into the Food and New Products show for free where they could check out another 200 booths with many offering samples of their products to try. The Inside Scoop The filling for the chocolate ravioli has a few surprises that I know chocolate connoisseurs are going to love. Along with the house made ricotta will be dark chocolate, mac nuts and candied Buddha’s hand. Each ravioli is t... Read more

Kama’aina Kids make it Two in a Row

Posted on October 22, 2015 by admin
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September 26, Tiki’s was once again on the shores of Kaneohe Bay to support the 2nd annual Kama’aina Kids’ Flavors by the Bay fundraiser. While the Big Island braced for possible flash flooding from passing tropical storm Niala we were treated to a beautiful and rain free, if somewhat muggy, evening overlooking Kaneohe Bay at He’eia State Park. A Fresh Start Two years ago Kama’aina Kids, who have been operating kayak tours and programs for school children and visitors at He’eia Park for nearly 20 years, was awarded a 25 year lease to manage the park for the community. One of the first projects they wanted to undertake as the new stewards of the park was to rebuild the pavilion near the entrance. The pavilion had to be demolished after it was severely damaged during a wind storm in 2013. The new structure is being designed by a team led by Dr. Fran Palama, principle of Maunakai & Associates, a native Hawaiian design and architecture consultancy. I had a chance to meet Dr. Palama and Flavors by the Bay chairperson Kathy Hew earlier in th... Read more

Wine Dinner with Sir George Fistonich

Posted on October 09, 2015 by admin
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Tiki’s was very pleased to welcome Sir George Fistonich, owner and founder of New Zealand’s Villa Maria Winery. As New Zealand’s most awarded winery, Sir George has been a major player in putting New Zealand on the wine making map. He brought his more than 50 years of award winning wine making expertise to a very special winemaker’s dinner at Tiki’s Grill & Bar on September 15. Wine Dinner Dreams Planning and preparation for this evening began about 3 months before when Michelle Gonzales, our maître d', Randy Linville, our assistant general manager, Michael Miller, our director of operations and myself sat down with the representative from Villa Maria for a tasting. We drank, we chatted and dreamed about what would go well with the wines we planned to feature. It started with the wine at a wine dinner and the food to match at the end. We trick ‘em out as much as we can but always trying to showcase the wine. First the First Course Our wine list for the night was jam packed with some of the best offerings from Villa Maria and their ... Read more

Street Wise Labor Day Grilling Tips

Posted on October 08, 2015 by admin
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Morning commuters might have been wondering if a new pop-up restaurant had opened in Kalihi but it was just me grilling up some of my Korean mother-in-law’s kalbi beef short ribs. I had an opportunity to share some of my most trusted grilling tips for Labor Day on the Hawaii News Now sunrise show. So we could grill without smoking up the studio we set up on the side street just off busy Waiakamilo Road outside of KGMB’s studio. It was definitely one of the most unique venues I’ve ever cooked at, sandwiched between the loading dock and the parking entrance across from the Office Depot warehouse. All kinds of curious motorists were noticing the camera crew and recognizing Dan Cooke. Moms Know - Keep It Simple Going into the demo we didn’t have a long time to prepare but that was OK because for backyard grilling it’s all about the quality of the meat and keeping it simple. I learned that long before I ever set foot in culinary school. For backyard grilling tips I couldn’t go wrong with my Korean mother-in-law’s kalbi beef short ribs recipe. It’s... Read more

Taste of the Hawaiian Range

Posted on October 08, 2015 by admin
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Going back for my fourth appearance at Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range, it seems like we finally have it down. My first two times with Roy’s went smoothly enough but two years ago, representing Tiki’s Grill & Bar, we found ourselves unexpectedly in the middle of an obstacle course. We pretty much had to sprint to the finish in order to pull it off in time. The first hurdle was the Kona Ironman triathlon. We were unknowingly coming in just a week ahead of the world championships. This turned out to be one of the busiest days for traveling to the Big Island as the athletes were arriving early to acclimatize to the weather and the time zone. We managed to get a reservation on an early flight so getting there wouldn’t have been a problem; except for our second hurdle. My First High Security Sauce Alert Each year 30 to 40 chefs are assigned a specific cut of beef or Big Island pasture-raised pork, mutton, goat or feral pig. Two years ago we were assigned mutton and as part of the preparation for the event we had made our marinade ahead o... Read more

Next Step for Nasuti – Moving On

Posted on September 05, 2015 by admin
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There are some big changes at the Nasuti house this fall and I’d like to take this opportunity to share a little about what’s been happening. No, I’m not going anywhere. OK, that’s not entirely true. In September I’ll be traveling with my son Roman to Japan. We’ll be getting him settled into his new life as a college freshman. It promises to be a big adventure as this will be Roman’s first experience living away from mom and dad. Add to that a foreign culture and the language (Roman reads and writes Japanese but conversational immersion will be a new thing) and my son is going to be living a different life in a few weeks. Life in Japan I don’t have all the details straight but so far I know this: from his visit there to check out the school with my wife a few months ago, I know the food is great. Even in the school cafeteria. The school is in Fujisawa outside of Tokyo. Roman will be living about 5 or 10 minutes by bike from the campus. I’m not sure on his school breaks yet but I know the schedule differs dramatically from US schools. ... Read more